Sunday, 16 October 2016

Thus Spake Ravan!

This post is written on following prompt-

To write on this topic, I began by imagining the ten-headed creature called Ravan, inside my head. An image of Ravan, with all his ten heads, popped up in my mind.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hola”, he replied, surprising me by the trendy language he used. But then I noticed that he wasn’t the Ravan fromTretayug, but with a tight polo shirt, faded jeans and ‘RA1’ tattooed on arm, he looked like someone from our times.

“Eh, I am here to kill you,” I informed. “I have vowed to kill you, the evil residing within me, this Dasshera, instead of burning an effigy.”

“By killing each of your heads one by one, I will get rid of ten evils within me and become a better person,” I declared happily.

He shrugged off the threat and looked at me contemptuously, as if to say, “If you dare!”

Ignoring his look, I said, “Your ten evil heads are in front of me now and I recognize them well.” “The first one is greed, the second looks like lie, the third is ego, followed by selfishness, lust, aggression, intolerance, deception, narcissism, and envy” I said, proud of my self-awareness.

As I aimed for the first head 'Greed,' with an imaginary bow and arrow, Ravan signalled me to pause. 

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked.

Greed is the thing which has brought mankind where it is today,” he informed.

“It was their greed for better food, better comforts, and better life that the cavemen ventured deep into forest, invented tools, discovered fire, learnt to cultivate new crops and finally invented the wheel,” he told. “It’s the greed to live a better and longer life that made humans invent medicines,” he asserted.

I decided to leave greed and aimed for the second head, Lie.

Ravan sensed my purpose and hurried to say, “Think twice before you kill lie”.

Lie is not as bad as you think it to be. In fact, you use it everyday for your survival,” he continued.

“You lie to your company’s shareholders and lenders that all is well, even when you feel otherwise, just to keep up their confidence in your company and also to keep your job. No?”

I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable talking about the second head, lie, so I turned towards the third one, Selfishness.

“Not so soon,” said Ravan, upon watching me aim towards selfishness.

“Whether you know or not, selfishness is the building block of all life-forms. Haven’t you read Darwin’s 'Origin of Species'?” he inquired.

Noticing the dumb expression on my face, he offered to help.  “Each living being, whether it’s an Amoeba or a vertebrate, displays selfishness in order to survive. The selfish nature of various species allows them to kill and eat other living beings, whether plants or animals, for their own survival. As biological entities, the species need to be utterly selfish to survive and humans are no exception.”

"The most selfish of the species have the maximum chance of survival.”

Not willing to debate with him on Darwin’s theory, I looked for his fourth head, sparing the third.

The fourth head was labelled Ego. A harmless one to get rid of, I thought.

Ravan looked straight into my eyes and said, “Don’t even think of it."

Ego is something that makes you you. Without the ego, you aren’t you,” he said.

“It’s your ego which makes you believe in yourself. It’s your ego which drives you to excel in your work, to achieve better than others.”

“It’s you ego which make you stand up for your values and beliefs. Without your ego, other people will treat you as a doormat,” he warned.

Alarmed by his advice I left the fourth head intact.

But by then I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go further. I wasn’t sure if Ravan will not come out with reasons to spare the remaining heads as well.

Noticing indecisiveness written over my face, Ravan offered to help.

“Look, you won’t get anything by killing me,” he claimed. “Rather, you may lose because I have been helping you in getting what you really want - success, as you call it.”

“You won’t survive for long without me,” he looked towards me contemptuously. Without me, you are a helpless, docile creature in this big bad world,” was his stern message.

"Without me, you are nothing. Actually you are nothing but me," he retorted. Suddenly I understood why this ten-headed creature was wearing my polo shirt and my jeans.

“You better accept and learn to live with me. I can be of good use,” he advised.

But he had hurt my ego and I had to protest. I had to prove that he is just a creation in my head. I am the master, he is my imagination.

I spoke up firmly, “Hey, you are something which is inside my head, something I am imagining just because I have to write a post for Dasshera.”

‘You are just a virtual reality,” I told him.

“You are wrong,” he said, “You are virtual, and I am reality,”

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  1. take a bow Saket...the moral of this post is that all evils in permissible measures and limits does good for the individual and society:)

    1. Thanks, Sunita. I am humbled by your nice words.

  2. We all have evils inside us. We are perhaps imperfect without that 'measured' evil. But, sometimes. Frankensteins do appear and prevail...

    1. Interesting thoughts, Maniparna.

      Thanks for reading my post and sharing your thoughts.

  3. all the Hindu mythologies are symbolisms to wake the inner consciousness, not to be interpreted literally! For that matter, even the Ten Commandment too.

    1. Yes, and symbolisms make such good stories.

      Thanks Farouk, for visting and sharing your thought.

  4. Amazing post.....and how rightly put. Ravaan is in all of us. Should we kill or learn to coexist, thats the dilemma.

    1. Thanks Deepali ji, for visiting and appreciating my post.

  5. Super Saket!
    So true. It's tough to get rid of 10 evils. Yet, Dussehra is about 'Vijaya'. Hope we win over modern-day Ravan!
    You have suggested a great topic.

  6. I have never been as convinced as the arguments from Mr Ravana...your imagination and research here is superb!

    I would have pardoned him...we live in such a messy world!

    1. Thanks Alok, for visiting and for your nice words.

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