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On Navaratri (Part XV)

The tenth day is Dussehra. It is the day when good vanquished evil. It is also called Vijaya Dashami. Yesterday several years ago, Lord Rama won over the Demon Ravana. Yesterday is also the day when Durga Parivar vanquished evil.

On Dussehra, people worship their tools. Dancers place their heavy anklets at the feet of Lord Nataraja to begin their training all over again. This is called Gejje Pooje. Then, they tie the anklets around their ankles and practice a little.

Red Sandalwood Dolls
Red Sandalwood Dolls

People also remove the books and pens placed in the worship area to begin the studying and writing. The worship area where the books were kept is dismantled and perform a short pooja with turmeric powder, kum kum, flowers, etc. An oil lamp is also placed there. The fruit placed on the kumbha is removed and distributed to the family members.

Some people bury the fruit inside the soil. In several homes, these fruits have grown into trees and given more fruits. The water inside the kumbha is sprinkled all over the house and rest of it is poured on Tulasi plant. The red sandalwood dolls are made to lie at their own places. On this day, the decoration of the main door is very important. Unfortunately, there is a she-devil here, who does not allow us to decorate our main door. She even does not let the rangoli we made to stay even for some time.

Mrs. Jaya Chakraborty with Mom
Mrs. Jaya Chakraborty with Mom

Every year, Mom would give the first haldi-kum kum, etc. to Hema Malini’s mother late Mrs. Jaya Chakraborty until her husband was alive. Thereafter, Mom would give the auspicious stuff at any good Devi temple. Mrs. Jaya Chakraborty is Mom’s ideal woman. She was a no. 1 social worker and Mom also followed her footsteps.

When Mom was a child, Jaya Mami took her to watch the movie Stree, which inspired Mom to arrange a story during that year’s Navaratri on Abhingyata Shakuntalam. This set of scenes became very famous in Delhi and was covered in several publications of those days. The family could not dismantle it because the house was crowded with people wanting to see the scenes.


Similarly, there was a lady called Ramalakshmi Mami, who did not have daughters. She would consider Mom as her daughter and would keep encouraging her constantly. She would enter my grandfather’s home anytime to do this.

The third person, who had been encouraging my Mom, was late Protima Aunty. This lady was famous singer Kavita Krishnamurthy’s Bengali foster mother.

To be continued…

About Gayatri T Rao

A double post-graduate (MSc. - Botany and MA - English Literature) Gayatri T Rao is a Senior Multimedia Journalist with vast experience in writing on varied topics.

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