Why No Ravana?

Dress them up in Dusshera costumes, the school circular read,
And the mother of the little child stared at it in complete dread.
Was a first, this fancy dress, and she knew not what to do,
Advice from well-wishers she did seek, even though they were so few.

why-no-ravana

Oh, you must make him a Rama, just get him a saffron dress,
The crown you’ll get in a costume shop or make it all yourself.
Lakshman is a better idea, said one of them to her,
Not many think of turning their kids into Rama’s younger brother.

Why, Sita too, a few chirped in, she can make her little boy,
That was sure to make the teachers see the naughty fun and joy.
Just no one said, “Oh go ahead, dress him in black, why not
And so she thought, as Ravana she will make her tot trot.

To Google she did turn for help, typed ‘Ravana’ and ‘Children’,
How the Gods conspired to show ‘no images’, not even one.
Why is it that parents keep away from this figure?
Why is it that the www had not a single picture?

Yes, sacred books they are indeed that strive to preach the ideal,
Characters that they call Gods, and some just pure evil.
They are books with stories within, someone penned them down,
Opinion, creativity, their own ideology in it can be freely found.

But black can have a side to it which we may not yet know,
What’s good for you is bad for me, what’s bad could just good grow.
Why, Ravana never touched dear Sita, while on our roads we see,
So much we can call evil, so much we call dirty.

He was a master scholar – mathematics, medicine, even astrology,
Wrote a journal on infant diseases and would you believe, gynecology.
Did you know he created new Ragas in music too?
United the tribes of Sri Lanka, is that secular enough for you?

She had so many questions, some quietened most ignored,
But her son she hoped would think beyond The Shown The Given The Known.
Yes, Ravana he will dress up as, for he should learn to find,
His own version of black and grey and his own idea of white.

There will always be too many to tell you ‘This is how it is’
Let a thinking mind evolve to say ‘This is how it can be’.
Let Ravana go to school, why not, let every voice be heard,
Let us learn to see the good in bad and question the given ‘should’.

ravan

Sakshi Nanda went from studying Literature to serving the print media and finally settling with two publishing houses who called her editor for a couple of hard-bounds, no more! She writes as a work-from-home mother to realize herself as well as to be read, both – with her 2-year-old boy and her sarkari babu beau as the greatest source of ideas and inspiration. She believes eating baby food is therapeutic and that the pen is man’s best invention, after diapers that is! Meet her at: sakshinanda.blogspot.in

  • Superb! I really loved this. I hope the tot had fun, since he was the only one. Hey that rhymed 😀

    • The tot had lots of fun.
      Since he was the only one,
      He got all the atten-shun. 😀
      Thanks for liking it, @phoenixritu:disqus ma’am. Was very hurried, this one.

  • Superb! I really loved this. I hope the tot had fun, since he was the only one. Hey that rhymed 😀

  • Sid Balachandran

    Wow! Poems as well? Will not you cease to amaze us Sakshi? That too in between parenting; On a separate note, beautifully written and exceptionally thought-provoking. I’ve often wondered it as well – Mythological scriptures do show Ravana was an great king and exceptionally well-versed and multi-faceted. Ravan has his temples too 🙂 I suppose one man’s good is another man’s (or woman’s:)) evil. Kudos to you for letting your little one decide and evaluate the good and bad and shades of grey (no – not the book :)).

  • Sid Balachandran

    Wow! Poems as well? Will not you cease to amaze us Sakshi? That too in between parenting; On a separate note, beautifully written and exceptionally thought-provoking. I’ve often wondered it as well – Mythological scriptures do show Ravana was an great king and exceptionally well-versed and multi-faceted. Ravan has his temples too 🙂 I suppose one man’s good is another man’s (or woman’s:)) evil. Kudos to you for letting your little one decide and evaluate the good and bad and shades of grey (no – not the book :)).

