Light vs. Dark

Posted: November 12, 2012 by Arushi in Thoughts
Tags: , , , ,

On the 12th of November is Deepawali. It is possibly the biggest festival of India.

A long long time ago, a human Prince waged a war against a Demon King, to rescue his wife whom the Demon King had kidnapped. On this day, he returned home to his kingdom, and to celebrate, to welcome him, they lit up the whole city with lamps. Darkness was vanquished and the day has been celebrated as Deepawali since then.

Ramayana is the story of this Prince of Ayodhaya. It is one of the oldest stories available to us, revered as a holy scripture by Hindus, and tells a complicated story that has one simple thing at its core: good defeating evil in spite of nearly insurmountable odds.

One of the retellings of this story that I adore is Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Ram but there are countless others out there.

But I do wonder what it is about this story that it has lasted so long. Not just due to religion, but its own appeal, that makes people still care about it. Something about it that makes me consider reading the original, even though it’s not the sort of thing I usually do.

What is it about this core that still entrances storytellers everywhere? Was James Cameron’s Avatar not a perfect example of this? Have there not been countless others?

This need is not of the storyteller, but rather is a demand of the listener. We want to be told time and again, that no matter what big bad monster shows up, there will always be a hero who will lead us to victory against all odds. What are we so scared of at the back of our heads? We have conquered this planet. We have not conquered each other… but we have staked our claim as the most dominant species on the planet, yet the stronger our foothold gets, the more we fear it will crumble.

The more we obsess about a dystopian landscape. The more we wonder about a meteor/volcano/tsunami. The more we have to lose, the more our wariness increases. Classic Human Behavior. We want to protect what we have, and we want hope. Always hope.

Good then. After all, that is what is supposed to get us through anything and everything. The very whisper of a prophecy, of a hero that may come eons later helps people survive centuries of oppression, so maybe there is substance to that after all. Not to mention, it means it’s someone else’s job to fix things.

Right now though, we have a bright (sort of) future ahead of us. We don’t need a prophecy to get us through anything. Let us be glad for that, celebrate that.

Happy Deepawali!




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