So the country celebrated Dushera yesterday. The victory of good over evil. Ram, the good, fought and won over Ravan. Of the many gods, Ram is one of my least favourite gods. Anyone who disrespects woman, is not my favourite, not even if it is God and even if it was all symbolic mumbo jumbo. No wonder, he had to reborn as Krishna to make good of his mistakes.
Also, like the character of Karna from Mahabharat, I am always partial towards Ravan. Of course he was a rakshas, and like many generalisations, like all gujaratis break into garbas randomly, rakshasas are always potrayed as scary men with/without horns and generally someone who could give the Great Khali a run for his money.
But I think Ravan is also one of the most misunderstood men. He was quite a scholar, and his symbolic ten heads is for his knowledge, which was in such abundance that one head wasn’t enough! And since he was a part Brahmin, I think I might have some familial ties with him… maybe he was somehow related to me.. :D
And what wrong did he do anyway? Kidnap Sita? But, she was kidnapped because she had a crazy man like Ram as husband and Lakshman as brother in law, who went about chopping off noses of scary looking women like Soorpankha, in the forest.
And Sita, who was perhaps hallucinating when she saw something like a golden deer, and Ram went off to search for it, needed a shrink, more than anything. C’mon, living like that in forest could do things you couldn’t even dream of. I think Ravan kind of kidnapped Sita just so she could stay around more people and that could help her recover.
But keeping all the mythology things aside, as talking about Ram and things/places associated with him is like treading on sensitive grounds, lets talk about the symbolic good and evil.
What is good and what is evil? We’re all good and we’re all evil. I am evil to that baby cockroach which I killed in the morning, and that lizard is an evil to me which gives me sleepless nights if it enters my bedroom. All I am saying is that good and evil is quite a subjective matter, and more often than not, all in our minds.
So yesterday when a tv news channel announced as they showed live Ravan Dahan from some maidan in Delhi, ‘Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Desh ke mukhiya, ne Raavan Dahan kiya, isse hamare desh mein se jo bhi buraiya hai, uspe humein jeet mile’. Right, first off, if that were true, that news channel would’ve been shut instantly. So we all talk about the ‘bad’ness in the society. Corruption, caste system, poverty, violence, crime against women and children, etc.
Who commits these crimes? Who infects the ‘society’? People do. We choose to overlook the evil, if it does not affect us. But before we start cleansing the society at large, we first need to cleanse ourselves. Get rid of negative thoughts from your mind, and rest of the things will fall into place.
Now, though I don’t quite agree with the metaphors used, one line from the Raam Leela song from Swades which is very memorable is,
“Mann se Raavan jo nikaale, Raam uske mann mein hai”.
So in this festive season, cleanse your souls. Mental floss will help prevent moral decay! :)
Disclaimer : no offence meant to any religion. Please don’t burn my effigies on the roads – that will create air pollution.