Since I returned from a small Diwali break back to Siwan which is where I am based I have experienced almost all the circles of life. When I say circles I mean a birthday, a death and a marriage. These were the three things that I saw and was a part of. The biggest difference for me was the fact that all these three things I had seen before but they were all in the cities and in complete urban and affluent settings. This was the first time I had seen how these three things are done on a rural level and this is what I found to be exciting as this was a new experience for me.
The death was of one of my student’s younger sister was the first of these things that I experienced. The day I got back from home I got to know about this and during the day I was busy so in the evening I went and met him during the cremation. What I saw was something that I have never seen in the cities. If there was a death in someone’s family in the city then there was a lot that was done but here in the village the rituals were all fulfilled but there was a certain simplicity that I could see which is something that I haven’t seen in the cities. I felt really sad about the death of his sister but somehow the whole event of the cremation that I was seeing seemed to be pretty normal to me. I still haven’t understood why this was happening with me.
Marriage is another important part of the circle of life. This was the other thing that I saw since I got back. This was a marriage of the brother of one of my colleagues. Marriages in village were something that I had always glimpsed but never before had I been to one. Unlike the cities there were many different things I saw here which I haven’t seen in a city. The biggest difference was the famous Bihari orchestra dance. This was something I had only heard about and had never seen it before. Seeing something like this was a new experience for me. I really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere of the place. In the cities weddings are a gala event with a lot of fanfare and a huge extravaganza. This was not the case here tough. Here it was really mellow and simple but at the same time there was a lot of decoration.
The birthday party that I went for had many similarities to those in cities where your guests come with gifts and you serve them food and you generally chill with them and have fun …