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Traditions....what?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Srama, Oct 26, 2019.

  1. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    I don’t know what it is about fall. The colors - not just of the trees, but the skies! As I drive along, I see a lot of spots I would have liked to stop, either to simply stand and enjoy or to take a picture of. The grass with green and golden hues gently swaying in the wind on a vast stretch of a field, the marshy green pond with the duck families, even the dry, brown neatly trimmed not so long ago filled with sunflower field, in the back drop of a setting sun looks lovely as I drive by taking note of a young girl sitting on the dry soil with a skeleton sitting a foot away from her as a companion, the breeze gently blowing her hair getting her picture taken. I see the beauty of the scene, yet I wonder about the tradition of Halloween and the associated activities and decorations around.

    As I think of the young girl from that field, the heart yearns for some quiet time for reflection and rumination, not on worldly matters but for the joy of being immersed in an activity that brings nothing but a sense of serenity. I suddenly miss my photography teacher and make a mental note to visit him. These days that sense of peace comes with cooking, sometimes! As I step out of the house with a dish filled with freshly made bisibelebhath to share with my neighbor, my colleague’s car pulls up. She rolls her windows down and hollers “Are you sharing your goodies with the whole neighborhood?” She has stopped by to pick some Indian food for herself!

    Without thinking I explain to her as to how I had received a bowl of chole from her the previous day and mention that in our tradition, we do not return just an empty bowl – at least that’s what my mom taught me. My colleague seems pleased with such a lovely tradition, as she puts it. As I hand her, her share of food I make it a point to mention that she should not worry about returning the empty bowls or even better not to return the bowls at all! But As I enter my classroom the next morning, I see my bowls on my table – filled with freshly baked cookies! As the students settle in, a student celebrating her birthday comes to me for permission to share something with the class. As I nod my head in affirmation, I see her happily explaining the birthday treat she has for everyone and begins to explain the tradition they follow for birthdays and other special days. Smiling, I listen in on their conversation enjoying the joy that is in the classroom and the little traditions.

    Staying far away from homeland, having certain small traditions becomes necessity – for me they have certainly. So, there are certain things I follow diligently especially for a few festivals and around Diwali, my neighbor has introduced Dhanteras to me. I feel kind of bad for not following the tradition this year and venture out late in the evening to shop. As I go to the check out lane with my small steel bowl, the lady enquires “What’s going on with you guys today?”. I know, the two women ahead of me in the line were also taking home steel pans. I briefly explain that it is tradition to buy some metal today as we get ready to celebrate our festival of lights! She also says, “what a nice tradition to have” and goes on to say “let me think what I know from India” - not about! I know what she meant. After mentioning where she is from she asks me if I know Shah Rukh Khan - I know what she meant, again and I squeal a “he is my most favorite actor you know” and she squeals back a “have you seen the original DDLJ” to which I say only 25 or 30 times and to that she goes on with a what’s that kuch kuch and Don and ….”. We exchange a few more things about each other’s countries and say our goodbyes noting that it was almost closing time! Traditions I tell you – they are meant to bring people together.

    I come home, tell the story excitedly to my family - to rolling eyes, smiles and :facepalm:. As we settle down to watch TV, I hear a beep as in you have a message and as I check my email, I see one that says one of my most favorite people in the whole world is not well. I immediately go to the dining room which doubles as my study, sit down, put my pen to the paper and write a long letter – a tradition I have kept up with a few people. I sincerely hope that this tradition of mine brings a smile on his face as my letter reaches him, even if he does not recognize me. That would be my wish this Deepavali season!

    Happy Deepavali everyone! Make your own little traditions and enjoy with your families! They are worth it – the traditions and the people
     
    Afresh, knbg, hermitcrab and 12 others like this.
  2. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    A dhantrayodashi snippet -- That is a tradition I wholeheartedly endorse. : )

    Would you believe me if I say I was at the store acquiring my own little metal utensil when I saw this snippet? : ) Though gold is the metal of choice around this time of the year, we weren't nearly affluent enough to buy gold every Diwali. Fortunately traditions are as malleable as the metals they revere. For middle class families like mine steel was a good enough stand-in for dhan. The shiny new bowls, thalis, kadais, even the odd Hawkins pressure cooker one year, set beside the puja-sthal to this day conjure the start of festivities in my mind. As I stood in line at the store I wondered if my little symbolic observation of, what ostensibly is an irrelevant if not absurd tradition, meant anything in the grand scheme. Having given it thought I think I can say that it does. Though the tradition itself might not be relevant to the times; It is a pretext to cherish who we are and affirm where we have been. Traditions are the pegs on which we hook our most vividly illuminated memories, those that were and those we are yet to make. They are worth it indeed!

