Dispelling darkness

Illustrations: Sreejith R. Kumar  

Mihir, who was lost in his thoughts, was suddenly jolted by his mom’s voice, “What happened? Why do you look so sad?”

“I was thinking that this year, we will not be able to attend the Dussehra festivities like the previous years. No carnival, no Ravan. All the fun will be missing.” Mihir sounded despondent.

“Yes, but adherence to social distancing is more important, in view of the pandemic,” Mom tried to be reasonable. Mihir looked at her; he could not disagree, but was not convinced.

Mom did not say anything more, but understood Mihir’s disappointment. The Dussehra carnival was a fun event, and all the kids used to wait with great anticipation every year.

Together with friends

Dispelling darkness

When Dad noticed Mihir looking sad, he offered, “Why don’t you call a few of your friends for lunch? We can also have few rounds of carrom and ludo.”

Mihir jumped with joy and hugged his dad.

He immediately rang five of his close friends who were more than eager to join him for lunch and games.

“So, what would you like for your lunch?” Mom asked Mihir.

“Anything you prepare is simply superb. You seem to have a magic wand in your hand. I know you will prepare some mouthwatering delicacies,” Mihir.

“I will prepare fried rice and manchurian,” Mom proposed.

“Oh yes! That will be fantastic. My friends will love it,” said an excited Mihir.

As the doorbell rang, Mihir rushed to open the door and found his friends waiting.

Soon, the entire household was echoing with their uninhibited laughter. Everyone was excited and happy to meet each other after a long time.

“I hope all of you were wearing your masks while leaving the house,” Mihir’s father enquired.

“Of course, uncle! We must ensure others’ safety as well,” Amul displayed his mask.

Amit was next to add, “And now, regular hand wash has also become a habit.”

Ranjan smiled, “And it is so surprising that he never used to wash his hands even before lunch at school.”

Soon, Mom entered the room with a large plate full of hot samosas. The enchanting smell was tempting, and all the boys pounced on the plate.

Dad interjected, “Have your samosas in peace and then we can have a round or two of carrom.”

Mihir once again raised his sore point: the Dussehra festival. “We will not be able to see the effigy of Ravan being burnt this year.”

Ankit agreed with him, “I always wait for the event for months but, sadly, we will not be able to enjoy Dussehra.”

All his friends were silent.

Mihir’s dad intervened, “Can anyone explain why we celebrate Dussehra and burn an effigy of Ravan?”

Nitin replied, “Ravan is considered a symbol of evil, and burning of his effigy denotes the end of all evils.”

“So, what is the biggest evil we are witnessing right now?” Dad asked again.

“CORONA!” the children yelled in unison.

“Yes. It has brought our lives to a grinding halt,” Dad continued.

Overcoming the evil

“Why don’t we resolve to overcome this evil?” Mihir was quite excited.

“Those who do not wear masks can be convinced about the utility and importance of using them. Once the pandemic is controlled, we can have a great Dussehra next year,” Nitin proposed.

“And we can definitely enjoy the festival while following norms of social distancing and safety on Dussehra as well,” Mom offered her advice.

“Of course, and we can have a grand Dussehra party at my home,” Amul smiled.

“Let us plan for a Dussehra party then, over fried rice and manchurian,” Mom replied

“Oh yes!” Mihir clapped his hands.

“And my Dussehra party will not be as enjoyable without these delicacies too, ” Amul said and the room filled up with loud laughter and giggles.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 3:40:48 PM |

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