23 Oct. Not yet Diwali or Deepavali. But it is festival time in India. Probably, October and November have the maximum number of festivals. Or, to put it in other words, maximum number of festival holidays!
Educational institutions and government offices in India have already pulled down shutters on 21/10/2015 evening. They will open doors only on Monday (26/10) only to shut shops that evening for a day more on Tuesday (27.10). But we are good people; know how to work around our own limitations: many will take leave on Monday, making it six continuous days of holidays!
A few states of India have ensured that public institutions work on Friday (23/10), since closing down banks and public life for a full one week is bad for economy and human life. But Karnataka, the state of Silicon City Bengaluru, is generous with holidays – no such restrictions with holidays.
Thanks to our religious festivals; or at least, to our political leaders who know how to celebrate people’s religious sentiments!
Dusserah (Dasara or Dussehra) is the state festival of Karnataka. This year, it marks the 405th annual royal celebration of the traditional festival in Mysore’s erstwhile kingdom. It is the victory of Lord Ram over Ravan (the ten-headed monster; dus is ten, and hara is defeat), who had abducted the former’s wife Sita. It is the celebration of victory of good over evil.
In other parts of the country, Dussehra is celebrated with Navaratri (nine nights of celebration), with Garbha dance in Gujarat, Vijaya-dashami, or Bengal’s world-famous Durga Puja (pujo) and many other names.
Whatever it is – one thing is – this is the time of triumph of good over evil. Time to celebrate. Time to pray and wish that only goodwill and peace will triumph.
Happy puja and puja holidays to all my fellow Indians.