Dusshera, the day of annihilation of the evil is also the last day of my novel ‘Ten Days in October’. This is the day that celebrates the Goddess Durga’s victory over the demon Mahishasura and Lord Rama’s victory over the demon king Ravana. On this day we burn the effigies of Ravana with fireworks with the hope that the demons inside us get destroyed with it.
I started writing the novel almost two years ago, with a faint outline of the story in mind. For a first time writer I do believe that it turned out great. It was a self-fulfilling effort. Inspired by a true event, I tried to do justice to the story. Although I may not have succeeded 100% but I will say I gave my best. Of course there is room for improvement and it could have been better but still I feel pretty good about what I did and for me that is the most important part.
In the past year and half, I did get lot of feedback from the people who read the novel and it was definitely encouraging. From my 90-year-old grandmother to 15-year-old daughter of my friend, everyone had positive things to say about my effort and it definitely pushed me to write more.
As we wish ‘Happy Dusshera’ to each other, it is time we take a pause and reflect on what we can do to destroy the evil that surrounds us and resides within us. The world is getting more divided and people in power are driving us apart from each other. Nationalism and protecting one’s heritage is definitely important but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of others. Denying others’ the opportunity to participate and live has resulted in violence around us. We do have conflicting opinions and ideas but that doesn’t mean we try to stifle the voices that don’t agree with us.
I believe that food and music in the world can definitely bridge the divides and bring us together. It is not easy to let go of strong emotions we have for each other but we can definitely try to that will be the true way of celebrating the Dusshera and victory of good over evil.
p.s. The drawing of Ravana was done by my niece Janakee.