the travelogue of life

Monday, November 10, 2008

The 'balidaan'

With lot of expectations, we reached the new place 2 days prior to Dusshera. We were invited for the party on the same day with the guests, as a part of the ‘Kaal ratri’ celebration. I was there at the gate on the very first day, to welcome the guests. There were totally 4 ladies including me, hosting the occasion.
While standing there , the senior most among the hosts told me..”I hope your husband might have told you about it…you have to cut a goat tomorrow on the ‘balidaan’ rite. The newly arrived lady is supposed to do it…you are ok with that right?we all had done it”
That caused a thunder in my heart. I don’t know whether they sensed it or not. The other lady’s words reinforced it and I was not able to breathe thinking of my fate. Deep in mind I had a doubt that they might be pulling my legs..but we can not say..these ladies seem to be quite serious in their words..
I told them..” I am a vegetarian and has got some brahmin origin also from my maternal grandpa’s side..I cant even think bout causing a harm to anyone or anything..”
But they were not moved by this, but repeated..”We all have done that..you too have to do it..”
I started looking for my husband who was busy with receiving guests and talking to them. I wanted to reach him so badly and complain about these ladies..At the same time I had to smile at everyone, being a host. I was worried, but acted as if I am cool. Seeing me looking around, the senior lady asked me..”what happened? “ that question made me a bit happy as it sounded as if those ladies are closely watching for any change of mood in me, as an impoact of their joke. I tried to believe that it is a joke. But still a ray of doubt remained. Each moment it started growing and I started thinking of how to escape from this hazzle.
The programs for the day started and we sat there behind the guests, watching the cultural programmes..I could not enjoy any of those as I was tensed of the next days fate in store for me…
I prayed for a fever..I prayed for some disease so as to escape from the next day’s programme. During the break, the junior lady told me..”I was worried how can I cut the goat. Now that you arrived after me, I am saved. Being a vegetarian, I cant even imagine doing it myself”..
This strengthened my doubt and I was disturbed very much. I told them” In case I have to do that, I will show my head instead.Let someone take my life instead of that poor animal”. They smiled.
From that moment onwards, I started offering many things to my favourite deities , to save me from this difficulty...and each moment I assured them that I wil do it as soon as I visit Kerala next time..:)
The party got over by dawn and before leaving for our room, the senior officer’s lady enforced “Durga has to do it tomorrow”..The officer added.”She wil not sleep tonight…”..
My husband told laughing” She can not do it..She cant even harm an ant. ..then I will have to do it..”
I got some relief from his words…
The next day morning….we reached the balidan venue…all were assembled..I was worried how to avoid a scene in front of the guests..I prayed the goddess again..Suddenly the goat was brought for the ‘balidaan’ and one person was ready with the weapon. Then I understood that al these were their tricks…One lady told me smiling..”sorry yaar ..that was a joke from our side..we were pulling your legs..hope u are not feeling bad about it..Afterall do u think any woman can do it..some are even vegetarians…”
Then a deep sigh came from me which I tried to hide but was quite visible to all.


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