“… and the bad guys went around on buffaloes” – Nikita :-)
Now is the Durga Puja time – the biggest celebration for Bengalis worldwide sans when Sourav hit a century. Yesterday, I thought I will explain some tidbits about Puja to 8-year old Nikita. So, at the Puja hall, I grabbed Nikita and her two friends who were running around and took them to where the idols were and asked them if they can find the vehicles of the gods. Now, for the uninitiated (which broadly includes me too 🙂 ), by our culture and religion, we have a lot of gods and goddesses. (and that is not even counting the fact that every Bengali parent thinks their sons and daughters are gods and goddesses by their own right 🙂 ). I think all of them (at least the most prominent ones) have a “vehicle” that they use to go around in.
About five of them are celebrated during Durga Puja. In of itself, if I remember correctly, the celebration is of the seniormost goddess Durga (representing the good force) killing the villain Mahisasur (representing the evil force). She did have an unfair advantage in that she had ten arms – so she could carry a lot more arms and ammunition than Mahisasur. In the Puja, she is graced by her two sons – Ganesh (who has an elephant’s head – that is a whole another story) who represents prosperity, success, general well being and such, Karthik (I think he is the god of handsomeness or something like that) and two daughters – Saraswati (goddess of music, art and literature) and Lakshmi (goddess of wealth).
Enough of the background. So, I asked them to find out the “vehicles” for the gods. Hint was to find the idols of small animals laying around the feet of the gods and goddesses.They were delighted to find out that Ganesh went around on a mouse, Lakshmi on an owl, Durga on a lion, Saraswati on a swan and Karthik on a peacock. Finally, they asked about a slain buffalo that was lying around. And they learnt that that was the vehicle for Mahisasur.
At night, I quizzed Nikita on the gods and vehicles and this is what she said (word for word) …
“The elephant god has a mouse. The goddess that makes all the money has an owl. Durga has a lion. The good looking god as a peacock and the goddess with the guitar has a swan”. Thought for a few more seconds and added: “… and the bad guys went around on buffaloes”
That was hilarious!
Aschhe bochhor abar hobey!!