Then bride (Monika) came sitting on a wooden plank. Her brothers were carrying that plank form all sides. She had hidden her face using two paans. We both were holding garlands and time came when we had to put garland on the other. I was asked to do that but her brothers lifted the plank so high that it became difficult for me to put and similarly when she was trying to put my cousin lifted me so high that it became difficult to put. This continued for 5 to 6 times. I was much worried about mu dhoti which started loosening. While we both were struggling and having fun, others were laughing and having fun as well. Later I asked my father, I do not think these have anything to do with what is written on Vedas. He said, these are called stree-aachaar. These are made by women so that there is some fun element in the entire process. He described how important these are to ensure people enjoy while following rituals. This made me believe that entertainment is very much in our custom. When I came to western India, I found how during marriage people enjoy for almost a week.
Earlier days the best form of entertainment was skits, plays, song and dance. Every occasion has it’s own song, dance etc. These are to ensure people participate in these because it is fun and at the same time understand the importance of the ritual.
I have heard of people staying awake whole night even after a day’s hard work, because they used to crazy about watching Raam leela and other entertainment plus awareness programs.
So, entertainment is always a medium to bring people’s attention. Keeping any ritual alive is not possible if it is dry. Many of our social, cultural and religious day’s are no longer celebrated in that grand scale as it used to be. The reason is, we retained the same old way of entertainment which people are not enjoying as much. In case we think of keeping these rituals, celebrations alive, we have to come up with new entertainment methods which people can relate to.
Now parents have to remind their kids that today is Ram Navami and kids remind parents that today is valentines day. If we make this age-old celebration for the birthday of an ideal man who taught us good always wins over evil, entertaining and add some elements which match current ages taste then you will see kids will wish their parents “Happy Ram Navami, let’s go to temple. I am playing Angad in Ram Leela”. I know many may disagree with me but just a thought.
– Stray Dog