There’s a ‘my time‘ for me which is during my travel to work in the morning (approx. half an hour) and back home in the evening (approx. one hour). Sometimes I also get a ‘bonus‘ half an hour whenever I visit the Uttara Guruvayoorappan Temple close to my house. Yes, that’s the time I speak with myself or travel down the path of good and not-so-good memories. Sometimes I also waste ‘my time’ fiddling with the phone.
Today was one such day, when I visited the temple and Lil Love wasn’t ready to go back home after the parikramas (circumambulations) around the temple. So I sat down peacefully in a corner while the kids had some good time running around the temple. They enjoy and value such outings very much because they do not get to see the outside world from Monday to Saturday between 9 a.m to 5 p.m., when they are locked up inside their boarding school.
As I was sitting there, this thought came to my mind.
I come from a highly conservative Nair family, where regular poojas were performed with the highest austerities. Though we were brought up in Delhi, we used to be a part of all these traditions and rituals during our two month summer vacations. As we grew older, we were made to observe certain practices (read more about it here) that I am still unable to accept. As a child I used to follow the rules as told by my grandmother and I continued the same to a large extent till my first child was born. I think it was more out of the kind of conditioning and the fear of the stories that were associated with these rituals. Honestly, I feel that these rituals were followed back then to maintain a hygienic environment and to allow some rest to the otherwise burdened housewives in joint families. Yes, my granny’s was a joint family, with approximately 14-15 members under one single roof. Ghosh!!
I got married when I was 23 years old. Coming from such a conservative family, highly protected and not-so-much pampered, things were very different for me when I got into a culturally different household. To me then, anything that anyone said or did was right, except for what I felt or did. If the MIL said she had seen a dream that I was unlucky for her son and that I’ll cause him death, I used to take those words as written on stone. A colleague-turned-friend telling me that I need to buy coins from the HR Manager for getting coffee or tea from the vending machine, was never a prank to me. Yes, I was that dumb. I used to believe one and all and to me the whole world except me was good and right. Just for your information, all this from a post graduate degree holder in technology. Can you beat that?
There’s this Karwa Chauth bashing that’s going on since Monday on all social networking medium, be it FaceBook, Twitter, Tumbler, Blogosphere and what not. I restricted myself from most of it, but I had to put across my point somewhere and this wall of mine I believe is the place I found solace in. Honestly, apart from the movie titled Karwa Chauth that I saw way back during my school days, I have not much information about the whole thing and the actual rituals performed.
As a teenager, I have kept Monday fasts (the ones without water too) and Thiruvathira (Keralite version of Karwa Chauth, but with not so much of hype and publicity and not a very stringent one), as instructed by my mother or Mema (mausi). I have also been through the Tulsi Vivah to ward off any evils that’ll affect the health and longevity of my spouse because of Mars (Mangal) being in the seventh house. Once married, I started keeping the Karwa Chauth out of my own choice. It was neither there in my parental side, nor there in my in-laws side. I have always kept the fast (without any Sargi), I do no thaali pooja and I break the fast without the sieve or touching the feet of Mr. Right. 🙂 Which also means no new dresses to be bought, no beauty parlour appointments and no gifts. 😛 I just watch the Moon along with hubby, in case he’s in town and break my fast. Here I must thank my MIL, who did not force me against my wish to keep the fast, though she did tell me that all this was utter bullshit and nothing but we ourselves are Gods if our deeds are sane and done with good intention. Yes, many of her approaches are way too progressive considering the rural area where she was brought up in and I truly respect her for that.
This year too I did keep the Karwa Chauth fast even after hubby trying his best to make me stay away from it. He went to the extreme of calling me up and telling me that he has had his chicken roll and so I can break my fast. 😀 I know me starving will in no way help improve his health and increase his life, but might as well affect my health. But I do it with my own free will because I just love keeping this fast. It’s a different feeling for me that I cannot explain well in words. It just gives me satisfaction. Call me non-progressive or anything, but that’s how I am.
I can see my little brother Rahul, whom I found through the blogging world, smiling while reading all this. 🙂 Yes, we keep having a debate on this whole thing of going to temples, doing poojas and worshiping idols. 🙂
My husband, parents and sister very well know that I believe that there’s only one God or Supreme Power and He is none other than our own inner conscience. I visit temples and worship idols just to give a face to that inner power with whom I can converse face to face. I always preach to my excessively religious Mom that one should first satisfy the God within and if that is done, all else is just meaningless. To me Annadanam (donating food) is the highest form of worship one can and must engage in. So if I can eat a pizza to satisfy the God within me, if I can cook non-vegetarian for the spouse and kids during Sabarimala Mandala Kalam, why should I not keep the fast to satisfy my inner urge? Isn’t it?
The point is I love keeping the annual fast and that’s all that matters to me. 🙂
Any thoughts??? 😀