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.
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’.
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