    Happy Deepavali to you and yours Sabitha!
     
    Archanaanchan, knbg, Srama and 2 others like this.
  3. joylokhi

    joylokhi Platinum IL'ite

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    Wish you and family a very happy diwali. Enjoyed reading. Yes, traditions are what our pleasant memories are made of. For quite some time i used to buy something of value like gold or silver only on Akshaya trithiya day and somehow discontinued a few years back.However , the items collected over the years on that particular day remained in memory and often used to recollect it to others. This year, seeing all the whatsapp messages and other good wishes from friends and relatives, opted to buy some gold/sliver on dhanteras, and would like to keep up the practice as there is a lot of positivity to it! Traditions are what makes us enjoy our festivals over the years although we may have toned down the same according to our circumstances. Nice to reflect:blush:
     
    Srama and Viswamitra like this.
  4. Anusha2917

    Anusha2917 IL Hall of Fame

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    So true!
    Happy Diwali... :blush::blush:
     
    Srama and Viswamitra like this.
  5. periamma

    periamma IL Hall of Fame

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    We make vadas,Athirasam,Pakoda,Sugiyan and Bajji in the early Morning of Deepavali and offer to God in a Plantain leaf .Idli,chutney and even coffee is also in the menu.New dresses are kept one side.Then after Dhoopa Deepa Aarthi get blessings from elders and all sit together and taste the Pakshanams.This tradition is followed in our house even now .

    Happy Diwali Srama
     
  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sabitha,

    I never knew about buying metal for Diwali until you and @Gauri03 mentioned about it. I enjoyed reading your snippet so much and I kept reading it 3 times in a row.

    Fall is a beautiful season and it becomes even better when you describe them. I am amazed by your presence in the present moment most of the time and I understand the benefits of being in the present moment.

    Someday, I need to understand from you the drawbacks you experience because of your presence mostly in the present moment.

    Tradition is tradition and there is clear happiness when we comply with the tradition. As Hari Sir explained it creates nostalgia of our past.

    In our family, the dinner together the night before Diwali is a special and always we had this together assembled in the dining table. The next day we wake up in the morning around 4 a.m. and my father used to apply oil in our hair before we take a shower. Then my brother and I receive our new outfits and run away to begin our action with fire crackers. My dad used to listen to Paramacharya's words of wisdom early in the morning on Diwali day. My mother begins her distribution of sweets to all the families living around us.
     
  7. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Sabita,
    Traditions are a link with past , carried forwards with next generations and on and on. We go back to nostalgia and these little little things are pleasures.
    Fall is always beautiful!!!!! I love it.
    Syamala
     
    Srama and joylokhi like this.
  8. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Gauri, @Gauri03,

    I would absolutely believe that you were in the store - it is after all a matter of tradition and passing it along! How can you not. Growing up, we never had this in the south. In fact, my mom wouldn't even follow akshaya trithiya. But I like the ingenuity of these ideas. I can see how they made perfect sense back then! For us tradition was, wake up doing a lovely rangoli, take head bath, light lamps and fire crackers of course!

    I couldn't have explained better than how you have Gauri about the entire tradition. Thank you for sharing! A Happy Deepavli to all of you!
     
    Gauri03 likes this.
  9. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @joylokhi ,

    Thank you for sharing such sweet memories. I am so happy that you bought gold/silver - why not? If it brings joy and positivity, it should be followed. You are right, traditions keep many things alive and meaningful - if not for anyone for the sake of the little tradition we started, be it a new one for our kids or an old one that our parents followed. Thankfully we are at an age where we can follow a tradition or not, meaningfully! Thank you!
     
    joylokhi likes this.
  10. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @Anusha2917 ,

    Thank you and enjoy the festival!
     
    Anusha2917 likes this.

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