SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Diwali nears..

Every year I get an opportunity to tell the story of Navrathri/ Dussehra.
Mahisha Sura Mardhini taken from the Devi Mahatmyaham of the Markandeya Purana tells the story of the Buffalo Demon-Mahisha and how lowly he thought of a woman's power. He obtains a boon from Brahma that he should only be killed by a female. The shakthi within the male forms join together to create a supreme force/ Shakthi / Durga who eventually destroys this Evil ego, and is now known as Mahishasura Mardhini.

Countless times have I read the AmarChitra katha version which
 is compiled in the Tales of Durga, but every time I tell this story to an audience, I feel energized. The power of Shakthi within ourselves and the power everyone has, being attributed to a female always gets my audience going and this time I was telling to an audience of 15 kids in the range of 8 to 12 years with a smattering of younger sisters, brothers, grandmothers, fathers, uncles and aunts! I was invited to tell the story on an actual Navratri Golu day. So in between Vethilai Pakku, Sundal and gossip, kids ( and adults) heard me out, thankfully!

But then, when I was invited to tell a story for Diwali at a birthday day party, I thought I was in a kind of  a fix. So I hunted around for a story that would be interesting and there it was the story of Narakasura. Found an interesting blog that gave me many details. What is really useful while looking for a story is the amount of details that is present. The feelings, the facts, all help the storyteller weave a magical tale.
Here is the link for the story of Narakasura.
I liked the way the story begins with Hiranyaksha, and moves through Bhoomi Devi's feelings, finally showing us how Sathyabhama (an incarnation of Bhoomi Devi) was able to destroy Narakasura, but not before Lord Krishna promises to mark that day in brightness and celebration as against the Demon's life, which had been filledwith darkness and destruction, called Narakachathurdashi.

 I followed this story with an interactive play acting of the Ramayana. Volunteers became Rama, Lakshmana, Sita traversing the breadth of the country, starting from Ayodhya  (Bala Kand), to Panchavati (Aranya Kand), all the way to Kishkinta (Sundara Kand), where they meet Hanuman,then make their way to the southernmost tip, across the sea to the island of Lanka, fighting the war against Ravana ( Yudh Kand), with the help of many many animals, beasts and humans. Props and puppets became story assistants for the kids, and I had the children move around with the story.

So Diwali is approaching and as I make plans, my daughter insisting she wants a green Diwali, I feel happy to have done a new story to a new audience this year too.

Happy Diwali to you