Every year in the autumn men and women gathered by water bodies, be it a river or a lake, and set afloat a lit lamp. Practice has been going on for many many years. Most participants in all likelihood have no idea of the significance of the event. But tradition is continuing.
In his hometown, where Samsher grew up, there was no river or lake. It was mostly arid desert land. His mother would fill a big container with water and float a lamp, without fail every year. Sam would laugh. Whatever may be the significance, their lives did not change much. But he never said his reservation openly, lest he hurt his mother’s feelings.
This year, when he read about the annual festival of light by the lakeside, he did not wish to give it a pass. More so, it was a weekend. If nothing else, the event will be an occasion to go out, get some fresh air, meet new people and have a good time. Despite her dislike for rituals that she did not understand, Shalini also came. She had made her position clear beforehand, lest she was held accountable for participating blindly in an event “I am going there for fun, to soak fresh air, and see how people make a fool of themselves.”
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Many had gathered by the lakeside as Shalini and Sam arrived.
“Why are you doing this?” asked Shalini to a couple who were floating a lit lamp laden with flowers, “are you not polluting the lake?”.
“Didi, oil will burn and diya made of clay will melt and become one with earth,” said the man, his wife joined in, “we are doing this for peace of our departed elders in heaven. Why don’t you float one.”
“Such superstition! What good would a candle do to dead and departed?” Shalini scoffed.
“It is a harmless event; if people believe in something let them be,” Sam said, “we did not have proof of oxygen before it was discovered. We didn’t stop breathing did we?”
“Beta, it certainly makes life of the living peaceful,” said an elderly man, “you will learn as you move on in your life.”
This post is written as part of #BlogchatterA2Z Blogging Challenge.
(9) Village Idiot
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