Recently i went to my mom’s place for the puja and ceremonies that were to be performed by me ,being the new born baby’s Aunt. These rituals are mostly done in the hindu families where the child is born and more rituals are followed where we have a baby boy born into the family unlike little things done when a girl is born but there are many liberal families where ceremonies are performed with happiness and joy even on the birth of a baby girl.
So we had a lot of ceremonies accompanied with kirtan nights for almost 7 days that were full of songs and dance , along this there was loads of work for me specially i had to forgo my expectations of being specially treated or greeted on arriving home few months after my marriage . hahahaha. well i never expect that, and my mom straight away directed me for work i had to do and all the other things to be taken care of, specially by me.
So the rituals started with functions, first was putting satiyas (卐 Swastik symbol) is an auspacious hindu symbol to bring good fortune and luck with them, i made those on the dholak to begin with the kirtans ( song and dance) . Another thing i’d like to tell you is that i cannot do without the satiyas puja ,Trust me without satiyas, i cannot start anything new , even on buying a new gas oven i put satiyas with haldi mixed in water or be it for the new laptop i just make them . So the dholak pujan was done by putting haldi swastikas on both side of the dholaks and then playing it and singing few songs with old ladies with the Dholak Feet 😉 …
It was followed by prashad and food arranged at the terrace by putting tents and chairs for the relatives and neighbors who’d come for the lunch but due to heavy rains the tents got wet and we had to arrange everything inside the room but it was all the more fun and everyone enjoyed the food and rain together. here are some snaps of the event.
All this was good fun with the overload of so much work i had to run up and down three floors taking care of guests , my sister in law her baby and my mother who just cannot do without mixing up all the work and going crazy on such occasions due to management and a lot of mis management of work .
But for me “vue” was like a relief ,as we call him all my tiredness and lethargy went away taking him in my arms i walked in the veranda all night and day singing to him and swinging him in my arms,we still haven’t decided with the name for him and so we call him, vue, Illa, Inga, Inge, tushu . Illa And Inga because when he cries it sounds as if the wailing sound is ILLAAAAA ILAAAA and now its INGAAAAA INGAAAEE. Lolz so that’s how the names originated.
And now we had the keeping of satiyas this thing was completely new to me as well , i had imagined doing it on the wall with haldi , chandan or kumkum, but never imagined doing it with the Cow’s Dung (gobar) .
As i got over with this, that ok, i have to dig my hands into that polythene bag in which the glorious cow dung was stored for me. anyhow it seemed ok no worries i will do it i know how to make a swastika its easy ,but then it was not just the satiya ,what frightened me was the things i had to draw on the wall with bare hands and thick cow dung more intricate designs that can not be wrongly done . to inspect me i had 3 to 4 old ladies and the bunch of middle aged women looking at me seriously. I had to make very specific designs and it was like a test to my artistry skills though am not that good in arts . as if this wasn’t enough to put me through grill and grind one more test was insert a thin long stick of grain that should not break or damage in the process into the satiyas. whewwww. Time to put the dung into action .
And not just that it was one design but there were two walls beside the door which had to had two different designs i completed one thought it was over but then here comes the women in blue my grandma saying ” ek aur banana hai chori abhi se ke thak ri hai ” ( O Girl you’re tired already , you have to make one more ). Ok no problem ill do it and so i made one more and now this was a lot more easy i thought but actually both designs were as difficult as i never thought.
Actually some may give out an eww or aikk at the sound of cow dung but i take it as the most divine and spiritual encounter to place my hands into that warm cold moist cow dung its something more than that it connects me with smells of village and more ethnic side of me , had i been in the village i could decorate the walls and floors with it as they actually do it still today. Cow dung is so holy and so divine that we use it for the most holy rituals ,forget marriage what more is divine and sacred than the birth of a new life in which we use it and its so important just like the holy mother cow or GAU MATA as we call her.
I would just love to share an instance that my uncle or mamaji (my mothers brother) told us when they used to live in the village before coming to city and settling here to make new wealth and riches that he has now. He said that in the village there were no lights or fans, coolers for the summer seasons and thus the ground got all heated up, and it was impossible to keep your feet cool even with water as the matka’s ( earthern pots ) couldn’t cool water as much as the refrigerators do nowadays , so what he did like the other friends, was that he would put his feet into the cow dung and stand there for hours feeling cool, relaxed and refreshed .
Imagining him doing this now it just cant be he’s a big man now literally, but id love to put my feet into the cow dung to feel that warmth and good am blessed i could do it with my hands still. Its such a spiritual experience only who will do it, can explore it.
Here’s some picture of those designs i made with cow dung , haldi, wheat stick, wheat flour .
The Nights were full of fun and dance with all the ladies from our neighborhood dancing and singing songs . Some snaps of those too
So I miss my home now as am back home with my hubby , couldn’t be there for some more days just a week as i longed for my hubby too being there, he missed me every day and so i cut short my visit and came back to him . I am blessed to have such a wonderful family here and there . i wish there come’s a time when i could have both families just a mile away rather than being mile’s away.