She had been down with cough and cold, symptoms of her covid positive status whilst visiting her daughter in Kolkata.It was a matter of concern since she had suffered a lot around the same time exactly a year ago. Parvati at her ripe 81years had known the trauma of being isolated, away in a hospital ward then. It was no less than torture being away from the comfort zone of her home and the family.
Meera was concerned about her mother in law’s condition but herself having been affected by the unwanted virus’ new variant waited for a few days to regain her voice as the cough had gradually started to subside.
Finally when she called up Parvati and checked on her, to her amazement Parvati despite the cough and cold spoke quite well.
As they spoke and enquired about rest of the family members from each other Parvati asked if Meera remembered that in a couple of days the festival of Makar Sankranti / Uttarayan / Tir Moori was approaching and was relieved to learn that her daughter in law was quite well prepared to mark the auspicious day on the Hindu Calendar. She urged Meera to do the needful rituals on her behalf as she wouldn’t want to do it in her daughter’s house. After all the offerings for ancestors must be made from one’s own house and the son’s house is always considered as his mother’s house. This is a privileged pride of all Indian mothers.
Meera smiled at the assured remarks from Parvati as she confirmed that she would do the offerings to Bhagwan Krishna and to the ancestors : particularly to her late father in law. This wasn’t the first time Meera was given such instructions by her mother in law during an auspicious occasion of Hindu religious festivities and she always obliged being respectful towards the traditions.
Meera hadn’t told her yet but she even honored Parvati’s wish of doing some charity on each Ekadashi ( Gyaras : the eleventh day after full moon and after new moon each month) in remembrance of Parvati’s late husband Kishin . This was not just a tradition in their family but a trend followed by most Hindu Sindhi families where they remember the ancestors on each special occasion and place an offering in their name to be given away to a Brahmin/ a Kanya (nyarni = a young girl considered as Goddess and being equivalent to a hundred Brahmins) or if that is not possible then to a needy person.
Meera had tried her best to maintain the family traditions as taught to her by Parvati over the years and after nearly 40 years she was nothing short of a pro of family customs and traditions and in a little less than 10 years of her own son’s wedded life had started passing on some of these traditions on to her own daughter in law Komal.
Komal too like her own mother Radha and mother in law Meera grasped the nuances of Hindu ritualistic trends very soon and being a smart young lady started mastering family traditions . Needless to say traditions were carrying forward in inheritance in most families.
Meera sitting at the window sill, looking at the peaceful sunny sky wondered what if she wasn’t a Hindu.
Would she have understood and appreciated the family traditions and prayer patterns ?
Would she have discarded the traditions and continued her own ways?
In that case how could the family lineage be held in prestige?
Had her daughter in law been a non Hindu would she have followed any of the rituals?
All this and many more such questions arose in her mind and she was full of gratitude that she was born a Hindu who wedded a Hindu and is now passing on the traits to another Hindu all in admiration of following and practicing one’s own faith.
It dawned on Meera that whatever one’s religion – one can only progress and carry forward his/ her family lineage if only one stayed in the same religion. In today’s time, when conversions are occurring at a rapid rate the world might get deprived of religious inheritance, traditional inheritance as well as family inheritance. She prayed that her daughters should get married within Hindu traditions, in Hindu families and earn the blessings of helping a family uphold and carry forward their traditions.