January 13, 2005

January 13

She lived an unenviable life: gave birth practically every year, and returned to tend the house and her daughters with no time to rest, let alone to mourn the loss of a baby. She could not afford the luxury of superstition.

No. I take that back. Millions of women in this country who lead lives like hers cling to superstition for support. For someone of her generation who had never been to school, she was remarkably broad-minded.

She finally had a son. Who lived. She was ecstatic.

When the son married, she told her daughter-in-law: “We have no rituals in this household. You are free to observe any if you please. There is just one festival we make sure we celebrate every year. In gratitude for the son God gave me.”

Even if it meant a small bonfire on the balcony because the family was in mourning, the tradition was kept up.

Happy Lohri to all.

And Grandma, we’re celebrating today!

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