Today is the last day of the Hindu festival of Chhath Puja, celebrated largely by people from the eastern states of Bihar and Jharkhand.
I thought Chhath Puja was largely to do with women fasting for the welfare of their husbands, but the Wikipedia link I just shared doesn’t specifically state that, so I stand corrected.
If I’ve mentioned the patriarchy in the context of this ceremony in other blogs, you can kindly disregard them 🙂
What is undisputed is that the necessary dip in the sacred river for devotees living in Delhi involves going into the toxic filth that is the river Yamuna. You remember the blog post I wrote 2 days ago about the state of the river?
I mentioned there that although I would describe myself as a person of faith, it would absolutely not involve wading into toxic, ammonia filled water…
Which is why I loved this sweet scene on a quiet backstreet in my neighbourhood this afternoon.
The family had made their own little area to stand, and when we drove by, the lady (“Meri Mummy” the teenage daughter shyly told me) was preparing her own little ghat:
The lady – Mummy – had a beautiful, radiant smile and promptly invited me to sit with them and to join in the puja, which was actually tempting, but I didn’t want to intrude more than I already was doing.
So with a chorus of “You’re welcome,” I reluctantly left them.