It is triumph of good over evil. And Mumbaiites celebrated with fervour.
After nine days of relaying the epic Ramayana through the Ramleela — an enactment of Lord Rama’s life — crowds thronged Shivaji Park in Dadar, Girgaum Chowpatty and Azad Maidan to watch the effigies of Ravana, his son Meghnad and brother, Kumbhakarna set ablaze.
On the 10th day, or Dussehra, the character playing Lord Rama shot arrows at Ravana’s effigy, declaring victory. The nine days of fasting, music and garba — also known as the Navratri — also came to an end by bidding farewell to Goddess Amba.
“After the puja of Amba Devi at home, we cut a cucumber to symbolise the cutting off of Ravan’s head,” said Shobhana Patil (47), a doctor.
Dussehra or Vijaya Dashmi, also marks the last day of Puja — the annual Bengali festival — with the idols immersed all over the city. “On the first day of the Puja, the priest brings life into the goddess in a ritual called pran pratishtha,” said Sushmita Mitra, head of the Bombay Durgabari Samiti at Tejpal Hall.
“On the last day, she is released from the earth, and we bid her farewell by dancing to the beats of the dhak (a Bengali drum).” Just before the immersion, women smear each other’s faces with sindoor.