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Another Mashup/Catchup - LBC Post

Things have been crazy lately.  My nephew's wedding took place and my home was turned upside down.  It was like thousands of people were walking through our house on a regular basis.  This was an Indian wedding of the extremely traditional variety.  I can't say I had too much to do with what was going on, I was more of a fascinated bystander really.  A lot of the functions in the wedding took place in our home, so there were caterers, priests, domestic workers and of course, guests.  Relatives, friends, you name it.  My head is spinning from the surrealism of it all.  I woke up one morning and there was a  priest chanting mantras in my drawing room.  He was also creating the legendary Hindu holy fire.  Certain guests were invited and all dressed up for the 'hawan' as the occasion is called.  However, as a simple Christian woman, it was all a bit beyond me.  At one stage, the holy fire, traditionally meant to purify the air, seemed to get a bit out of hand and everyone in the house was practically choking and coughing.

Then there was the evening I woke up from having an afternoon rest (I need to as I have to go to sleep late at night and wake up early in the morning) and found a crowd of people dancing in the drawing room.  The music was very loud with a driving beat.  My head nearly burst.  A cook was hired for the ten days or so the wedding went on.  If there was ever a competition for the greasiest food in the world, this geezer would win, hands down.  Heck, I think even the salad was greasy.  We ended up eating sugary mithai until it came out of our ears.  The trouble with mithai is that it goes decidedly off after a couple of days so the kids and I had our fair share of gastric problems.

The thing is, I had this type of wedding myself, twenty years ago.  The difference between this wedding and mine was that mine, in keeping with my late father-in-law's simple ideas, was shorn of all but the most necessary ceremonies.  Our marriage ceremony took place at 9 am on a Sunday morning and was over and done by 1 pm.  My mother in law served some fresh mithai (holy prasad) to the guests and everyone went home so we, the family, could have lunch together. This wedding took place in the distant city where the bride lived, and entailed a procession and an overnight wedding ceremony.  I didn't actually attend the wedding ceremony, but I couldn't, as I had three kids with examinations on Monday morning.  My youngest, who had a role to play in the festivities, along with my husband, was the only one of us who attended.  But we were joined within twenty four hours by the bride and groom and of course, there was a big reception the day after that.  So like I said, I'm just coming back to reality now.

Now to get back to my routine.  I'm going to dash through all the recent blogging topics which I've recently missed.

A Winter's Tale (January 23rd)

Last winter, Irish author Sally Clements sent me a copy of her latest romance, SNOWBOUND SUMMER.  What an intriguing title, eh?  It was, in fact, a Christmas romance, so you get all the thrills and spills of falling in love in a situation where the hero and heroine are snowed in somewhere in the mountains in Ireland during some freak weather.  I read the book last week during a moment when I needed a break from the wedding of the year.  I must say, it ticked all the boxes where Irish romance novels are concerned but as we're now coming into spring, I'm really late with the review.  So my apologies to the author and I have to say that as your story is so nice, I'm sure readers would enjoy it all year round.


Common Sense (January 30th)

In the Irish language they have a saying, which roughly translated means: 'bought sense is the best sense'.  I love the idea of having common sense, but as I was always the type of person who had their nose stuck in a book, I'm afraid I'm very short of that obscure commodity called common sense.  It doesn't come naturally to me at all but I do hope I've learnt a thing or two down the years.  Personally, I think I really did bite off more than I could chew when I burnt my bridges and came out to India to live my married life.  I don't have any regrets of course and I hope my stock of common sense has increased.  If it hasn't, then things are in a bad way indeed.

Sleep (February 6th)

Sleep is definitely something of which I need a lot more.  My husband has a demanding job in the next city and seems to be out of the house every hour God sends him. In the last year, he has had such crazy working hours that my sleeping pattern has been literally wrecked as I've waited up to give him his dinner at unearthly hours.  Sometimes, I have literally woken up with headaches owing to sleep deprivation.  My doctor has prescribed some meds and advised me to sleep every afternoon which has probably just about saved my life!


