As a child I waited for this wonderful occasion known as Dussehra but these days I wonder if Dussehra (a major festival of India) is missing the craze amongst children. Do you celebrate Dussehra? Do you know what Dussehra is? Do you still go to Dussehra Maidan to see Ravan burning? Do your children demand the toys of Gada, Dhanush Baan (Bow and Arrow), Talwar (Sword) and other traditional weapons on Dussehra? Do the children in your society make a puppet Ravan themselves to burn in the evening? Is Dussehra the same as it used to be?
Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami or Dasarahas been one of the major/important festivals of India. Many employers declare holiday on this day so that their employees could celebrate Dussehra. Dussehra is very different from other festivals. People dress up well and go to Dussehra Maidan where the huge puppets of Ravan, Kumbhakarna and Meghnad are loaded with huge amount of fire crackers. Dussehra has been celebrated as the win of good over evil.
Dussehra, one of the biggest festivals of India, would attract children from a week before. They would contest each other with different weapon toys sold by a local seller. Theday would begin with Saraswati Pooja. Ravan was a very learned man. Despite his evil deeds as a demon, he is respected for the knowledge he possessed. He was a Pandit in every aspect.
Dussehra is the first step to the celebration of another major festival i.e. Diwali. Different cities have grounds known as Dussehra Maidan where they burn Ravan for years. Earlier children used to make their own puppets which they would burn in their societies. Those societies had some blank spaces then which are now known as parking space.
Children have less space available for play. They do not gather. This unavailability of free space is making children go away from the craze of festivals. Festivals are to gather, to collect and to celebrate together.
Adults take it as an opportunity to relax. They stay at home and celebrate Dussehra watching television shows or movies. Is Dussehra for watching movie? Dussehra is losing its charm but the celebrations will go on at least for another hundred years I suppose.