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Day 132: Navaratri

Image Courtesy: Google Images 
So, Navarathri begins today. Yes, the 9 days of war against evil and the power of female form of  goddess is celebrated all over India. Of course, the diversity of the country dictates how this is celebrated. It is called in different names, celebrated for infact, even different reasons but the underlying context is the same. It is the victory of the good over evil. These ten days are celebrated in different ways. For instance, the south celebrates it with something called 'kolu' which is a display of dolls (specifically idols of deities) that can be creatively displayed in either 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11 steps (there is a significance for odd numbers). On all these days, the women of the house invites friends (other women) to come and collect some 'prasad' and also return gifts:). Probably this is done by women because, mostly women stayed back at home and most of these festivals were initiated and conducted by them.The last three days mark the day for celebration of knowledge. So, books are kept in front of the altar and the last day, kids who are about to begin their kindergarten get their experience of learning to write the first few words. Same goes for dance and music classes. The east celebrates with pandals, dance, and delicious food, They called it the 'Pujo'. While the north celebrates it as Dussera the victory of Ram over Raavan, the west celebrate it with dance called 'garba'. They dance all night and it is sprinkled with delicious food and family get togethers.

Whatever way we celebrate, however we celebrate, what we eventually look at is the victory of good over evil. Even though we symbolically say and relate it to victory of Ram over Raavan or the Goddess killing the demon, what we are trying to convey is the victory of our good within us. Fighting the war of greed, lust, anger, and hate. So, whether you celebrate or not, here is a wish to each of you to win over your evil by letting only the good prevail. Let there be happiness and joy in your life. I also wish the real celebration of the 'female power' of goddess in India should be just more than these different rituals. It should be about education of girls, empowerment of women. Now, I'm not talking about the rich and upper middle class who believe that being empowered is the liberty to just do 'whatever' they think is right. That is probably the liberty that social sector expects. However, the real liberty is for the ones who are in the lower economic strata in the community. There needs to be more awarness of sexual harassment, stronger norms and regulations against rape and female infanticide. Well, for a country that has always respected women in the age old times, we don't seem to do that anymore. At least not all are blessed with such families. Hopefully this year Navaratri helps eradicate this ignorance and darkness with a beautiful and blessed life for women and children in the country.

Oh yeah, also wishing my MIL a belated happy birthday! I did not want to post that along with a tribute post! So, wishing her a wonderful and lovely birthday! 
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