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Colorless Teej – Pratichya Dulal

admin September 14th, 2007

Teej, Haritaalika celebrationI am not a great fan of the red color festival, Teej. Neither do I find the idea of remaining hungry without a drop of water on hot humid conditions in the least interesting. The only thing I liked about this festival was the get together of the women clad in red. A rare sight as the females in our society very seldom set aside time for themselves. But this year this aspect of the festival too failed to raise my spirits as an unhappy incident occurred.

It’s the look on my great aunt’s face on the day of the fasting. She too was fasting on that day. Despite her old age she did not put a grain on her mouth. I have not always been on the best of terms with her. She believes not only in preserving all the traditions but following it blindfold. She is someone who is proud of her cast and judges people by it. She will not allow people of lesser cast into her kitchen, let alone eat food prepaid by them. I have always seen her nod her head in disagreement and open her mouth to complain about the lifestyle we have preferred.

I had thought see enjoyed Teej as much as the women next door as I have seen her dance and sing along with other women during Teej year in and year out. What got my attention this year was the yearning in her eyes as she looked at the ladies clad in red sari. Needless to explain that she is a widow, has always been as far as I am concerned. As I have never seen her in red.

That gloomy look on her eyes that day is the memory I am talking about. I had never thought she would crave for that particular color. Had it been anyone else I certainly would not have been surprised but not her because of her love for the tradition and her reluctance to change it even for better.

The knowledge that this great aunt of mine even in her early eighties secretly yearns for a red sari but is afraid to say it aloud will stay with me for the rest of my life.


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