A reincarnation of Durga herself, Kali is the same person as Durga, only she is a darker figure. She is blue in complexion, wears nothing, and has a perpetual berserker mood. She chooses to make a skirt out of the musclebound arms of the demons felled by her, thus expressing her violent disdain and mockery towards them. Her fight with the demons is simply a continuous scene of slaughter, - she cuts, stabs, hits, kicks, tramples, smashes her way through the vast armies until nothing is left but blood and corpses. She does not seduce, or speak, or play with her victims, she just kills. She dances, but that is not the sensual, alluring dance of Durga; it is purely savage. Being essentially the same person as Durga, Kali is not any less sexy in the body, but it is just that no one ever gets the chance to savor the sight of her.
Kali appeared after Durga had killed Mahishasura and the brood of demons were scattered all over the world, defeated but still too many in number. In her intoxication of killing Mahishasur, Durga had taken the form of Kali, a dark, deadly avatar who wreaked havoc on the demon hordes. She went on a blind rampage and destroyed almost all of them, and was even laying waste to everything else in her path.
The gods were worried to see this. They needed to find a way to stop Kali, because or else the Armageddon would be at hand. There was no one nearly strong enough to even resist her. It looked hopeless.
It was then when Shiva hit upon a plan. He knew that deep down, Kali was Durga, and Durga was his consort. He decided to take a chance and tried to stop her by means of a trick. He lay himself on Kali's path, fully stretched out, ready to receive her footfall on his chest. This was extremely risky since he could get himself crushed if Kali pressed harder. Shiva's dying would mean the annihilation of life in the whole world too, because he held in his throat the vile poison named Halahal, and if Kali trampled him, he would die vomiting blood and alongside the poison would be released as well. This was a great risk, but it had to be taken. He counted on the hope that she would recognize him before it was too late and release the pressure.
Kali did step on him, but checked herself in time. She realized what was about to happen if she had rested her foot on Shiva's chest for a while more, and immediately reverted to her Durga form in regret.
Kali: Goddess of Time
Kali is interpreted as the Time Manifestation of Durga. In this respect she bears a very small resemblance to Kronos the Titan, in the fact that she too is the ultimate 'leveler' who mows down all in time.
Kali destroys like Time does, but this destruction is not the end, it has the germs of new creation within it. Time recycles everything, and so it destroys and creates. The continuous force of demolishing that is ever at work everywhere is personified in Kali, and so when the population graph of the demons reached the peak, it had to come down again, and Kali slaughtered them all. A new beginning took root on the new soil. That is why, in spite of all her demonic qualities, Kali is a goddess, one of the most powerful and most important ones. She is the darker side of Durga, who is a figure of fertility and flowing life.
Mahishasura stood for inertia and resisted change. He was stubbornly rooted to his own position. He wanted to become a rock-solid point of gravity, immutable and everlasting. A hulking gargantuan figure, heavy with thick, massive muscles, sitting tight on his throne like a mountain that would never move, he refused to give up his place to anyone who challenged him. His muscles did not even dent under any blow or any weapon. So it was Durga who killed him, as flow must always disrupt stagnation. Under her feet, trampled, broken, squashed to pulp, vomiting black blood; in pain, screaming and gurgling hoarsely begging for mercy, clawing feebly at the muscles that bore down on him; feeling the dominant foot playing atop his crushed chest - Mahishasura is the ultimate icon of defeated stagnation. Kali's coming thereafter to destroy his brood is the image of death recycling all forms and making room for new life.
Kali in Dr. Who
The Swords of Kali version
In the distant past, the land that would be India played host to a war between ancient aliens, whose cross-temporal battles contributed to the country's rich myths and legends. Kali, oldest and deadliest of these creatures, was thought defeated long, long ago; her body scattered throughout time to prevent her return. But her psychic essence could not be killed... nor her millennia-long quest for vengeance.
Now, in the 23rd Century, she is on the brink of resurrection. And with India at the forefront of human spaceflight, it's not only Earth that falls to her predations if she succeeds – but the whole cosmos!
In a race against time, and across it, the Doctor and Clara must gather secrets, intelligence and allies from across India's past, present and future — if they are to survive...
The Swords of Okti version
In the distant past, the land that would be India played host to a war between ancient aliens, whose cross-temporal battles contributed to the country's rich myths and legends. With India at the forefront of human spaceflight, it's not only Earth that falls - but the whole cosmos!
In a race against time, and across it, the Doctor and Clara must gather secrets, intelligence and allies from across India's past, present and future - if they are to survive!
Madhya Province, India. 1825
Late evening in the jungle, two young Indians, a husband and wife, share the warmth of their campfire and a modest meal with other fellow travelers, a middle-aged man and a bent female completely wrapped in a red cape. The couple are traveling to Madhya, where the husband will work for the British Sahib. The man pokes fun at the cloaked figure thinking she might be old enough to remember the time before the British became their rulers.
The man's two accomplices, acolytes of Thuggee like him, suddenly attack the couple from behind and start strangling them. Two bullets find the two attackers as the bent woman, who turns out to be quite young, throws down the cape and unloads her two guns. The remaining Thuggee recognises her as Rani Jhulka, who hunts and kills robbers and murderers like him. He draws his blade intending to devote her death to Kali, but Rani's blade finds him first. She advises the young couple not to continue on their journey as that way leads to death. She, however, plans to go exactly that way.
