This is you friend, philosopher and guide Baba Bangali and today I have a very special guest here at Dappan Koothu. They’re very close to me and we share a strong bond and hence I refer to them as the Powerpuff girls. Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are the consorts of the holy trinity and command utmost respect in Hinduism. Today is the last day of Navratri and is celebrated as Vijaya Dasami across the country symbolizing the victory of good over evil. It commemorates the victory of Durga over the demon Mahishasura as well as Rama defeating Ravana. Spread over nine days the three ladies are worshiped in various forms according to regional traditions and customs. Prominent features include the Garba in the west, Durga Pandals in the east, Ram Leela in the north and Golu in the south. Off late there has been severe commercialization ad corporatization of these entities but let’s not get into that and spoil the festive fervor. I’ve managed to catch my good friend and one of the Powerpuff girls, Durga(Dee to me) to do an exclusive for Dappan Koothu. So lets not waste any further bandwidth and jump straight into it.
BB: Hey Dee, welcome to Dappan Koothu and I must add you are looking gorgeous!
Dee: Oh thank you and can I call you BB? cos I’ve practiced a few zingers where I call you BB.
BB: No seriously, you are looking a billion bucks. You are after all the epitome of Indian beauty you know!
Dee: Hush! Don’t you mention the words 700 or billion or dollars in the same sentence. The next thing you know they’d be looking at your spa retreats!
BB: Ok fine, but while I am on it I must again reiterate on the looks and especially the eyes!
Dee: Oh stop it baba, when will you learn to stop hitting on me? You know my son’s will not tolerate any of this. Do I even have to remind you of my husband’s wrath? You don’t have a Rati Devi to cry for you as well.
Dee: Oh yea he did have a bad cold, Strange thing is he never falls ill in Kailasha.
BB: It’s the water, you’ve seem to have taken to it pretty well I see. So tell me aren’t you bored with the beaten to death Mahishasura concept?
Dee: I’m not making a film or a mega serial here to stick to formulae and concepts.
BB: Agreed but then year and year we talk of the same tale and the same slaying of the buffalo demon. Don’t you think people need something new, something more refreshing?
Dee: Kindly elucidate Baba, you have a TRP system for us as well? Are my ratings falling?
BB: It’s not about falling ratings but the new generation needs something more contemporary. Something that they can relate to.
Dee: So are you hinting that they are losing faith? Are you trying to question the very roots of mythology?
BB: My lady, I dare not! I have been observing that Durga Pujo is now reduced to a show of power with heavyweights showering money on the pandals. it’s war between pandals as they fight for popularity and media glare. Garbas are reduced to glorified discotheques and seen just as an excuse to get cozy. The outfits are getting sexed up with backless cholis, spaghetti straps and plunging necklines. Young hearts sweat and dance all night and then get on with it later on. Ram Leela is more of a political exercise where local parties use it as an excuse to deliver rhetoric speeches and garner the mandate of the people. Golus in the south are no better and are now just an excise to dress up and show of your best jewellery and silk. The dolls are just a placebo as women sit and gossip about the flings of their children. So tell me Dee, where is the devotion? Are you not able to see what I see or do you just don’t want to?there somewhere seems to be a disconnect and people take part in festivities only because they are forced to and not out of devotion.
Dee: Well I do see what you are trying to imply but then you must be having a solution as well. What do you propose?
BB: Ah what I can tell the Eternal Mother herself? But then with economies crashing, terrorism spreading, bombs going off, banks closing, prices rising and markets tumbling, why can’t you pick one of these asuras? Aren’t these affecting your children? Aren’t they causing more worries currently? Pick one of them say terrorism and that shall rekindle the faith, devotion what say?
Dee: Modern day asuras eh? Interesting proposition but then there is a fundamental problem. I don’t have to bother about my falling TRP if you may. We are never in a rat race for devotion TRPs, it just doesn’t work that way.
BB: Doesn’t the suffering of your innocent kids bother you? Don’t you feel the need to step in and free them of their misery? And come on, its the prayers, faith and devotion that makes you gods stronger, so I’d say it’s a fair call.
Dee: The asuras we slew wanted to take over and rule the worlds. They tormented the hapless and took innocent lives. We had to answer to their cries andend the reign of injustice. I see the comparison you make with your modern day asuras. They are also fanatical and wish to take over the world. They take up arms in the name of their god and spread havoc that claims the lives of innocent millions. It’s more of insecurity and an inferiority complex that pushes them to the verge that they want to stamp their supremacy on all. The asuras we slew were greedy for power and wanted to be the supreme rulers. here, its not greed but fear of being wiped out of existence. What do you do when you corner a cat to the wall? It screams and scratches anyone in sight! So you see Baba, there is a fundamental difference.
BB: Oh Dee, you’ve got me in knots. Are you trying to justify all this then?
Dee: All I am saying is that a few greedy people are taking advantage of this insecurity and religions tension. They twist and turn the vulnerable minds their way and preach their own version of religion. There definitely is greed, and this is being used to polarize forces towards other religions and the general public across religions. If you are brainwashed and made to believe that a particular country or religion is a threat to your existence, you will pick up arms and go on the offensive. Like someone once said ‘offense is the best defense‘.
BB: So waht are you implying?
Dee: If you spill hot coffee on your dress, you’re responsible. You created the mess you are in, so clean it yourselves! My husband just texted me, so I’ve got to leave.
BB: Ah Dee that sure makes sense! Thank you and once again you’re gorgeous, I might hug you!
(Image courtesy: Maheronline)
PS: The Powerpuff girls is an Emmy award winning show on Cartoon Network. All references are only in jest and not to be taken seriously.
PPS: The Sarah Palin references were totally intended and I have no qualms about them. Flame me!
PPPS: Have a great Dushera/Vijaydasami