It was raining this morning and many of these fell down from the tree close to the fence..& I decided to colour the garden red.
It isn't really a coincidence that when I picked these red Hibiscus flowers from the plant, I remembered the onset of Kali Puja. On this day the Godess Kali, the fierce avatar of Durga is worshiped. For most people the image of Kali is that of a fierce woman, with her tongue out in callous wonder, fire in her eyes and careless abandon in her stride.
For me however the humble hibiscus has always been another form of Kali. To those who don't know this plant, it is a simple, rather boring and in many ways not the most beautiful of plants you could have in your garden. But in its simplicity, soft colours and realistic look it presents a side of Kali that I have identified more with.
Kali takes form during the war between gods and the demons ( representing good over evil and a battle that even seeks to fight fear and self-doubt). The demons were difficult to destroy till Goddess Durga comes to the battle. Durga comes into being, at the most fierce time of the battle originating supposedly from Durga's brow and goes on a killing spree, where she kills everyone around her. Even as this notion of Kali is beautiful, it is something else that touches the heart more.
Having won the battle, Kali is unstoppable in her destruction. And looses all sense while on her rampage destroying the world. Here Lord Shiva is supposed to have intervened and taken the form of a baby,even as he lies down on the battlefield. When Kali sees this child, she stops her rampage and cradles the baby and nurses it. Suddenly she is the life giver instead of life taker. Surrounded by corpses all over the battle field, she suddenly turns into a gentle woman quietly suckling a baby.
You can cut a Hibiscus plant till its smallest stem and yet it will live again, it will bring forth new life, new flowers and these lovely red flowers shall survive all odds. They survived torrential rain today.