Fortress Scindia, Madhya Province
A formidable Fortress Scindia is lit by the fool moon. Unnoticed by the guards, Rani jumps from a nearby tall tree to the wall, stealthily makes her way along it, and climbs into a window. Once inside, she continues her trek, until she hears a roar from behind a closed door and a strange voice replying some nonsense about teeth and grandmas. Rani unholsters her guns and kicks open the door... to see the Twelfth Doctor held by a huge hideous monster with sharp teeth and claws. Seeing her confusion, the Doctor offers that the choice whom to shoot shouldn't be that hard in this particular case.
Florence, Italy. 1505
Leonardo da Vinci is painting Mona Lisa using Clara Oswald as a model and asks the Doctor for his critical opinion, when the TARDIS telephone rings. The call is from Tiger Maratha.
Mumbai, India. 2314
Tiger is calling from Mumbai from year 2314. He traveled with the Fourth Doctor and was given the phone number in case he needed help. And help he needs, against a timeless evil. He is afraid to say more lest somebody is listening. The Doctor immediately agrees to help, takes Clara, and departs Florence. As Tiger hangs up the phone, a dark shape descends from the ceiling of his apartment. Its touch drains all life from him leaving a desiccated husk standing in the middle of the room.
In the TARDIS en route to Tiger, the Doctor tells Clara that they had a couple of trips with Tiger but then his wife and daughter Priyanka took precedence and he stopped traveling in the TARDIS.
Priyanka remembers the Fourth Doctor offering her jelly babies.
The TARDIS materialises on Tiger's balcony. When the Doctor and Clara step into the room, they see the back of Tiger's body and do not immediately realise they are too late. Using his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor determines that the cause of death was similar to a vampiric attack, only working on a molecular level. Suddenly, a now adult Priyanka enters the room and thinks the Doctor and Clara are the killers. Priyanka does not recognise the Doctor with this new face and wants to call the police. But when he calls her by her name and offers her jelly babies, she remembers the Fourth Doctor doing the same when she was younger and starts hugging the Doctor, causing some awkwardness.
Two police officers break up the happy reunion intending to arrest the Doctor. The only question is: how did they know about the crime if Priyanka did not call them? Turns out they are not here because of Tiger's murder. They are investigating a complaint from Scindia-Corp who accuse Tiger of theft. While cuffing the Doctor, the police request access to his records and information about some artefact. The Doctor easily gets rid of the cuffs and, acting in unison with Clara, they hit the police officers hard enough to be able to run onto the balcony. By the time the officers reach it, the trio is safely away.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor asks Priyanka why Tiger would do business with the Scindia family. She does not know because they did not speak much lately. Her father did not approve of her training to become a space pilot. But Clara has a more basic question: who are the Scindias?
In the headquarters of Scindia-Corp, waiting for the report from the police officers, the patriarch of the Scindia family, Chandra Scindia is watching an infomercial praising the family and its space-age program. The main topic of the infomercial is Haven, a spatial city designed to house millions of people. The is planned for tomorrow. The orbital city is to become fully operational tomorrow and is supposed to free people from poverty, overpopulation and environmental chaos. The infomercial also introduces notable members of the Scindia family, including Sonam, the commander of Haven. Chandra, however, detests these "angelic avatars" of himself and his family members. He looks forward to revealing their true selves.
The police officers arrive. Chandra has seen the footage from their eye-cams and is not amused by the fact that they let the Doctor and Clara escape with Maratha's daughter. As he turns the conversation to the goddess controlling their fates, his words become gradually more threatening and other Scindias from the infomercial, Sonam, Aamir and Karisma, sneak up to them from behind. Suddenly, Chandra transforms into a monstrous shape (similar to the one Rani and the Twelfth Doctor encountered in 1825) and challenges the two officers to fight them. But they are no match for the monsters.
The Doctor pilots the TARDIS to Fortress Scindia, which the family keeps under much tighter guard than their business headquarters in Mumbai. Using his sonic screwdriver to shield them from security systems, the Doctor finds a room that exists in four dimensions, that is both here and somewhen else. As he presses a shift button on one of the statues, he theorises that the room or maybe even the entire fortress exists simultaneously in other time periods. But Clara and Priyanka are not behind him anymore: he has been shifted in time. The voice behind him belongs to another star of the infomercial, Vikas Scindia, who promptly transforms into the familiar monster form. It is then that the Doctor issues his teeth and grandma remark that caused Rani to break into the room.
She fires both pistols into the monstrous shape of Vikas. The Doctor sniffs the air and tries to guess the year. He's wrong by 14 years, and Rani calls him a madman for not knowing it is 1825. The Doctor, on the other hand, is more worried that ordinary bullets might not be enough for the kind of creature they encountered. Rani's solution is simple and effective: decapitate the body. The Doctor introduces himself, and the the temporary allies walk away from the room.
Fortress Scindia, 2314
Meanwhile, back in 2314 Priyanka is worried about the sudden disappearance of the Doctor. Clara is, of course, used to that. But Priyanka has a point. If the sonic screwdriver, which was preventing their detection, is gone... As if to answer her question, more than half a dozen four-armed creatures descend on them from the ceiling.
(To be contd...)