It is the morning of Mahalay.
Devi opens her eyes and gives the mortals on earth a cursory glance. They are preparing to receive her. With songs and cymbals. With pomp and praise. To them she is a representation of physical might and a doughty feminine spirit. She is a warrior who killed Mahisasur and triumphed over the evil manifest.
She knows She will be invoked a million times in the next ten days and her divine power will be appropriated to make a Durga out of every earthly woman. She also knows that she will become a brand ambassador for grit and fearlessness. Her story will be told with multiple spins to suit the vicious times.
She will grace social narratives and be at the centre of debates where the mortal woman will assume Her divine power and will thirst to draw the malevolent male blood. It will be a period when her wrath will be personified. Durga will come alive and become manifest to vanquish the demon outside. The slavering man on the road, the whipping man in the house, the ubiquitous masculine threat everywhere, beware!
Somewhere in the midst of it all, I will be reading Her tale of valour over the next ten days, and saying a prayer. Imploring Her with silent thoughts to deal with the crazed demons inside, hiding in the closets of consciousness.
Mahishasur and his devious forms have been on a terror trail for a while, making mincemeat of daylight and night. Sleep has become a travesty and wakefulness a shadowed dream. There is a cacophony of discordant voices. Internal brawls have become a routine and happiness is a pretense.
Come down, Mother, wield your power over the beastly forces within me. Let me be cleansed first, before I beseech you to crush the demons in the world. There is trash in my backyard. Heaps of it.
The night has been long and dark, even the stars have begun to look too far for sight. Let there be light on my horizon. Let there be spring in my empty spaces. Let my floundering spirit thrive.
Mother, I cannot be your synonym. I cannot be your metaphor. I cannot wear your mantle divine.
You are the Durga. You alone.
A witness, watching you wage war, and win against all that taints my existence.