Sunday, 8 March 2015

Are we there yet?

For the last few weeks, my kiddo has been asking" Is it Spring yet" much in the same tone as the ever reliable "Are we there yet?" which she utters as we are ten minutes out of the house on the way to Dundee.
For me, the start of Spring is marked by the Hindu festival of Holi which I have always know as a super fun Festival of Colours. It's gorgeous - in Indian people throw colours over eachother and have lots of fun.

This year the festival was on Friday 6th March.

Recently, I read a blog post that said that had another origin story for Holi - the story of Prince Prahlad and his Aunt Holika. Phahlad was a devotee of the god Vishnu. But his father the King wanted everyone to worship him and was angered by his son's devotion. So after many unsuccessful attempts at trying to do away with his son, he asked his sister Holika to help. Holika had a special boon that prevented her from being burnt. So she let the young Prince sit in her lap in the middle of a bonfire. Vishnu seeing this was angered, removed the special power so the Aunt burnt and Prahlad was saved. I don't know what happened to the King.

What a grim story however, like many Hindu festivals, it celebrates good overcoming evil.

How can someone hurt a child like that and when will we see good overcome evil in real life? Today is International Women's Day. Usually around this time of year, the media has reports of the crimes committed against women all over world. For e.g. the India's Daughter documentary about the  horrific rape on a bus in India and the chilling statement by one of the rapists that this case has made things even more dangerous for women now - as criminals will now make sure they will kill their victims. I think the way that rape happened, those animals must have believed that the poor girl was dead when she was thrown off the bus. The documentary showed how her parents had given up everything for her to become a doctor. The animals didn't know that but they resented that she was out late at night with an unrelated man. Just evil. But the most shocking part of the film was the defence lawyers who were adamant that what happened to the girl was right and that she deserved it for being out late at night (it was around 7.30pm in the evening) - educated men my arse....scum in reality. And disgusting that the Indian govt stopped the broadcast of the film. Luckily I managed to watch it on Wednesday when the Beeb did show it. Or you can find it on iplayer.

Another story that I have been following was the final days of the trial of Ayesha Ali's murderers. Her evil mother and mother's girlfriend were sentenced to prison on Friday - the mother got 13 years, the girlfriend got 18. Not enough. Good did not overcome Evil. That poor child suffered so much.

My daughter is too young to be told these stories and for now, Holi will just be the Festival of Colours. She is currently obsessed with superheroes. I dread the day when I need to tell her that there are no real superheroes and that Good does not always overcome Evil. However, I hope that when I do, I do not instill a fear in her but instead a desire to make things change so that one day she can be her own Superhero and the only reason to celebrate Holi will be that yes, we are there and yes, it is Spring and the Festival of Colours.

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