Traditions and then some…

By Team Kalamwali in Experiences
Updated 21:53 IST Aug 05, 2019

Traditions and then some…

- By Eesha Patwardhan

 

Shravan or Saavan is the holiest month for Hindu’s ( as are all the other months of the year ). During this month short month which falls in the fifth month as per the solar calendar, we celebrate quite a few hindu festivals , namely Naga panchami. Govatsa, Rishi panchami , Raksha Bandhan . The story goes that Lord Shiva drank the poison ‘Halahala’ which emanated from the sagar manthan during the battle of suras and asuras. During this manthan fourteen different gemstones emerged from the ocean and finally emerged the dreadful poison ‘halahala.’ In order to save the world from doom , Lord Shiva decided to drink up this poison and his wife Parvati then leapt to rescue him .

As an ode to Parvati , women over the generations have been fasting during Shravan and celebrating their marital status by performing Mangalagowri pooja on every tuesday in the month of Shravan . Gowri refers to Parvati and Mangal obviously stands for Tuesday .

As any good maharastrian married girl would know , Mangalagowri Pooja is not your regular run of the mill pooja path episode with the Pandit humming few prayers which are basically inaudible and very unclear. This Pooja is super interactive ( I know I’ve attended my own ). Basically a few married girls get together and pray all while decorating their deities with flowers . All this seems very much like any Sooraj Barjatya Movie with all the costumes and the religious sentiments. But wait for it …. At the very end of all the pooja path lie all the fun and games , also known as the Mangalagowri che Khel . For all non- maharastrians , please refer the controversial Pinga song from Bajirao Mastani .

Most of these games include simple household items such as a dustpan, mortar pestle, sarees , utensils etc etc. These games and gatherings were probably the only social outlets for women of yesteryear. During these gatherings women could let loose and vent frustrations and basically escape the rut of daily domestic life .

Now fast forward to the year 2016 . Are those games still relevant today ? Or do we need to bring them up to date.

Maybe in the future women would much rather dress up in crop tops and dhoti pants with belly button piercings rather than the ever so elegant nine yard saree with the nose ring ( nath.)

Our future generations would probably not play  fugadi , mostly because you can’t text and play fugadi at the same time . Unless Apple earpods really do take off :p

Maybe the Generation Z would rather use the Rumba or Vacuum cleaner rather than playing the game with a dustpan. The mortar pestle would be replaced with a food processor or a sous vide machine or something even more absurd. A fitbit device would help calculate the calories burnt while doing pinga ( whirling like the dervishes whilst simultaneously twisting your entire body ) .  Taking your husbands name was taboo in the past so women would weave the husbands name in clever prose. Generation Z would probably do the same with a twist . The Ukhana ( prose ) would include all the modern day slang and emoji’s and texting short forms . IDK . BRB. TTYL. LOL .

 

If you’ve ever attended any typical maharastrian Haldi Kunku then you would know what I mean when I talk about the quintessential ‘DISH’ or as most maharastrians call it ‘DEEEEEESH.’ This normally includes a mound of upma , half a barfi  ( our community is known to be miserly ) some more tiny savoury items and sickeningly sweet tea or masala coffee ( whichis so yummy that it could actually be added to the Starbucks menu). Instead Generation Z would probably ask for gluten free food and non dairy chai tea latte  .

All in all , Mangalagowri at the very essence of it will always remain the same , gatherings for women wanting to let go and just have a gala time with their girlfriends young and old. In the past it provided an outlet to suppressed women who married really young and had to face familial issues much earlier in life. It was their girlie time with gossip and some delicious food . Today we can do all that over a glass of wine while grooving to the tunes of Taylor Swift . So my question is ,  how relevant is this festival in today’s context ??

Let me answer my own question , times change but traditions carry on in some form or the other. Changing lifestyles and newer technology should not be any reason to end generations of tradition . We should instead add on new traditions so that our successors can then debate the relevance of those traditions instead :P

 

So if you’re a married Millenial , next year don’t shy away from participating in this madness . Join in and have fun ( you can pretend to hate it while participating  :D ) .

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