It's hard not to be enchanted by the myriad Hindu festivals, each more fascinating than the previous, each with a distinct story from our rich mythology and with a distinct message from our deep scriptures. I can't say that I have a favorite festival, but do feel like Dussehra has an edge over the others. Think about it- it's a story of good over evil. Hard to resist that one. Then, especially in the north, there are performances of Ram-Leela, the colourful, folksy dramatisation of the Ramayana. This is followed by an elaborate burning of Rawaan's giant effigy. Nothing like symbolism for drilling home a message! I've been to several as a child, and I can't even begin to put in words that feeling of celebration when Ravaan, the epitome of evil, catches fire and burns to ashes.
As India modernises, let's keep these traditions alive for our children. Many of these festivities were the basis for thousands of rich forms of artistry in every medium conceivable- wood, metals, terracotta and textiles. Culture is ever-changing, always adapting. It's up to us what we choose to nurture. Happy Dassehra, all!
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