Navarathri one of the most auspicious occasion celebrated in India, which lasts for nine whole days. The day is commemorated with poojas, prayers, dance, stage plays, fasting , image immersion etc.
Ever wondered as to why we celebrate such a festival every year with so much enthusiasm? Well every occurrence has a back story to it. Navarathri too has got its own legend.
The legend goes like this. “ Durga Devi is believed to be a Hindu patheon or a Goddess with several hands each carrying a weapon which was used to defeat a powerful demon known as Mahishasura. A fifteen day long battle took place during which the demon kept changing his form to confuse Durga Devi. Yet by the end of the fifteenth day, she defeated him with her ‘trishul’ ( a weapon) and till today we celebrate this victory. So this is the legend of Navratri. Now, a much more important question awaits us. What significance can we, today’s generation, derive from this? Should Durga Devi be a role model to today’s generation of women and girls? Does Mahishasura, the demon, still exist in this society ?
Whether we are aware of it or not, yes, the legend needs to be talked about, it has a significance, Durga Devi must be made a role model and Mahishasura does exist in various forms.
Girls, we all need a Durga Devi within us. That courage and strength and vigour to slay off the demons in our life is what we need. Use your ‘trishul’ to defeat the demons. Your trishul could be a piece of poem, story , a piece of art, or it could be your bold voice. Write that poem. Express your rage. Draw that art. Spray red paint all over your canvas. Let out your storm. Let people read, watch, listen and understand what you are going through. There is never a right timing. Do it now. Slay off the demon.
Now comes the question of who or what is this demon we need to cut off from our life? Different types of Mahishasura exist today.
Firstly, Demons who think ‘consent’ is a mere meaningless word. Reading the daily newspaper has become equal to checking the statistics on harassment and Sexual exploitation against women. Not even a day passes without such a case. “she was asking for it” has become the new form of ‘consent’ for such demons.
Secondly, It can take up the form of an ‘advice’ from a misogynistic human who believes it would be better for the girl to shut up rather than to speak up. When a girl is sexually harassed, the first instinct of most families is to deny such an occurrence. Why? Because who will marry their daughter now? How will the family ever walk with their head held high? Finally the most common toxic reason being again “she was asking for it”. No! This is not right. None of this is right. Girls, use your trishul. End this misogyny. Neither your dressing nor your actions was asking for it”. Cut off those unwanted misogynistic uncles from your life. They do no good to your life.
Finally it could also be in the form of lewd comments from the so called ‘online anghalamar’ ( guys who name themselves as brothers on social media and pollutes the air with their so called ‘brotherly love and care’.) Harrasment via social media is on the rise now. Undergoing a Pandemic, has led several to take out all their perverted sense of humour and comments online. The amount of lewd and deceitful comments that has come up is innumerable. Such attacks have become very common in celebrities social media and literally any girl who’s account is public. Block them. Restrict them. Take actions against them. Report or seek help from cyber cell. Don’t hesitate. The demons out there, spread their malice on your silence. Don’t let them take advantage of you.
Girl, Stand up for yourself. Believe in yourself. Don’t let the changed form or demeanour confuse you. Just as how Durga Devi slayed the demon off, despite his changed appearance, you too have to slay off the demon. No hesitations, no second chances. If what happened was unjustifiable, don’t let petty apologies retrieve back your trishul. Hold it up high. Don’t let your misogynistic relatives tell you otherwise. You felt the wrong , you slay off the wrong.
Let Navarathri be a reminder of not just the festivities, and dance, but also a reminder to every little girl and grownup women about their rights. The rights that they are born with. Search within you, and you will find that fighter Durga Devi. Search again and you shall find the trishul. Seek again and you shall find the courage.
Be like Durga Devi.