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Months ago we went for a rice ceremony function. In a Bengali household, rice ceremony is as important as marriage ceremony. Before proceeding with the story I would like to inform our reader about an age old custom in Bengali rice ceremony and weddings. During rice ceremony when the child (irrespective of gender) is going to have his/her first meal of rice, dal curry curds either from his/her maternal uncle or from grand father, the mother of the child is forbidden to attend the ceremony. Similarly, during the wedding ceremony of the male child, a mother is forbidden to attend the ceremony. There are many age old stories that doesn’t make any sense to me. I just think how cruel this society can be. Only mothers are forbidden. I also have a son and I was also forbidden to see the rice ceremony of my own child. Although my husband supports me but my argument seemed unnecessary to my in-laws. At last I gave up as my mother was brutally taunted by my in-laws for my bad upbringing.
Now come to our story. Nina and her husband live in Bangalore and come down to Kolkata for her only daughter’s rice ceremony. The function was arranged in a hall quite far away from her in laws house. Nina’s husband arrived with their daughter shortly after we reached the venue. I asked him “Where is Nina?” and he just nods his head. But I can sense something was wrong. After sometime I got a call from Nina and asked me to visit her. While in the car so many questions were revolving in my head. I knocked and Nina opened the door. Her face was dull and she didn’t look ready for the function. I asked her, ‘Are you not well?’ She simply replied “Not feeling up to attend the party.’
I asked her the reason then she explained. She insisted with her in-laws to let her attend the main ceremony but they simply asked her to leave. So she decided not to attend the party either. Let her in-laws be answerable to the questions about her conspicuous absence. It is indeed a strong step to break an age old tradition. I wish I could do the same. I wish I could be as brave as her. For all those women who don’t want to change the age old traditions let them practice it. But don’t push someone else to follow your belief. But I don’t know when these things are going to stop and a woman can live her life on her on terms. When will society stop dictating in our lives? Should we wait our society to change or fight for our rights?
I am a ordinary woman studied in a all girls school. Love to cook, eat,
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