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To gather together

Festivals are an integral part of our cultural landscape. They come along each year and while most of us delve into the festivities, some use the opportunity to revisit their significance and probe if there are any relevant lessons.

The upcoming Dushera festival epitomizes the victory of good over evil. Its rich storyline throws up new lessons on every visit.

From a strategic perspective, Ravan made a calculated move. He knew that the two brothers and a wife were serving a penance in the forest, and living in solace.  With no allies or support with them, they seemed to be an easy prey for his lust.  Ravan made his move and succeeded in implementing his plans.

The abduction of his wife Sita made Ram aware of his loneliness. Though the two brothers were accomplished warriors, away from their kingdom, and no support in sight, they found themselves in a hole. However Ram responded with strategic thinking. He realized the futility of waging a battle against a mighty king. A king who was armed to the teeth with a rich armoury of boons accumulated through years of penance. If this invincibility was not enough, he was also assisted with a battery of heavy weights in slumber.  He woke up to the fact that he had no chance to break in and release his wife from the clutches of her abductor.

He did not resort to a desperate dash of despair but recognized that the need of the hour was to have a team that would put up a fight in his endeavour. With nothing in the bank, he looked beyond humans to get whatever he could stitch together. He forged a string of alliances as his team swelled to a respectable proportion.

The journey was unknown to them and they needed the combined skills of their diverse workforce to meet the constant challenges of an unforgiving terrain. The injustice and humiliation to the innocent family coupled with the ideals of the aggrieved galvanized the entire team who with spirit and grit kept marching towards their lofty goal.

While the Ram camp was swelling by the day, the Ravan camp was blissfully unaware of the growth in the ranks of the opposition. Proud of the imbalance of their unmatched strength of personnel and resources, they stood still in overconfidence. It was therefore no surprise that the friendly overtures of reconciliation by the Ram camp were ridiculed and refused.

History has it that the underdogs felled the mighty. With the defeat imminent, pride made reconciliation impossible and the invincible paid with the heaviest price a human can.

Nature has provided humans with enough power to survive, but to thrive they have to combine. However powerful and independent one may become, in times of despair or thrive they need to pair to drive.

To overcome tough challenges, or to attain great heights, they need to get together. And what seems impossible individually, they gather collectively.

It is in the shelter of each other that the people live. – Irish proverb

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