The festive month of October is over.
We prayed and worshipped, fasted and feasted, exulted when the demons burnt and basked in the presence of family and friends. We glowed with desires and wishful thinking on karwachauth, the desi Valentines Day for the truly madly deeply in love and then in a blink of an eye, it was 31st October.
Just another day except that it was October month end special event- the spirited Halloween. Surprisingly for a country that wholeheartedly took to February 14th (Valentines Day can be counted as a red letter day on the annual calendar), Halloween is yet to hit the mainstream.
I suppose the power of love will always trump the celebrations of the dead and the undead.
Well, one can always count on the TV channels to ensure that we get into the spirit of things with their lineup of grim reaper specials.
Hmm…I like a touch of macabre and I’m partial to creature feature, zombies and vampires but not really a regular horror fan. Still, I have discovered that I can sit through one with the mute button on. That’s the secret to a good scary movie; the spooky music sets you up for a jump and by the time it hits a crescendo, a bloodcurdling scream is a guarantee.
Anyway watching one such show I was jolted out of my concentration (it’s a task to keep up with the plot while the mute button is on, the eyes have to be locked on the subtitles at all times).
“Do our ghosts recognise the cross?”, asked the inquisitive teen.
Our ghosts? I suppose it meant ghosts that identified with the Hindu faith. Since I derive all my knowledge of the paranormal from the silver screen and the idiot box, I knew the answer to this.
*The Indian horror movies do on occasion use the cross to drive back the ghostly creatures but they use the trishul, the all powerful trident wielded by our gods and goddesses to slay demons.
*Also nope! We don’t have one lying around in the house in case we need it.
“Ok! So do we have exorcists to do the task of banishing the evil? Will our Panditji be up for the task?”
I had visions of our old Panditji shuffling, flopping heavily on the cushion and then sleepily muttering the mantras under his breath.
My eyes meanwhile processed the images on screen, the possessed violently thrashed while everyone cowered. The camera panned towards the heroic priest who masterfully took charge of the situation.
Right! Time for me to redirect this line of questioning towards answers that would not fan any morbid curiosity or irrational fears. Also here was my chance to deliver my spiritual and cultural discourse which I rarely get to do so.
It’s not for the lack of trying, just that my audience happens to be a Know All.
*We do not have any grotesque ghostly figures lurking or stalking for we cremate our dead. Also the soul is supposed to be immortal, it is happily on its way to rebirth, unless the person has achieved nirvana.
* We don’t have any demons for when the Demon king Ravana was vanquished by the young prince of Ayodhya, Ram on Dussehra, all his minions accepted defeat and disappeared. Come to think of it, that’s probably why Halloween is yet to take off on a large scale in India.
This is no country for old demons.
Ha! That was quick thinking and maybe I’m actually on to something. Then again I maybe completely wrong but the trick is to speak with conviction and confidence.
The twenty questions ended and we were back to watching the ghostly special.
I had to google the end, I had lost the plot completely.
Since I don’t have any Halloween paraphernalia to share , I though of sharing the next best thing which was a great deal of fun too. Check out the golden city of Lanka complete with grim, menacing guards, the Lankan king Ravana, his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhkaran dotting across the city for the festival of Dussehra.
“Welcome to my Golden Lanka, if you dare!”
The Ghastly Guards!
“Be afraid…be very afraid.”
They could give the Halloween decorations a run for their money.
What do you say?
Manic Monday 3 Way Prompt: Reaper