• Vijeta Gawdi

Storyteller-Ravan

Updated: Apr 28



So I was being a bit of a narcissist today. Well just a teeny bit, as I started going over all the posts I had written over the last week. I was actually fishing for compliments really, going through the very few comments that I had managed to garner. So to my very very valuable patrons, a heartfelt thank you. Please do keep commenting on the blog page, it really is encouraging.


As I finished reading, The Millennial Ravan. I was suddenly reminded of the devil in the ONIDA advertisement from the 90s. Yes, the green, horned, bald, one tail monster with the big nails who would go "Neighbours Envy Owner's Pride." As a kid, he freaked me out, I was so glad we had VIDEOCON. I would always wonder why would anyone want to buy a television set, that would have a creepy devilish lizard, crawl out of it spewing green smoke out of its horns.


Now as you walk down memory lane, one thought just leads to another and then another. The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each of these fire at the rate of 200 times per second. So my whirlwind of thoughts takes me back to yet another children's TV show of the 90s, the opening credits of the series were like so :


पोटली में हरी-भरी परियों के पर

मंदिरों की घंटियों, कलीसाओं का बाघ,

आया आया झेनू वाली झुन्नू का बाबा...

आया आया झेनू वाली झुन्नू का बाबा...

आया... रे बाबा आया.


No points for guessing, yes I am talking about the "Potli Baba Ki." Now all you people of the 90s, would remember this series was about an old storyteller from Ghungar village. This Baba's oddity is that he is on the lookout for stories, that his mother has hidden under the rocks. Every time he finds an item, he narrates the story connected with it, puts the item in his potli and walks away looking a little bit younger. Yes, we Indians first wrote the storyline of the movie"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" The narrative goes that, once Baba finds all the stories, he will be a child again.


This period of lockdown has given me a lot of time to read. I love reading to my kids especially. My 8 year old loves Sudha Murthy. I am a big fan myself, so we never miss out on any of her books. Over the next fortnight, I have decided to rewrite some of the stories I have read from her book "The Upside Down King." If you find them interesting do share them with your children and family. Some of the facts may not be the same if you have a copy of the book. While looking for facts myself and going through the stories from different sources, I have found some differences in the way some of the characters are related. I have made the changes as per my understanding of the stories from other sources available online.


Now I feel like the Baba myself, the only difference, well actually lots of differences, but to name a few, the potli is my computer and I am not getting any younger by the day:) The parallel, I will continue to bring stories for your little listeners at home:)


The name Ravan in itself a euphemism for something that is cruel, harmful, deceitful or in more recent times COVID. Today's story is about Ravan-the ten-headed demon king of Lanka.


The Ravan-


There are 4 yugas. Satyug, Treta Yug, Dwapar Yug and Kalyug. And much like the song-Apna Time Aayega! Every yug had a hero and a villain jiska time aya tha.


Treta Yug-Hero- Bhagwan Sri Ram, Villian-Ravan.The Ravan from the Treta Yuga, the Yuga of Bhagwan Sri Ram, where did he arrive from exactly? What was his lineage? The story of his birth can be traced back to millions of years.


We all know that Brahma is the creator. This world has come from within him. Now, there once lived a sage by the name of Pulastya. Pulastya was one of the Sapt Rishis, he was the son of Brahma. He was born out of the mind of Brahma. The other son of Brahma, who was born from his shadow was Rishi Kardam, one of Kardam's wives was Devahooti. Devahooti and Rishi Kardam had a beautiful daughter named Havirbhoo.


Havirbhoo was married to Rishi Pulastya. Yes, in some sense she married her paternal uncle. They became parents to a virtuous son, Vishrava. Now Vishravaa was a great sage himself. Sumali a rakshas wanted to make Vishrava his son in law and so by deception, he made his daughter Kaikesi magically appear before Vishravaa. Vishravaa fell in love with Kaikesi and they were married. Together they had 4 children Ravana, Kumbhkarna, Vibhishana and Shurpnakha.


Ravana's father Rishi Vishrava, was also married to Illavida who bore him a son. This son is none other than Kubera, Lord Kuber, the caretaker of all the wealth. So yes as amusing as it is, Raavan and Kubera are half brothers- more like maah brother from another mother:)

Once Raavan's mother, Kaikesi asked him to perform a strict penance to Lord Brahma. Months passed by, Ravana was sitting deep in meditation when Brahma appeared. Pleased with Ravanas penance Brahma asked him to wish for anything. Ravan wished for immortality. Immortality is against the law of nature and so Brahma had to refuse and instead granted Ravana the boon that no celestial being, no God could ever kill him. It was because of this very boon, that Vishnu had to take the human form of Lord Ram to slay Ravana.


As we know Raavan lived in Sone ki Lanka. Well, it was really Lord Kuber who had, after years of praying to Brahma, received a boon that made him the treasurer of all the wealth in the world. After being granted the boon, he went to his father Rishi Vishrava to ask him for a place to set his kingdom up. It was then that Kuber was asked to go to Lanka in the southernmost part and set up his reign.


More tomorrow:)

Vijeta Gawdi.

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