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.