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Some rites are wrong

Lots of things have been bugging me lately and I’ve been rather knackered about it. Ok…so life just kind of took over and kept me busy. One of those weeks when things – both good, bad and ugly happened with consistent frequency, as if trying to keep a balance. Reminds me of all those times when I’d sit back with the mental attitude of feet on the table, head back and blowing imaginary smoke rings, say “If you don’t have ‘downs’, how will you appreciate the ‘ups’?”. Of course I still believe that quite avidly – yet – it is always hard to experience, when you compare it to preaching 😀

Sometimes the things that bug us can be quite strange. They need not always be something that relates to us closely. It is like getting all worked up because I didn’t see the same old traffic policeman, or that lady who is always walking at that particular stretch of road when I ride to school each morning.

Well – heard of another death recently. A husband died, and the wife-turned-widow was given no choice but to go through the rites of taking off her mangalsutra, stop wearing the lovely red ‘bindhi’ that looked so attractive on her face, stop wearing colorful clothes – what utter crap. Makes me mad to hear of such things. I am glad to say that my two aunts who survive my dear departed uncles are rather merry widows who do no such thing as mourn lifelong. Rather, they have carried on with life as usual – they have moved on and the rest of the family whole-heartedly supports it. But then, I come from a peculiar family where my maternal grandmother (may her soul rest in peace!) pampered all her 11 kids (my uncles, my aunt and my mum). I have heard from my mum that my grandfather actually combed my aunts’ hair every other day and plaited it for them (my aunts = grandfather’s daughters-in-law). Everyone cared about everyone else. Each time a son or daughter got married, it was like my grandparents added another kid to the home. What a lot of patience that takes. Added to this, they had the sons of relatives and friends coming over to stay at our place, sometimes seemingly indefinitely – either to complete an educational course or for a few months of work. No one ever thought about the extra people to feed and lodge.

These days, its amazing to see even people who are well off think twice about being nice to their guests. The difference is, quite a few people only want to be nice to those of their own status. I remember, the other day I had to drop something off at someone’s house – a work associate. Now, these people are renowned for their hospitality, generosity and what not. Very rich. Well, I rang the doorbell – and it opened a fraction – and I stated my purpose. They know me, so I was no stranger. I was pointed to a table in the dimly lit hallway and asked to leave my packet there. When I tracked my way back to the front door which was in readiness to be shut, I tripped over a loose end on the doormat. My toe stung. Involuntarily I yelped and bent down to massage the toe. To my utter disbelief, I heard the door shut, almost grazing my back. Childishly, I was shocked that these wonderful people did not so much as crack a smile when I saw them, nor did they bother to find out how hurt I was. Well, as it happened, it got swollen and the nail was broken, but that’s another story. Later, thinking about this episode, I recalled that the people who had practically waxed on poetic about my heroine’s generosity were all amazingly rich people. So, I guess it was selective!

On the happy side, I am now the proud owner of a new wardrobe and a neat chest of drawers. In fact, it was those wonderfully efficient carpenters that kept me away from my blogging. It was a treat to see these ‘boys’ work. Of course, my heart went out to one guy who only smiled and did not speak. Turned out he had a toothache – thanks to an overdose of chocolates. 🙂 He’s alright now.

Life’s limping back to normal. Of course, I have the saga with the dentist’s clinic for Vidur – looks like it will be a bit of a long drawn out process.

In short, life goes on – complete with the bouquets and the brickbats

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Cheers!

Vidya

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