Today is the tenth day of a major Hindu festival called Durga Puja, Dussehra, or Navratri. The festival itself is celebrated over the span of these nine nights and ten days in various ways, depending on which part of the country you are from. Let me tell you the story of this festival that I was brought up hearing!
Once upon a time, there lived an evil monster called Mahishasur. He craved to be the Almighty ruler of the world and unleashed a reign of terror on earth. Mahishasur wanted to be immortal and prayed to Lord Brahma for many days and nights. Pleased with his apparent devotion, Brahma appeared before Mahishasur and granted him a wish. Mahishasur asked for immortality but Brahma said that this was impossible since all living things must go through the circle of life. Mahishasur thought hard and, being the male chauvinist that he was, changed his wish to be that no man could ever defeat him. He reasoned that women were too weak to beat him anyway, so by getting the men out of the way, he would pretty much be sealing his invincibility!
Having got that boon squared away, Mahishasur starting challenging all and sundry to proclaim his dominance, and the Gods quickly realized that Brahma had been a bit too hasty in giving in to his promise! Everyone got together and starting complaining when Brahma reminded them of the fine print; namely, that a woman could indeed have the power to beat this guy up. The Gods then put their heads together and a female deity manifested herself in front of them, Durga. She is symbolically represented as having 10 arms because each of the Gods presented her with their weapon of choice, ranging from a sword to bow and arrows.
Suitably ‘armed’ (haha! See what I did?!), Durga approached Mahishasur’s army and challenged them to battle. Initially, Mahishasur was amused at the prospect of a mere female on the battlefield and started taunting her and making lewd comments about her beauty. The fury that Durga felt was only channeled into vanquishing all his crony senators. Mahishasur realized too late that he had underestimated Durga’s power and got down to battle with her. On the tenth day of a long and arduous fight, Durga drove her trident into his heart and killed Mahishasur. Thus, began the grand celebrations that take place every year.
Sound familiar? If you think like me, please use the power of your female vote on November 8th to make sure that people realize that we cannot be underestimated! Let’s vote to make sure that no monster comes even close to the highest office of this land! So, get your p***s to the poll and vote!
And, Happy Viyaya Dashami to all those who celebrate!
Check out the links! It may further inform your decision!