Vijayadashmi also known as Dasara, Dussehra or Dashahara is one of the most important Hindu festivals in our country. The day marks the victory of Lord Rama over the ten-headed demon king Ravana, who abducted Sita Ma, Lord Ram’s wife.

We all have sweet child-hood memories of celebrating Dussehra in our own towns, cities and villages. Here are just a few.

1. Dussehra kick starts the vacation season which means more family time and endless celebrations.

2. You get to see countless Ravana effigies being made at road sides or footpaths while travelling on down your city’s roads. Remember, trying to make one of your own with your friends?

3. Visiting the Dussehra ground nearest to your place to witness the 10 day long story-telling session known as Ram-Leela .

4. And then end up crying when Ravana makes his entrance, with his intimidating baritone, gaudy jewellery and gigantic mustache! The highlight of his entry was, “HUHAHAHAHA.”

5. To make it up to you, your parents got you gifts like dhanush or gada toys! They made you feel as strong as Lord Rama or Lord Hanuman.

6. Sitting with your Grandparents and listening to them tell the real reason why Dussehra is celebrated .

It was through them that I got to know that the 10 heads of Ravana stands for the ten bad qualitiesin human beings which we burn every year on the eve of Dussehra : Kama vasana (Lust), Krodha (Anger), Moha (Attachment), Lobha (Greed), Mada (Over Pride), Matsara (Jealousy), Swartha (Selfishness), Anyaaya (Injustice), Amanavta (Cruelty), Ahankara (Ego).

7. Getting a chance to dress up as part of Lord Rama’s Vaanar Sena or various characters at your school celebrations!

8. Any Dussehra celebration is incomplete without a visit to a Mela. You not only find desi versions of fun rides like the Ferris Wheel and the Merry-Go-Round but loads of street food and mithai in every nook and corner of the ground.

9. Then there’s the constant w ait to see the burning of Ravana’s effigy and the delight when it finally happens and the fireworks go off!

10. And finally, heading back home with your parents, full to the brim with tasty goodies, packed with souvenirs and the sweet agony of waiting for Diwali!

Have a great and happy Dussehra !