Monday, September 19, 2016

Mani plays his role and moves on.

The day had begun earlier than the previous ones but the ceremony was carried out on a grand scale because:-

    (a) It was the 15th day 'bali' and the last of the ceremonies within the premises of the Raj Nivas.
         Tomorrow's is gonna be in a 'madhom' - a family that's been traditionally into the conduct of
          similar ceremonies - close by and only I'm supposed to attend.
    (b)The offerings, after the ceremonies over the previous fortnight, were placed for the crows to
         feast on, while today's was meant for the fishes!

The preparation of the offerings were on similar lines as in the previous days and once the rice was cooked on the make shift stove of stones, I was escorted by Mani - with the offering on my head - out of the house and into the stream which is our compound's natural boundary towards the north. After completing the entire sequence of ceremonies, I'd removed the long red sash tied around my waist - this piece of cloth was cut out of the shroud that covered mom's body and shut her earthly form, forever, from us prior to its offer to the fire - and released it into the flowing waters of the stream. It was time to return to the starting point where Mani had given us oil to apply on our heads and sent us for the bath that would 'cleanse' us from the left over effects of death!

The last vestige of the ceremonies conducted over the previous fortnight were, then, removed by Mani and immersed in the stream and he was given his 'dakshina', before he cast off finishing our brief relationship that had played out its purpose!

        *                            *                               *

Lekha's nephew, from Dubai, had fetched up with his entire family just after I'd lit the wick on the urn with mom's ashes. They're here, with us, for over an hour!


The five of us relived our childhood and remembered many of the incidents of those halcyon days while being part of the joint family system!

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