Shubho Bijoya!

I was really glad with the prospect of coming back home for the mid semester break that the University was so generous to offer basically because of two reasons. First being the fact that I miss home. Yes, may be sometimes, but I do. And second because it was the Puja season and Delhi did not emit vibrance. It did not give me the pleasure of long rides along lighted streets and the joy and excitement of pandal hopping with my friends. It kept me devoid of the fun I am used to having for the past 18 years of my existence. So, I came here – happily satisfied.
The onset of October brings with itself not just the message we all have grown up with – the message and moral of ‘the victory of good over evil’. It also brings with itself the miracle of oneness. Don’t you think so? You might ask me ‘How’? Well, aren’t you one when you await this season? Aren’t you one when you dance to beats of dandiyas tingling with each other? Aren’t you one when you appreciate the creative and skilled brush strokes of the various artists who give shape to the abundant figurines of the divine Goddess? Aren’t you one when you leave home to witness the magical aura of holiness that surmounts each and every particle that hangs in the air?
When I came home, my father asked me whether I would want to go out and hop into some colourful pandals and indulge in street food though it was drizzling. Obviously, I had to go. It is ‘this’ that I was missing from where I came! I remembered throughout the minutes when wheels completed hundreds of turns of how it was a hundred times more exciting an affair past the decade that just went by. When I would buy balloons with long necks that wouldn’t fit inside the car. And here I am, writing about the significance of a festival with which each of us, the readers or the writer, has millions of tales attached.
The food, the feast, the festival, the lights, the colours, the people, the chiming of bells, the singing of women – all come out in a roar of a thunder. We celebrate the good. We celebrate bravery, courage and the belief of the victory of the good. That is what this festival teaches us. Living in a diverse country like India where the way we pronounce the name of the festival changes every mile, the idea of Lord Rama emerging as the hero of one of the greatest epic we have been acquainted with since time immemorial is enlightening and inspiring at the same time. 
It is time to find your own meaning of life, it is time to sit back and reflect upon everything life has taught you. It is time now to find the evil inside you, it is time to defeat that evil through the good inside you. It is time to conquer greater horizons while waiting for the sun of a new dawn. Happy Durga Puja!

India needs to burn effigies of these 10 Ravanas this Dussehra

Dussehra is a time when we celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

While we burn effigies of Ravana this year, we must also burn effigies of evils that we need to rid the country of forever

1. Poverty-

172 MN People live below the poverty line- that’s 12.4% of India’s total Population

 [Source: – World Bank estimates for 2015]


2. Hunger-

195 MN People are undernourished-that’s 15% of the total population

[Source: – UN Hunger Report 2015]


3. Rape-

Every hour 4 Women are raped. In 2015 34,771 Women were raped

[Source: – NCRB 2015]


4. Illiteracy-

287 MN adult illiterates in India- That’s 37% of the Global total

[Source: – UNESCO Report 2014]


5. Corruption-

We are 76th most corrupt country in the world. An average India household pays INR 4,400 as bribe every year

[Source: – Transparency International, National Council of Applied Economic research survey]


6. Black Money –

152-181 BN USD of Illegal money is hidden in foreign tax havens

[Source: – Bank of Italy estimates, 2016]


7. Lack of Sanitation-

595 MN people in India don’t have access to toilets: 2.44 Trillion USD a Year is what inadequate sanitation costs us

[Source: – UN, World Bank]


8. Pollution-

1.4 MN people die prematurely due to Air Pollution, which also costs India 8.5% of its GDP

 [Source: – World Bank, American Association for the advancement of Science]


9. Communal Violence-

During 2005-09 648 people were killed and 11,278 injured in 4,030 incidents of communal violence. Since then, there have been more than 650 Riots every year.

 [Source: – PRS India]


10. Bigotry

123 Cases of crimes committed against Dalits every day.

[Source: – NCRB 2015]

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