October 15, 2001

every (lit) lamp carries its shadow

a concerned mother finds it hard to accept that her soon-to-be-married daughter no longer bows to god. unable to bear her almost two-year-silent indifference to matters of religion and prayer, she tests her by asking her to light the lamp “since it’s getting darker”. the daughter, engrossed in bandhopadhyay’s pather panchali, understands her mother’s hidden command (to light the diya in the little mandir housing a variety of gods). she smiles to herself, switches on the electric light, and goes back to her reading.

unfortunately for the mother, this was not the light she had wanted to see…

THAT’S IT! you *have* to light a lamp in your house after you get married, even if you say you don’t believe in it. and for god’s sake, don’t ever say it!

but amma, was it too long ago that you told me not do something if my heart is not in it? does ‘growing up’ mean to forget what one learns as a child?

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