The Millenial Ravan
Updated: Apr 6
Ok, so this happened a few days back. It's 9:30 pm and my phone is buzzing non stop. I keep my phone on vibrating mode, especially around that time, because my 5 month old goes down for his last nap of the day. It's a really long one , that lasts a full 30 min:) and then we are good to stay up till 2 am.
I check my phone, it's Mom! I hope everything's okay. She is not the types who will call me like so, unless it's something very urgent. I pick up the phone. She barely says "Hello! Guess What?"
"What Mumma? What happened?" I asked. "They are showing Ramayan on DD" :) She sounds so excited, it's infectious almost childlike. Oh! Really, I flip through the Smart TV, click on DD. The surround sound goes"Maate!!!"
I am so amused. The video is so pixelated, the sound quality, not very great and the entire background looks so dull and to be honest lacks luster. And yet, I am smiling, there's a sparkle in my eye. Oh man! I love the 80s.
Maharishi Vishwamitra has come to Ayodhya, seeking Raja Dashrath's help. I feel something pulling me back, back in time perhaps. My eyes wander unconsciously to the silver label below the screen 'VIDEOCON'. How did I get here again? The room is full of happy faces, neighbors and their kith and kin. I am seated on a blue rexine sofa, the crochet throw covering the sofa is slipping every 2 min. Deshpande Aunty, our neighbour has brought hot wada for everyone to munch on. For the next one hour, thou shall not speak or move or get up and block the view of the person sitting behind. The roads are empty not a person in sight.
I look outside the iron casted window, I see a sign "Lockdown". I don't understand,I must be dreaming, hallucinating. Where am I?
I am drawn back to the sound of "Mangal Bhawan!!" This is the weekly Sunday Open house, where everyone who knows anyone is welcome to watch the national telecast of the epic on the 14 inch colour TV.
Our lives are simpler, we are happier, there are barely any cars around and so many more trees. Our houses are smaller but hearts bigger. There is so much equality and so less competition, almost all of my friends wear the same blue and white Hawaii chappal to play. We have fewer toys. We have only one kid in the society, who is the proud owner of a cricket bat. We have all pooled in Rs. 5 each to buy a season ball. We are all preparing for our final exams, we all have train reservations for our Nani's and Dadi's house. Almost everyone is going to spend the summers in their"Native Place" as we called it. This place is so peacefully quite.
I look out of the window again, wondering what it would be like 20 years from now.
Something seems amiss. It feels quiet but not so peaceful anymore. There is no sound outside, the roads are as empty but the air is thick, fear grips my heart. I feel shivers down my spine. Something is amiss.
Shri Ram is about to slay Tadka, the demon who has been interrupting Rishi Vishwamitra's yagna. The demon is huge in size, with big white teeth and blackened eyes.
"Mom! There are no demons, this is so funny" I am jolted back to the present. My 8 year old is hugging my 3 year old who has her eyes covered. I reach out to my daughters and pull them in my arms. How I wish she was right.
The demon that is slaying human lives today, is invisible to the eye. It does not posses any weapon or the power to spew fire, it is not loud and boisterous, it does not holler and is cunning to come unannounced. It is very quiet, conceited, conniving and clandestine.
I am bracing, for this to be a thing of the past,
I am waiting, for it to be over at last,
Yes, it has slowed us down,
Everyday it raises its ugly crown,
The streets are empty, not a soul in sight,
It seems eerie, feels everything but right,
The demon is strong, it seems indestructible,
It's spreading out it's wings, it seems unbeatable,
Don't lose hope now,
We will find answers to when and how,
For every Ravan , there is a Ram,
Ready to slay, with the bow on his arm,
The demon cannot conquer, this planet so vast,
One day, all of this will be a thing of the past.
Happy Ram Navmi