The Devil’s Mustache: Dusshera Celebrations in the City of Old DelhiAeshal Fatima
As a kid brought up in Old Delhi, standing and watching the procession go by from our balconies was a major attraction, for all my peers. We would hop and jump, get absolutely flabbergasted by Ravan’s heads, and most significantly envy our younger sisters and brothers for getting a better view as they get docked up by the elders. I remember asking ammi all kinds of questions about if they were as colourful in real life as they are shown, and whether father would grow as big a moustache as Ravana if he didn’t shave for a lifetime.
For every kid, even today, the most awaited character , remains Lakshman as he threw spicy tablets for children to collect from the streets. This mostly ended in parents coming in between and trying to end quarrels amongst siblings.
After the procession ended, we were most likely to be found in the life size Ferris wheel set up in the Ram Leela maidan. The memories of us screaming out each other’s names, getting ticklish in the stomach and scared of being stuck at the top due to a power cut, during the ride are still cherished by all of us. And finally, concluding the joyous occasion by watching the Ramlila for the thousandth time and still getting confused between Ramayana and Mahabharata.