I have a Marathi friend whom I recently wished ‘Gudi Padwa’. It is their beginning of New Year just as some of us celebrate in on 31st December. I texted him my heartiest wishes with all the warmth in my heart, being the excited one that I am. And all I got in return was ‘I hope you have an amazing year ahead, but I am not allowed to celebrate this year.’
I then got to know that his old grandmother passed away a few months ago and he could not celebrate let alone enjoy any of the functions for a year as the custom says.
Oaky, most of us go through this and have to abide by the rules but then something still strikes me hard. First of all the very word ‘Allowed’ shakes my nerves to the core. I mean why would someone have to be allowed to do anything? He or she has his own life and should he not have the freedom to decide what he/she wants do.
So it is customary to mourn of a year? But what if the person is yet not out of the mournful period and not want to celebrate life? What I believe is mourn as much as you want, until you have moved on. One may not want to celebrate anything even after a long year because he or she still misses the beloved. One might still want to celebrate even if a year has not passed away, the reason may be he was not close to the person, he was happy that the person was free at last from the tortures of the hospital and the old age, or even that he has simply moved on with life. The person had to go and he could not stop him. But then what stops him from celebrating life? Just customs and beliefs.
My friend here did love his grandmother but she was pretty old and the last few days were too troublesome for her, for any of us to go through the pains and when at last she passed away everyone was sad but then nothing could have been done. So they mourned and finally moved on.
But the sad part was they did not celebrate festivals just to portray to the other society members they cared enough.
I am not saying what they should have done. Many people still believe into many rituals and if they are fine with it then why not, but all I felt sorry for was because they did all this, went through all the troubles for a whole year just to prove to somebody else, our dear society.
My friend wanted to desperately celebrate his new year, for it is the only thing that mattered to him, after of course his birthday but sadly he did not only because he was not ‘allowed’ to celebrate the day.