I started an entry yesterday but so many people have been on my computer since then it's really no wonder it has vanished.
Anyhow, we're on day 4 of our long weekend, back to the grind tomorrow. Today we're off for Gandhi's birthday. Yesterday we were off for an apparently canceled bandh, aka strike. Now the plans are for someone or other to hold a hunger strike. As long as it doesn't mean we all have to go hungry I'm cool with that.
So everything was shut down yesterday, and for what? Because of the Ramayana.
The Ramayana is a Sanskrit epic about lord Rama and his wife Sita. Sita is captured by the demon king Ravana and taken to island of Lanka. Hanuman discovered where Sita was being held, but Rama decided that without a bridge to cross across the ocean to Lanka, only Hanuman would be able to reach her. So, Rama managed to build a bridge and rescue Sita.
The story has a lot more meat to it of course and a predictably sad ending, but that's the gist.
What does that have to do with anything? To believers, Lanka is the island of Sri Lanka and the bridge is the area of islands and shallows created when eons ago Sri Lanka tore off from the mainland. One particular political party sees the shallows as a hidrance to Tamil Nadu's shipping lane potential and wants to dredge the shallows to accommodate cargo ships. Other political parties believe that to do so would be to destroy Rama's bridge to rescue his beloved Sita.
And we got a day off for the two sides to stare menacingly at each other.