© SACHIN BHATNAGAR

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The Ravana Within

The festive season for 2015 has just begun and the first big festival that we celebrate here - Dusshera has just come to pass. Besides the supposedly auspicious period of Navratras coming to an end, the only other thing that one gets to see on this day, are huge fancy effigies of Ravana, the mythical characterisation of evil from Ramayana along with his two brothers Meghnad and Kumbhkaran go up in flames across the length and breadth of this nation. 


These effigies are built up by skilled artisans and fireworks wranglers, most often from the state of Uttar Pradesh. Filled inside are the noisiest of firecrackers and explosives that ensure a fiery and an immensely loud end to these characters of yore at the hands of local artists playing Ram and Lakshman, the iconic 'Good guys' in this equation. 


Besides the story and its literal portrayal, it's considered to be the victory of good over evil. The evil here is 'ego' and false 'pride', portrayed as Ravana and his brothers. 


As I watched this drama unfold, this time around, once again, I couldn't help but wonder about the irony that surrounds this rendition. 


As a human race, we couldn't be far from the truth. Today, as I look around, the only thing I see is ego, false pride and one that has no foundation, no glory, no sweat and no toil to back it up. And yet we've all become so audacious, so pretentious and so full of this poison that it has started consuming us from within. 


We're all fighting for something or the other. 


Ravana is said to have stood up against Rama to seek redemption and he got that as well. What's our plan, I wonder? 


So before you enjoy watching that effigy go up in flames, try to be Ram, and kill that Ravan within. Only then can we look at ourselves with pride, that has a foundation worth celebrating for! 

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