Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “starts with or contains ‘cel.’” Find a word that begins with or contains “cel” and use it in your post any way you’d like. Have fun!
Celebrations are a nice and memorable part of our lives. We celebrate small, everyday moments and important occasions in life which give us happiness. And what makes us happy depends upon our inherent nature.
Weddings are celebrated differently by different people. Some spend lakhs and lakhs ( One lakh is one hundred thousand) and others tie the knot in a simple manner with just a few people to mark the day. Inviting five hundred to a thousand people is common here. We attend functions hosted by others and when it is our turn, it seems only right that we should invite people who have to be included in the guest list. But during the pandemic many weddings took place with just twenty-five people and on the terrace of the bride’s house. People were not sure for how long the pandemic would last and weddings could not be postponed indefinitely.
Usually, the wedding is hosted by the bride’s family and the next day there are certain rituals and traditions in the bridegroom’s home. His wife becomes a part of his family. But these days the functions are abridged and all the rituals are completed in a single day.
I remember my father-in-law telling me about weddings in the family. He was talking about the first half of the 20th century. The elders in the family took all decisions and very rarely were the youngsters asked about their preferences. My father-in-law also said on many occasions the couples saw each other for the first time on the day of their wedding. It is hard to imagine that happening now 😊. The rituals continued for a week after the wedding day. The girl entered her new home on the 6th day and sometimes even on the 8th or 10th day. Entering a new home is called grihapravesha. Griha is home and pravesha is entry. The fourth day after the wedding is called Chouti. The bridegroom’s mother did not attend the wedding. She came for the rituals performed for Chouti.
On the 5th day a strange custom was followed. Raw rice was put in a stream or a pond and the couple fished the rice with a large cloth.
People of our community are vegetarians. Times have changed now, and many have changed their food habits. So, what did the fishing symbolize? It is said Mayuravarma, a ruler of the Kadamba dynasty was instrumental in bringing Brahmin families to Karnataka in the 4th century from a place called Ahichchathra in north India. It was very far away, and the first immigrants would never have returned to their birthplace. They and those who followed them must have married the local men or women. The fishing of rice must have symbolized something that was important in those long-ago days. But now that custom has been discontinued. Life with all its customs and traditions was so different in then.
The migration of peoples from one place to another brought to mind the fascinating book I am reading currently. Early Indians by Tony Joseph tells us the story of our ancestry. The author writes that about 65,000 years ago a band of Homo Sapiens made their way from Africa into the Indian subcontinent. They were the First Indians. Geneticists state that all modern humans outside of Africa come from a single group that migrated out of that continent about 70,000 years ago. It is interesting that migration has always been a part of human life. I think we survive because we have learnt to move on.
The great Indian poet A K Ramanujan translates a 12th century saint of Karnataka, Basavanna as follows:
Listen, O lord of the meeting rivers,
things standing shall fall,
but the moving ever shall stay.