Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Year

Our car moved through the morning mist. I adjusted the window glasses to feel the new year chill. Women rushed home along the road holding milk bottles in their hands. Most of them covered their heads with gamchhas to prevent another cold. I thought about the families welcoming another year with a cup of tea.

“Vavii..”, Aamy, my sister’s one-year old daughter was calling me. I shook her hands and looked outside at the people brushing their tooth infront of the houses. There was an uncomfortable silence inside the car. My brother-in-law, driving the vehicle took a wise decision to tune FM radio. My sister turned back and looked me and our mother. When she tried to talk about films and music, I too joined.

We had our tea from a small hotel. The shopkeeper’s little son peeped to see our beauty in pink. Aamy was busy with two glasses and her light tea.

We reached the shore by 7.30. Aamy pointed the sea and smiled. “Kadal”, I told. She babbled something. I was looking at the crowd there. We stepped down and walked towards them. Priests. They were guiding people to perform rituals. One welcomed us. He asked us to stand in front of him.

“We have the last remains with us”, brother told.

The man directed us to another who sat at the end of the row. A dark old man in white dress sat on an wooden plank. ‘Avani palaka’, I guessed. I had heard about the traditional seat made of wood of Jackfruit tree used as the priest’s seat during Hindu ceremonies.

A lighted Indian lamp, incense sticks, camphor and flowers were arranged near him. There was another man to help him.

As he directed with his eyes, brother placed the earthern pot covered with red cloth on the banana leaf. The old man removed the cloth. “Who all want to perform?”, he asked. Three of us moved infront of him. He told the posture. We sat touching our left knees on the ground. The position was precarious as the other knee had to be raised. We wore the sacred ring made of holy-grass.

Shuklambaradharam vishnum

Sasivarnam chaturbhujam

Prasanna vadanam dyayayet

Sarva vikhnopa santhayet..”, he recited and gave us a hand full of Aerva , our local balippoovu and black gingelly. We put them thrice into the pot while repeating what he told. “Are the remains in the pot laughing at me?”. I looked into the pot. He always ridiculed all these.

Aamy was imitating everything. A piece of banana leaf was given for her too. She adjusted the rest with sand. After some time, she saw the lighted lamp and other accessories. The other man was trying to protect the essentials for their livelihood. Aamy continued her trials to attack whenever he was distracted.

I tried to concentrate.

“Pitrumstarpayami

Pitruganamstarpayami”

We waked towards the east and placed the banana leaf at a distance and clapped for the crows. Two came. My sister looked me and gave a weak smile.

The old priest was waiting. We did the rest rituals. The pot was again covered with the cloth. We walked towards the sea when the priest directed. Brother walked first with the pot on his head. Tears brimmed my eyes. A red blur. He threw it backward. We dipped ourselves in the water thrice. Waves. I turned back and searched blearily for a red spot.

“Ammaa..Acha..Vavii..”, Aamy was crying. Tears trickled down her cheeks. We saw fright in her eyes. My mother was trying to calm her. We walked back to the shore in wet clothes.

Aamy smiled. Its another New Year.

6 comments:

anu.j.das said...

niceone,keep going

pooja said...

......I was there with you every step of the way.I saw what you saw...............................

anuja said...

Nice...............

Paru said...

A picture from the book of your life.Good.

wordsmaid said...

Use specific words when u are writing a emotional piece like this dear resmi. They show.

resmi said...

Thanks Anu, Pooja, Anuja, Paru and Wordsmaid. I will be careful in the next attempt Wordsmaid.