Articles from various parts of India talking about Goddesses associated with COVID 19 are finding their place in the newspaper and the internet. Often, we think it is odd and it is typically an “Indian idea” to make Gods and Goddesses out of everything. We laugh and often feel that it is a strange thing. But for storytellers’ stories creation of such characters is always good news.
But first things first- it is not just an Indian thing to make stories around illness. Take nursery rhymes for example. The popular Ringa Ringa roses, pocket full of posies became popular during the plague.
The nursery rhyme was meant to serve as a reminder to keep herbs in your pocket (pocket full of posies) and if you had a series of sneezes (haisa busha) you would possibly end up dying (we all fall down).
The connection of God’s and Goddesses, mythical creatures and folklore around diseases and illness is not new. In India we have the very popular Sheetala Maata who according to legend helps people get rid of small pox.
Often, we discard such stories saying there is no science and logic behind it. But these stories help to document epidemics, capturing emotions and feelings and stay for generations to remember.
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