Time and again, I have maintained that any poet whose poetic work is completely devoid of any component of one’s culture, customs and rituals is not comprehensive. Any great poet can be emphatic and very appealing just out of fiction or fantasy works but unless he or she picks anything bad or good about culture, customs and rituals from the society he/she hails from, society as a whole doesn’t recognize his/her contribution.
I hail from the hilly state of Uttarakhand in India. Like any other region or country which has lesser resources available locally, people from my region also tend to migrate to other parts of India or even abroad for sustained livelihood which has reached almost an exodus level in many tiny villages. My today’s pick is how elderly women of the family bless a male member who has come to the family after a long time in the month of new crop/ploughing and now is about to leave them again for a considerable duration. I am ignoring the ceremonial process along with this recitation which basically is to put green leaves of new grain seed made to sprout in a small pot and she puts it on the male’s head. First is the dialectal version followed by its beautiful meaning: –
“ Jee raya jag raya Jug jug bachi raya
phul jas khil jaya dub jas phail jaya,
In dina in masa logon ke bhetean raiya
Aagas jas chakal ho jaye dharti jas dhairya
Siao jas bhuddhi hai jaye Sion jas tarano
Hiwala ko hun jas ganga ji ko pani jas
Jee raiya khush raiya”
Keep living, healthy living for ages,
Stay alive, stay active,
Keep blooming like flowers,
May your prosperity spread in the society
like the Bermuda Grass,
Next year, come to embrace us during these days
and these months.
May your reach and fame be like the sky,
Your patience like the earth,
Your intellect and cleverness like a Jackal
And your strength be like a lion.
Live and be happy as long as there is snow in the Himalayas
and water in the Ganges.
Just imagine an elderly woman blessing that way the “only male earning” member of the family which she knows would only come to them after a vey long time. Each ritual belonging to the society of all of us is, in fact, very unique in some sense or the other. That is why I insist and urge that all of us, the bloggers, must be the brand ambassador of our own culture, customs and rituals because no one knows that better than we do.
Good evening and see you next time.