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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Dussehra-the golden day

For me, Dussehra has always been a golden day. It reminds me of a time when being rich was a feeling of innocence as opposed to the feeling of greed. No, I am not talking about the spirit of the festival though to actually understand what I'm saying you need to know at least one of the stories associated with the day. Before, I can get to that golden moments, I'll state the concerned story in brief.

"Kautsa, a young Brahmin completed his education with his Guru ,Rishi Varatantu. Kautsa wanted to give Guru Dakshina. (fees)
The Guru refused. He said that imparting knowledge was his duty and gave him happiness.
Kautsa insisted that it was his duty to give his Guru something. To fob him off, the Guru asked for 140 million gold coins, 10 million for each of the 14 subjects taught.
Kautsa refused to give up. He went to the generous King Raghu to ask for donation. Raghu had just performed the Vishwajit sacrifice and did not have the amount handy. He asked Kautsa to visit again in three days.
Meanwhile,Raghu requested Kubera, the God of wealth, for the amount. Though, Kubera wasn't known for generosity, he had no wish to offend Raghu. That night, he caused a rain of gold coins in Raghu's coffers.
Raghu offered all the coins to Kautsa. Kautsa refused to take more than his required 140 million coins. Raghu was not ready to keep the remaining amount which he had already donated. To solve the problem, his ministers advised him to distribute the remaining amount among the people.
That evening gold coins were distributed among the people of Ayodhya under the Aapati tree. Next year, on the same day, people gathered for gold coins. In absence of gold coins, they started giving each other aapate leaves as the symbol of that day. It was the eve of Dussehra and in Maharashtra the tradition still continues."
I vividly recollect our excitement of the evening, the sweets, the clothes and Durga visarjan. That was the day of Goddess Durga's departure too. After her depature, we got ready to go around the neighbourhood to distribute gold i.e. aapate leaves. The neighbourhood included all the houses in the locality even the ones we weren't acquainted. Saree was always every girl's choice. We had to force our mothers to dress us up in Saree. I always wonder how did the Saree turn so unmanageable now.
At the end of the function, all the kids gathered together to count our leaves. We always had more than what we started. People gave us more leaves than we gave them.
"So much gold. Oh boy! We're rich." We used to exclaim. I can still hear the mirth in our voices. At that time, we took it as a mark that people loved us kids, hence so much gold. It was a feeling of belonging to the community who cared for us.
Some moments are more precious than all the gold in the world. For me, Dussehra isn't just triumph of good over evil. It's much more than that. It's the spirit of togetherness and love which binds the society.

About Author:

Started writing for the sheer pleasure of self-expression and continues to do so for the same reason. It helps me understand the real me. I believe, if you haven't understood yourself, you can't help others.

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