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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

NaBloPoMo 2019: Day 13: The Monthly Ritual

Wake up early.

Sweep and mop the house.

Bathe and dress in ‘madi’ clothes.*

Drape the madisaar.**

Consume nothing – not even a drop of water. 

No visits to the washroom either

Step into the kitchen and start cooking.

Use only vegetables and ingredients native to this country.

Cook around 15 different items. In quantities sufficient to serve about 15 people.

Wait for the Brahmins participating in the rituals to finish their meal.

Serve the officiating priest and the performer of the ritual, and the other guests.

Finally, sit down to eat your first morsel of the day. At around 3 pm.

Clear up the kitchen and the rest of the house, putting things back in place.

Through it all – talk, laugh, argue, pull each others’ legs and reminisce about the good old days.

Go back to your respective homes.

Repeat next month. 

This is been the routine of Amma’s daughters one day every month after May 2019. And also the routine for our cousin Shri. Prasanna, who is gracefully doing the rites on behalf of Appa (since Appa is too old and incapable of doing them). 

We’re doing things we haven’t done before. If the reports of those who attend Amma’s maasikam ceremony (monthly rites for the departed during the first year following death) are to be believed, we’re doing a pretty good job of it.

Today was Amma’s 7th month maasikam. 

There are some who ask why we take all the trouble when even sons in today’s times don’t do the rites for their parents.

Our answer – for a mother who did so much for you your entire life, and shaped you into who you are today – it’s a small thing to do in return to ensure her atma gets all it needs on its journey beyond this world.

* Madi clothes - clothes washed the previous day and left untouched and worn only after a purificatory bath.

** Madisaar - saree worn in the traditional style.


  1. Loved your crisp sweet post that has captured the essence very well.
    Me writing this comment, late in the night today is a small thing to do in gratitude for your expressing my thoughts too via your posts.

  2. Lovely. What a life she lived and helped u all form a beautiful life that even in her demise you all are able to laugh and live normally. A lovely full life aunty has lived. 🙏🙏🙏

    1. You're spot on with that observation, Shilpa! I'm amazed at how well you catch the point I'm trying to make. Always :-)

  3. Yes,as a child of a great soul, all of you doing a perfect job! We do not know how exactly it will help her , but when you pay such sincere tributes we know for sure that our conscience will be super clear!


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