    • Please don’t insult the department of poetry by calling this a ‘poem’. It is at best, cat-rhyming-with-bat. Was extremely late in my submission. That’s when I write rhymes like these @iwrotethose:disqus. Glad you liked it though. 🙂

      Arrey, that’s your second ref to the ‘Grey’ book. Saw one in your post too. Either you have read it or you are dying to. Either ways, don’t forget to write about it! Or maybe review it for us readers! 😀

      • Sid Balachandran

        For this naive layman, everything that rhymes (except nursery rhymes) is a poem:).

        Phew, no more using the “afore-mentioned” reference. Actually its neither. It’s just something that I end up using sub-consciously; mainly because back when I was in London, I’d frequently see at least 50 people on the trains reading the book on their way to work. So the image stuck.

        • Hahaha. I see. I was getting it for 200 bucks off a book vendor on the red-light. Thought it was too expensive for that price and waited to order it online. Was 210 bucks online, refused to pay it for it. And alas! Haven’t found that book seller at the traffic light again. 😛

          • Sid Balachandran

            Must be a sign :D. Can’t say you’re missing much based on the “unbiased” reviews. By the way, apologies for “comment-hijacking” your post.

          • Haha. Never heard of comment-hijacking before. 😀 Yes, I took that as a sign and stopped lusting after it. That is, until today, when somebody reminded me about it, twice over! 😀 Will read!!! 😀

  • Yes – why do we slot people so? Let him experiment – the only way he will grow. What’s black and what’s white, who is to tell? Who’ll go to heaven, and who’ll go to hell. 😛

    • 😀 Loving the poetic comments. Thanks @CorinneCR:disqus This one is being put on a slip of paper in red ink and getting thumb-nailed on the notice board in my son’s room. 😀

  • Jairam Mohan

    It is so so hard to believe that this was a rushed post as the so called poem clearly rhymes and conveys a very important message to all the readers, the message being that there is more to life than just whiteness, goodness and virtues, and also that evil, badness, and things like that are just in the eyes of the beholder, and how they perceive it.

    • And you got the point of the post just right, @jairammohan:disqus 😀 Thanks a lot!!

  • kalpana solsi

    Sakshi , just read yesterday in the newspapers that in some parts of India he is worshipped for his positive qualities that you have mentioned in yr above poem.

    • Yes, he is. Like I said what’s good for one is bad for the other. And vice versa. 🙂 We worship personifications of qualities that suit us, our social milieu and our idea of life and living. Thanks for reading, @kalpanasolsi:disqus

  • So is that really Ravana he was dressed as? What was the reception in school? I must say that was a novel idea!

    • The school had 12 Ramas, 1 Lakshman, 4 Sitas. Then came Ravana and he was in popular demand. He had the biggest ear-rings on so the Sitas flocked to him immediately. Some Ramas went home early, perhaps too hot under the wigs and when I went to pick Ravana up he refused to come out of his dress or even come away from school. Happy Dusshera.

      Yes, that is Ravana without his 10 heads. This is as “rakshasy” as my son agreed to look. Thanks, @reekycoleslaw:disqus 🙂

  • A good different point of view or like they say in Bollywood, ” Jara Hatke Role” for little one.

  • Reema Sahay

    Sakshi, I don’t know how many times I have told this already, but you weave magic with your words. Love all your posts. And of course, I agree with your point of view. There are several debatable aspects about our mythologies, and at the end of the day, they are still perspectives of people who told them. [Men, of course; and that is an altogether different line of debate].

    • Love the parenthesis, @reemasahay:disqus 😉 Thanks a lot!!

  • Gauri

    Lovely poem, Sakshi 🙂 and yes, I agree with what you’ve said. Hope the little guy had a great time at school and hope you and your family had a lovely festive season. Hugs 🙂 !

    • Yes, the little guy was sharing his lunch with not one but 2 Sitas when I went to pick him up. I think he had fun. 😀 Thanks a lot, @disqus_ATNoL0w7c2:disqus