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Festival time. Time for celebration and jollity, revelling and rejoicing. It’s that time of the year when nine complete days are dedicated to the nine Goddesses whose power and strength, whose resilience and courage, whose ability to be recognised, acknowledged, respected and that to stay at the top is up for everyone to celebrate.

Turn the pages of history, of religious texts, of mythology and ancient scriptures and in each, women occupy a place of eminence and prominence, not because they were ‘allowed that’ or because it came as a gift to them, but because they always had that power with them. It belongs to them! Nobody need dole it out.

If that’s how it has been since times immemorial wherefrom emerged the requirement of re-assertion, the #metoo movement? Why came the goings on of the world to such a pass? Who handed over the ‘SUPERIORITY’ badge to men so that they could act as if the world belongs only to them and they run havoc with lives? Isn’t it ironical that these very same superior beings observe fasts, visit Devi temples, bow to Maa Durga in whose honour the festival of Navratri is being observed? And stranger still, emerge from the holy precincts to maraud the lives of the women, whose power they worshipped moments earlier!

Strange but true. Ironical yet recurrent, the disrespect of women vs the worship of Goddesses.

Wonder when the scale will be truly, justly, honestly balanced! Not tilted in either man’s or woman’s favour; simply BALANCED.

Perhaps a re-look at the significance of Navratri’s, the nine Devis (forms of Maa Durga) and the virtues and qualities they represent might help remind us all of the power women have, hold and exert but do not flaunt:

Maa Shailputri: Strength, Courage, and Composure

Maa Brahmachari: Recognition of true nature

Maa Chandraghanta: Alertness

Maa Kushmunda: Creativity

Maa Skandmata: Dexterity, Compassion, Innocence

Maa Katyayini: Courage

Maa Kaalratri: Destroyer of demons, builds dynamism

Maa MahaGauri: Wisdom and peace

Maa Sidhiratri: Power of Meditation.

The nine arms of Maa Durga represent the multitasking ability unique to women. They also speak of the intelligence, strength, wealth, happiness, health, fearlessness, fulfilment, conquering spirit which are imbibed in every woman.

Isn’t it time this woman-spirit be given its due?

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