What Is The Most Surprising Thing About You? (February 13)

The most surprising thing about me (for some people) is that I have actually broken with the church in which I was brought up.  I was born into a Roman Catholic family and was devout for most of my life.  However, I am sorry to say that I have found certain things about the Church don't square up with my beliefs anymore.  I used to think that in order to be a real Christian, you had to be a Catholic.  Now I believe that in order to be a true Christian, you simply have to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that God raised Him from the dead.  I respect other religions too, of course.  My husband is a Hindu.  I'm not going to go into why I have broken with the Roman Catholic church, although I'm quite open about it and have actually discussed it in other posts.  I'm not anti-Catholic either.  But I am anti-superstition and anti-idolatry and quite anti-tradition too.  Nowadays, I consider tradition to be simply entertainment for the elderly.  I mean the old-fashioned elderly, not aware senior citizens like my absolutely amazing and fabulous elder rakhi brother Ramana.  There's another wonderful senior blogger Grannymar from Ireland who is more current than many younger people.  To name but a few.


Child Abuse  (February 20th)

The abuse of children and animals and of course, women, well anyone really, is something that breaks my heart.  As a child a certain person messed with my mind, speaking to me at a young age of things which were, in many ways, beyond me.  Although I wasn't sexually abused, I can identify with people who have been  because when someone discusses sexual matters with a kid who isn't up to the conversation, it is a form of abuse.


Abuse of children can take many forms.  One day, here in India, I was passing a Halwai (sweet) shop when I heard shouting and screaming inside.  The proprietor of the shop was beating up his shop assistant, a kid of about ten years old, who had made some mistake in his work. The man was shouting loudly and the child was screaming.   I was horrified.  Lots of people were around but not one person intervened to stop what was going on. I was quite scared too and had my two young kids with me.  I walked up to the shop and shouted at the man 'Kya kartha hain?  Chor do isko!'  Now, my Hindi is not the best, but I what I was trying to say was: 'what are  you doing?  Leave him alone!'  The tension was somewhat broken and I walked away.  I never found out what happened to that kid but wherever he is, I hope he's okay.  Whenever I remember him, I pray for him.

Christina Lobo Jha, a social worker from Mumbai who has recently moved temporarily to Lucknow, once started a 'ring the doorbell' campaign to help victims of domestic violence.  It means simply that if you hear a person being beaten up in their house, you should just go and ring the doorbell.  The abuser will realize that he or she is being watched and will probably not have the impetus to continue with their behaviour.  In India, people tend to look the other way when this sort of thing is happening and I think Christina is spot on in this regard.  I've been privileged to meet this amazing woman who is currently working in the area of animal rights and she is truly remarkable.

Abuse of children, or anyone else for that matter, is lamentable and should be stopped at once.  We should never look the other way when we see someone being abused.

Sabbatical  (February 27th)

A sabbatical means taking time out from the regular routines of life.  Well, over the last few months my life has been out of routine, this is why my LBC post is full of several topics instead of just one.  So you could say I've been on a blogging sabbatical...


If you've actually got to the end of reading this post, thank you for bearing with me.....

The Loose Blogging Consortium, a small group of bloggers including RummuserThe Old FossilMaxi,, ShackmanLin and Ashok, have been blogging along together for several years now, traditionally on Fridays.  With my hectic life, I often don't make it by Friday, but I try to blog along nevertheless.  I thank the group for the continued inspiration to blog when I otherwise wouldn't have done so. 









Comments

  1. Before I forget, thanks for that superlative special mention. And I hope that after this letting the steam off post, you will get some quality sleep, some respite from the winter which is getting over, and will get some common sense approaches towards solving street problems related to child abuse. You are doing well and do not have to bash yourself up about being religious or not. You will catch up with me in heaven, I guarantee.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That wedding sounds chaos!

    Weddings over here seem to be getting bigger and more elaborate with people trying to outdo each other. Many seem to put themselves into debt for longer than the marriage lasts ...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello greetings and good wishes.

    Typical Indian Hindu wedding. Celebrations,glittering clothes,decorations,songs,music,
    dance and food plenty. A time to enjoy and make merry. Wedding is a time for spending large amount of money to impress the guests and neighbors.

    Best wishes

    ReplyDelete
  4. That was funny... As if you put up a summary of what has been going on with you especially for my return. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing...
    Tobacco Machinery

    ReplyDelete

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