Monday, October 23, 2023

Dusshera Memories


The nip in the air after a few recent showers rake up the sweet memories! Indeed the festive season is around the corner. Surprisingly, we have now more than one way of knowing that festive time is knocking on our doors. No prizes for guessing- the media of all kinds is flooded with advertisements from the white good sellers, Amazon, Flipkart and more leading the bandwagon with an eye on the fat wallets of the nouveau rich middle class. After recovering from the after-effects of the pandemic, the world seems to have suddenly realized to make good every moment. The restaurants, malls, stores, and retail stores are enticing the customers and there is no place to maneuver in these places.

As kids, the springing of pandals in the neighborhood and blaring music with loud dialogues from the Ramlila signified the heralding of festive times. After early dinner, we would head to one of these pandals in the neighborhood where the epic 'Ramayana' was being enacted. The smell of freshly roasted peanuts being warmed with a clay pot of burning fire was difficult to resist. So my siblings and I enjoyed our evening till an announcement over the loudspeaker asking for us interrupted the fun. It was time to return home to attend the school the next day. 

Huge effigies were being readied for the D day for consignment to flame next to the venue of Ramlila by artists from villages giving shape to the bamboo twigs. Also, on the sixth day( Shashti) yet another pandal with a majestic idol of goddess Durga astride a lion, demolishing Mahishasur the demon would become a huge draw. It was a nightlong event with cultural programs, heavenly food, screening of Bengali movies, and above all the ladies attired in their best sarees would add to the glitter.

Sometimes we would visit our paternal aunt's place on the Dusshera day where the entire family congregated for a traditional ceremony where the sisters would apply 'tikka' on the forehead of brothers followed by a feast. We would then rush to the venue of Ramlila ground where the effigies would go up in smoke after the traditional slaying of Ravana the demon king by Lord Ram with his ' Dhanush'( bow and arrow). We would all be dressed up in the new clothes to attend this occasion. There were no mobiles or cameras that people carried to record the events. Most of these memories have been created with visuals that bring back the memories of simple times just by the flick of a mental switch.

Over time the world has become a global village. The festivities have added more luster with ' Dandiya' performances and musical evenings everywhere. I wish all my readers a very happy festive season that brings joy and cheer

PS Image kind courtesy Google


  1. Dusserah and Ramlila hold cherished memories for me too but today all is sidelined because of this glut of commercialism.

    1. Delighted to see you Induji after a long break!What you say is true that commercialism has taken over now, thus simple joys are becoming rare.