GSB stands for Gowda Saraswat Brahmins. They speak Konkani as their mother language. And I am one of them.
The innumerous societies and the caste system along with the religions sometimes makes me wonder at the human intellect. There have been many theories or hypothesis and assumptions on how they were created. There have been conflicts and wars on the different Gods their greatest power. The simple customs and rituals followed by several communities in several parts of the world defines their culture and distinguishes the barriers. Many times, I have seen scornful faces and discriminations between people of community for the other. These were prominent in the earlier ages, when apartheid was severe. But now, times have changed and people have grown up to some extent. But still, these issues arises when festivals, marriages and rituals are to conducted.
Being a Brahmin in itself is considered as a huge top-notch. There were several rituals to be followed as per convention, though nowadays many people are adapting to the modern world, and following only the easy ones. Finding people similar to you and in the same kind of community gives you a feeling like being in your own country. This actually doesn’t mean that we ill treat others. Respect is an important ingredient in our day-today life, and whatever community we are in, we need to respect other communities too. I had already talked about it, that being in one community doesn’t play much importance to me or defines my definition of God or similar identity. But I guess, religion and caste is not only about different Creator. It defines the way we live our daily life. And we shouldn’t mind how others live in their own world or community.
The issues/problems arises when the different worlds meet. There have been issues during festivals at various places of worship. I wonder how it starts. True, there is no smoke without fire. But ain’t we, the people who acts as oil to the burning fire instead of knocking it out? Agreed, there maybe sparks when two people meet, but that is common. Why do we lose the mutual respect in such cases? This religious war is something which is always beyond anyone’s scope other than themselves.
Then there are marriages. There are conventions of arranged marriages where in we seek people from only within the same community. There have been several protests when you go for someone outside the barrier. They preach and advise of the hassles. They are to some extent, true. There are people who have accepted the challenge and won successfully, and some who have failed miserable, and some who are in the tug of war. But I guess its there in every union be it arranged or intercaste. But just that inter-caste and inter-religion unions is a bit more challenging and difficult and needs pure mature approach from everyone in both the families so that life goes smooth. And as people can never be so idealistically mature and grown up from within, there exists always naggings and backtalks.
The rituals, I am sure, is no only limited to only one community, but all. And some people cross question the rituals they don’t feel like following, while some follow just because for the famiily. There was some times in life, when I felt all the rituals so old fashioned and all, but like they say, over time, you learn respecting the traditions and conventions, atleast some, and you stop arguing. You may not end up doing them whole heartedly, but then it becomes your daily routine to follow some of the customs with silence and which you accept proudly, lovingly and caringly. We start realizing their value and meaning which makes sense at some point in our life, but still with open questions and we start following them respectfully. Just like we start loving our home town, we start loving the community and the rituals and the barriers. The only difficulty is to keep the community barriers as transparent and not a solid permanent one.
What is your take on the rituals, customs, religion you need to follow?? Do you believe in these?