How things will turn out when two of the massive figures of Hindu mythology come face to face and fraternize while discussing the not-so-halcyon days on Earth? To go any further with this revelation, there is only one assumption: God exists!
Preface: On Earth, this day, christened Dussehra, is celebrated as victory of good over evil. On the bridge that bestrides heaven and hell, Rama is standing on his side, overlooking the proceedings of the festival that are minutes away from beginning. An (un)expected person ambles his firm stride towards Rama!
Rama: Was not expecting to see you this early!
Ravana: One mustn’t miss one’s death anniversary, eh? That’s like the only rule.
Rama: Joking about it is so classic, you! This corridor doesn’t feel your presence throughout the entire earth year, yet here you are, as always on the day it all began…
Ravana (scoffing and cutting Ram midway): Where it all ended, you mean?
Rama (sighs): Yes, where it all ended!
Ravana: What are you so down about? Isn’t today the big day when you reclaim your throne in Ayodhya, (making air quotes) destroy evil and are hailed as a hero?
Rama: Yes. But regardless of that, this day defined end, for you and me, both.
Ravana (laughs): Well, your end and mine doesn’t seem to be the same. I feel yours was more painful; as you saw the woman we both dearly loved, getting subsumed into this land. I, at least was gone way before that. And, believe it or not, I thank you for it.
Rama (walking away): I don’t want to discuss that.
Ravana (calling behind him): Then what shall we discuss, mate? Weather, families, paucity of jobs, pitiable condition of our favourite and the only land our story is respected, or more precisely, ‘You’ are respected?
Rama (Slowly receding to his spot; he hated this uncanny ability of Ravana’s nemesis to steer topics closer to his kind of contention): India? Well, they surely seem to be on the verge of something very…
Ravana (offered): Evil?
Rama: …upsetting! Violence seems to be the only resort, people introspect after they do or say something, prayers are getting hollow, desperation is on the rise and life is becoming an endless chase towards the abyss.
Ravana (sneering): Why the frills when the push is to the drills, huh? What were you expecting, then? Wasn’t that covered in the idea of Kalyug?
Rama (closing his eyes): Yes, it was. But I thought humans were smarter than that.
Ravana (after a while): Never thought I’ll say this, but you are right. What’s the point of all this, then?
Rama: Point of what?
Ravana (with his hands outstretched towards Earth): This air of celebration, exuberance, euphoria of crushing evil (pointing at no one in particular) with good is all pointless, isn’t it? Face it, Ram, we have become characters of a masterpiece in fiction. People look forward to Dussehra as the ‘only’ day of celebrating the defeat of evil by lighting crackers, hooting, dressing up like us with fun and frolic all around. Some even express their gratitude for this day being a holiday. Believe me, I have heard quite a few.
Rama (slightly amused by Ravan’s thought process): It’s true. The entire essence is lost; it is so relevant to look that way as why should Dussehra be the only day of victory over evil, when rest of the days are horrifying enough? Betrayal, jealousy, disunity in diversity, greed, and malice has become mandate for the other days.
Ravana: You know; they call our Etihaas, Ramayana, the most peaceful one of all others?
Rama: And do you know only a third read those, anymore? (laughing) But, anyway they call ours the peaceful one because it didn’t take me 500 years to burn you down.
Ravana: Here you go. Pomposity can so be a reference here. But, no, that’s not what I meant. I mean, people there find our battle and eventual death worth reiterating over and over again because they see their life as way filthier and a massive waste of time.
Rama: They still haven’t got the ‘Theory of Life.’
Ravana (rolling eyes): Oh, now what’s that you guys have invented?
Rama: Life there was supposed to be a vacation. A gift, from what we have in store for them later. I wish they would stop their frivolities for a moment and take the hints.
Ravana (after few minutes of silence, going slightly off-track): There is a reason why I come here on this day and not others. I want to witness the irony of life, the war of the living, the laughable theory of reviving peace through chaos. All this helps me realize, that I am more of a role model for them than you are, than you’ll ever be. They might preach you but they follow me. Bad is breeding and good is becoming weaker and weaker. I am sad because there is no purpose behind all this, no genuine competition to crush this facade.
Rama: It pains me too! (after a thought) You are brainier than I thought, I’ll give you that.
Ravana (giving his roaring laugh, and pointing towards the earth where sounds of crackers can be heard now): Yes. Now let’s witness your feat. Oh, there you blow up my first head. I always liked that one, you know.
Rama (smiles): I hope this time they may learn the lesson.
Ravana: What makes you think they will, at all?
Rama (without looking sideway): Well, at least you did!
After a while, silence ensues and the curtain and the effigy fall together! Room erupts in ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and after a day or so, back to square one!
About the Author:
A social recluse. Soldier of fiction. Soliloquist. Either silent or sarcastic. Possesses no interesting version of ESP, but likes to think she has the same glasses as Harry Hart.