Window Seat: A Pyrrhic Victory

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 09, 2024 IST

Window Seat: A Pyrrhic Victory

Mrinal Chatterjee

The 2024 election verdict will be remembered for a long time as the victor got a victory that feels like a defeat. This is called Pyrrhic victory, which means a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat.

The word has an ancient history.

A "Pyrrhic victory" is named after King Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans at the Battle of Heraclea in 280 BC and the Battle of Asculum in 279 BC, during the Pyrrhic War. In both the wars, the Romans were defeated, but King Pyrrhus suffered greater loss.

Fall of a Gentle Giant

No political pundit had predicted the kind of defeat that Nabin Pattnaik led Biju Janata Dal suffered in the 2024 elections. Nabin Pattnaik, a CM for the last 24 years, looking forward to being the longest serving CM of the country tripped and fell. For the first time in his political career he was defeated.

His defeat came as a shock to many, as many had thought him to be invincible; and they had reasons for thinking so. As my friend J P Jagdev writes, “Despite not having a single characteristic which makes a leader identify himself or connect with its people, he could rule the heart and the state for these long years. He turned every situation to his favour, each of his bold suicidal steps only made him stronger. He was unforgiving, ruthless, and moody and that added to his appeal. Perhaps his impulsive and eccentric nature gave him the courage to unleash a slew of projects in almost every part of the state which now seem unthinkable. Generations to come in the future would find it amazing!”

There could be several reasons for the crushing defeat BJD suffered. But Naveen Pattnaik will remain forever in the hearts of millions in Odisha for the change he brought about. He’ll also be remembered for the civility he breathed in the raucous - almost uncouth political culture.

Waiting for the rain

There’s a certain anticipation that comes with waiting for rain, especially if you’ve spent weeks suffering a scorching heat wave. You begin to romanticize the event, envisioning yourself as the protagonist in a dramatic scene, standing heroically in the downpour, arms outstretched, face to the sky- trademark Sharukh Khan style, while an orchestral score swells in the background. Reality, however, has other plans.

It starts innocently enough. You look up. The sky has grey clouds. You check the weather app, which shows a 60% chance of rain. You decide to prepare, just in case the rain gods are feeling benevolent.

Step one: locate the umbrella. It’s an old friend, tucked away in a closet, covered in the dust of disuse. You shake it out. Next, you dig out your raincoat, the one that’s been hanging in your closet for the last eight months. Finally, you switch your phone’s wallpaper to a moody, rain-soaked cityscape to set the tone.

The sky darkens ominously. You glance out the window every five minutes, waiting for the first drop to fall. You can almost smell the rain, that earthy petrichor scent that makes you feel like a poetic soul. You make yourself a cup of tea, because rain-waiting is classy business, and tea is a classy beverage.

Hours pass. There are more clouds. You imagine yourself in a montage scene where the rain starts gently falling, first a drizzle, then a deluge.

Nothing of that sort happened. The sky remains a stubborn shade of gray, teasing but not delivering.

You sigh, stow away the umbrella and raincoat. There’s always tomorrow, you think.

June

June, the gateway to the rainy season in the Eastern part of India often carries with it a sense of renewal and anticipation.

June's charm lies in its balance between the raw energy of hot summer and the mellow days to come. Nature is in full bloom, painting the world with vibrant green of all shades and hues. The transformation is not just external; there's a palpable shift in people's moods. The prospect of a good monsoon fosters a sense of excitement and relaxation.

June holds a mirror to the environment, reminding us of the beauty and fragility of the natural world. World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5th, prompts us to consider our impact on the planet and encourages sustainable practices. This awareness is crucial as we move through the year, aiming to make more environmentally conscious decisions.

June is a month of contrasts and harmonies, a bridge between the harsh summer and cool shower of rain. It invites us to embrace the possibilities that lie ahead, all the while savoring the present moment.

Raja: Celebration of Womanhood

Raja (which means menstruation) Parba is a three-day festival celebrated across Odisha to honor womanhood and the earth's fertility. It is celebrated as monsoon reaches Odisha in mid-June. It is believed that mother Earth goes through her menstrual cycle on these three days.

First menstruation (referred to as menarche.) is a matter of great significance as it marks a girl's transition into womanhood. Celebrating a girl's first bleed is her introduction to society as a woman.

It is celebrated in several regions of India.

In Kerala a ceremony named Thirandukalyanam is celebrated to celebrate a girl's menarche. The community believes that puberty is equal to the homecoming of Bhagwati. Knowing about the first menarche, the girl is given a coconut oil massage followed by cleansing with Vaka flowers. After a number of rituals (that last 5 to 6 days) a priest performs a purification ritual and gifts her coconut leaves' ornaments.

In South Indian Hindu tradition, the Ritu Kala Samskara or Ritushuddhi ceremony is performed when a girl wears a sari for the first time. This ceremony marks the celebration of a girl's rite of passage after menarche (first menstruation), signifying her transition into womanhood both physically and spiritually.

In Assam, Tulonia Biya marks the celebration of a teenage girl's first period.

The Kamakhya Temple, in Assam hosts the annual Ambubachi Mela, a festival that celebrates the menstruation of the goddess.

Signage on Road Side Eateries

Some roadside eateries have funny signage that actually elevates your mood. There is one offering ‘Sasural jaise Khana’(food like Father in-law’s house) at a dhaba on Bhopal- Gwalior Highway, and one saying ‘Kha PK kar Jana’ (a funny spin on the movie title PK) on Balasore-Baripada highway.

Disclaimer:

This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com.

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