Ganesh Chaturti is a big festival in our families. The family (from my husband’s side) having acquired gigantic proportions has now formed a trust and the trust now celebrates four festivals in a year grandly. The rest can be celebrated at home if you so wish or can forget.
So on that grand day we assemble at our ancestral house which we technically call as ‘hod ghar‘. (big house) situated in Gangulli. Where is Gangulli? Well it is a scenic town near Kundapur, Udupi zilla. Have a look here. Well this picture was taken from a moving bus by yours truly, so please forgive the quality.
Chaturti is a time when we deck up in our traditional best and amidst the cacophony of mantras and gossip; celebrate. Kids run about, women whisper, men break coconuts and the devout sing. Me personally enjoys the scene.
Lunch is usually served at 5 p.m. Don’t panic. Before that we have had our turns of Taani (meaning snacks and coffee/tea)
After a sumptuous meal, we gather around the well to wash our hands and well…to chat some more.
And it was then last year that I met my hubby’s cousin. We chatted and then she heard me talking to my son in Konkani.
Shocked she asked,’ You speak to him in Konkani not English’
Me: ‘Why should I speak in English’
She: ‘But you stay in BAHRAIN’
Me: ‘So’, I was going to say that Bahrain is a part of this Earth only but stopped myself.
You may ask why.
In our families, my husband is supposed to be sadhu and me jor. (Aggressive) Well the closest know the internal dynamics. But let us not discuss all that right now.
The jor that I am, I had a devilish plan.
Me: So which standards your sons are studying in.
She: The eldest is in 4th, younger one is in Balwadi. We speak in English at home, so that it is not a problem for them.
She: Yes, You know how important it is to know English. and so….
She went on explaining the need of speaking English at home. My smile went on becoming wider.
In some time, the hubby joined us after breaking coconuts, serving food and having eaten himself.
He: What are you two talking about
Me: Akka is telling me the importance of speaking in English, they speak English only at home.
He (shocked). Why?? Kids have to be comfortable with their mother tongue first. English as such they learn in school, don’t they. Yes, English is necessary but our regional languages have better grammar ……..blah, blah blah.
I stayed in the background and watched Akka being bombarded with facts and figures.
Jor who Me?? *evil grin*