It is Thursday, 22nd October in India, but it is not a normal day, it is quite special indeed. Today is the festival of Dussehra, also known as Vijaydashmi. It has a really ancient history associated with it. This festival is about the god in the Hindu religion – Lord Rama. This day is really special to everyone in India. It not only recalls the ancient war that Lord Rama fought and won but also brings a special time in the year and happiness in people’s lives.

The nation is all smiles at this time of the year. People are celebrating, as they always have. It is so pleasing to see everyone happy at this time. Everyone wants a good time in the year, and for us, here it is! First, let’s go back to the time when all that happened. I’m not going to get into very details but will be enough to understand. It is said, and also according to Ramayana (the religious book where the story is written), when Lord Rama had gone to live in the forests with his brother Laxman and wife Sita, they had to be isolated for all this time. This was due to the promise he had to make to his father and would only be able to go back when he completes these 14 years. There was a evil king of a kingdom Lanka – Ravan, known for his evil doings and also famous for worshiping Lord Shiva, another Hindu god.

A day came when Laxman cut the nose of Ravan’s sister as for she did something evil again. She complained about this to Ravan and he decided to take revenge for her. He then kidnapped Lord Rama’s wife, Sita using an illusion against her. Then the story goes and at the end, Lord Rama rescues her by killing Ravan in the end, certainly, it was not an easy task, but with the help of everyone, he launched an arrow at Ravan and then, evil was defeated.

This day, Dussehra, recalls the same incident. It is the day when Ravan’s dummy who resembles the evil doings of this world would be burnt, spreading positiveness across the nation and celebrations for the win of good over bad will be celebrated, celebrations for Ravan’s defeat. The story is not just about the killing of the evil king and rescuing goddess Sita, but it resembles the victory of the good over the bad. It teaches the people that they need to believe, they need to be good human beings taking inspiration from their own gods, because what this has taught everyone is that at the end, the bad shall be triumphed.

The festival inspires that people should change, there shall be no wrong doings, and everyone should live with a sense of brotherhood. And not only this, festivals can be so special, they can  be so motivating. Today, I was watching news on the television and I was so amazed to see that a person of a different religion has been making dummies of Ravan for 21 years and it is such a wonderful thing. It is so overwhelming to see his contribution to the society, he might not be aware of it though, but he is immensely contributing to this society and tremendously spreading the idea of brotherhood. I mean, that’s what festivals are all about, celebrating together, forgetting the peculiarities of this society.

It is not just about Dussehra or the other Hindu festivals, but every festival, no matter of which religion must be celebrated together, with happiness, with brotherhood. This is what festivals should mean to everyone. This is what Dussehra, Diwali, Eid or any other festival means. Today, we all will celebrate again. When the dummy burns, we hope that all the wrong doings, all the evilness burns with it, and we all live together, happily, because this is what Dussehra is – where the good triumphs.

HAPPY DUSSEHRA!

Vishal

dussehra-17a

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