Memories of Good Friday ( written on April 3rd 2015)

It rained this evening, just as it had on many other Good Fridays of my childhood.
As we waited to receive the chorukka or the vinegar water ( symbolic of the hyssop that Christ was offered when he was thirsty) , or while eating out of the mann chatti ( earthern pot), steaming kanji, payaru and pappadam that the church served to the thronging masses after a whole day of fast, or on our walk home after service, my grandmother would always remark on the rain.

She always associated the darkening skies and the rain to the darkness that covered the earth when Christ breathed his last after crying out ~”It is finished” as a sign that our ambadhu noyambu or fasting for 50 days was acceptable by God.

Today I looked back on those days of piety and simple unquestioning faith.
My faith today has definitely gone through several degrees of metamorphisms.
I no longer observe ambadhu noyambu. I do not insist on a whole day of fast at home. The closest I come to the traditions my grandmother believed in, is to make kanji and payaru on Good Friday.
I have come to believe that faith does not dwell in these rituals.

But somehow ,somewhere, something tugged at my heart when my daughter stepped out of the house this evening, and said ..”Mama it smells like Kerala”, and again as we stepped outside the car at the library , the aroma from the nearby Indian Restaurant wafting ,
my daughter said again with a glint in her eyes.. “Mama now it really smells like Kerala”…

And I felt my grandmother’s presence.

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On your mark, get set, Go

“You have to write these down Mama” she would say, after I had finished recounting yet another story from my life. My daughter worried that these stories would vanish some day and she wanted them written down so that some day she would flip through the pages and recall a smile or a drive that we took while listening to them

I, however was hostage to the words in my head that refused to be bound to paper or screen. Words, they floated away before I could capture them, and those that I did disintegrated at my touch.

A casual conversation with a friend,across the seven seas led to this blog being created for me by that friend.

When the Universe has conspired thus,who am I to resist?

I begin this journey by dedicating this maiden venture to my daughter and my friend Vinay for the motivation and the inspiration, not to mention the threats 🙂