5 Diwalis

He is a Muslim and I am Hindu. Both by birth and choice.
The first year after we were married, we went over to my parent’s home and sat with them for the annual family Diwali puja. We sing a bhajan and do a small pooja.

The second year, he was uncomfortable and he said, you go ahead and I will join the family later after the pooja is over. So he did not have to participate…… perhaps he felt coopted and pressurised to assimilate.

The third year I refused to visit my parents on Diwali. I called it cultural confusion…. and it depressed me. As the evening progressed, he just did not feel right about it and very belatedly, when it was all over, we turned up at my parent’s home to meet on Diwali. They were almost already in bed by then.

I cannot remember at all how we got through the 4th year….. which was last year. I think we attended, arriving decently after the pooja was over and just when the feast and firecrackers time started.

This year was the 5th Diwali. My original plan was to get away from it all by arranging to be in Lahore on Diwali…. for a workshop I have been invited for. So I thought, its a good way to avoid the confusion on Diwali. Could not get visas in time, so plan failed.
His mum was in town and ironically her enthusiasm seemed to give me permission to be happy on Diwali. We all dressed up (I wore a sari!) and attended the puja, I sang the bhajan along with my parents, my daughter’s sat in dadi and papa’s laps, my father put a teeka on everyone’s forehead, Mum gave us lots of presents….. and it was fun for most people. He and I were quite tense….. but it was much better. And all because the person we are afraid of offending was there and led the way.
Thanks, Ammi.

About Natasha Badhwar

"Because I'm a Tinker. That's who I am. Tinkers fix things. But I can't do it alone." (Pause for lots of action. Group Action......) "You did it, Tinker, you saved Spring!" I also have three children, one marriage, a million friends and one life.
This entry was posted in Diwali, Hindu, inter-religious marriage, Muslim. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 5 Diwalis

  1. cooksisters says:

    Its amazing how the older generation suprises you. I thought my mom was bigoted and had become like my aunts who are saffron hindu and speak that politic. And yet mum suprises me. Fot the last two years she has kept 2 rozas each time. Just to be part of her friends family. My mum who rarely keeps Hindu fasts — keeps a roza if she is invited for an iftari. And because she is too lazy to get up early to have breakfast at dawn– its an entire day without food and water. I think sometimes we with our liberal thoughts can be more straight jacketed in our thinking than those who faith is far more clearly defined. Bless your ammi.

  2. Natasha says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Quite often, one person either holds the family together or is the one who facilitates the process of getting over the discomfort. Most of the times, it's little acts of the person in the family that brings about transformations in magical way. Unfortunately, such small acts are often neglected.

    I can relate to this little story in many ways. Thank you for sharing.

  4. the elders either break or make the family. they can chose to act stubborn or relaxed and lead from the front. glad to know u have got such a sweet mother in law

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