“Dussera” is a festival of worshipping goddess who eliminates the evil, worshipping goddess who gives us wisdom and knowledge. It’s a festival that runs for 10 days. On the 9th day of the festival we worship all the tools, instruments and machines we use at home and office and it’s called “Aayudha Pooja”.
Today is Aayudha Pooja, while my dad was decorating home and worshipping machines, the ladies narrated stories of their Aayudha Pooja as children at their village. The kids had to take part in farming. Aayudha Pooja meant no work and a day of rest. So, they would eagerly wait for this day and worship knife, traditional kitchen cutting tool (“mettu katti” in Kannada), agricultural tools etc. However this was part of another festival, “Diwali” in their region. The Mysore tradition was to do this festival during Dussera. So, traditions in my family also changed when they moved to Bangalore.
This festival to me, meant showing gratitude to those machines which have made our life easier and has helped us earn our idli, vada and sambhar. The vehicles are washed. Television, Refrigerator, Washing machine, Computer, Phone, Iron box, heater, Kitchen stove etc are wiped well. A red dot in between two yellow dots are designed on all of them. They are decorated with flowers. Lighting the incense sticks and Aarti gave a golden glow to all those machines. Lemons are kept in front of all the tyres of the vehicle and you’d have to run over them. This year my France return B-Twin cycle got to witness all of this and she felt like the westerners. Just like few of the westerners who’d be super excited with their visit to India and they’d go gaga wearing saree, kumkum and jasmine flowers.
As I switched on the television, I noticed they’d forgotten to worship the television set top box. I asked my mother how she’d missed noticing this to which she bluntly said, “Well it’s connected to the TV so it’s ok”. In a few years with all the devices, instruments and machines connected all we have to do is worship the “Internet of Things” and it will take care of the rest, because everything is connected.