Come autumn and Hindus all over the world get enthused in festive fervour. Come ‘Mahalaya’ and Bengalis get busy with the final Puja touch up. The whole of Bengal rises up at 4 in the chilly autumn morning to hear the story of Ma Durga, ‘Mahisasura Mardini‘ or ‘The Annihilation of the Demon’. We are all quite well aware of the story of Goddess Durga’s descent to Earth.
There is a similar story of a girl, Shakti. Her residence was in a small, underprivileged area, but she dreamt of ruling the world. She had often seen girls from well off families in her para and always wanted to be like one of them – educated, well dressed and collected. But, she was bound by her insecurities and helplessness. She was aware of them and it kept on reminding her that she couldn’t be one of them. She didn’t have a father and her mother earned just enough to feed them. Her demons were more powerful than her courage and she had to succumb.
So, one Mahalaya morning just like everyone, Shakti woke up at 4am and went to a nearby tea stall where everyone gathered to hear the story of their Ma. Her mother often told her that Shakti meant divine power and that if she wanted, she could achieve anything in life. After the story ended, “Odhormer upor dhormer joy” echoed in her ears. Shakti in the truest sense of her name, had got the power to overcome her negativities and insecurities. All she needed was a little push. It was then, when Treasures of Innocence gave Shakti the wings she longed to fly with. Her moment of pride was when she could flawlessly recite her own writings in English confidently, just like those educated girls who came to her locality.
Shakti, another name for Durga is the active side of the divine energy of Lord Shiva. She represents the furious powers of all male gods, and is the ferocious protector of the righteous, and destroyer of the evil, ridding a lion and carrying weapons in all her arms. Just like Ma, Shakti made an end to the Mahisasura of her life with education as her weapon and Treasures of Innocence her chariot. While, the aura radiated from her , the victorious tune of good over evil was heard from beneath the Dhaak.
– Dhruti Sharma