Why do I have to perform puja today? Asked my grand daughter, not very happy of rising early on the occasion.
Don’t forget that young girls have to do ‘Deepa kamba puja’ on the amavasya before the advent of Sravana masa, I reminded the school going girl.
But why do I have to do it year after year? She questioned.
Well, it is to pray for getting a good husband, I said.
Do I have to continue performing this puja even after getting a good husband? she asked stressing on the adjective.
Yes, for him to be ‘good’ all your life, I replied with equal stress.
But grandma, how do you define a good husband? She wanted to know.
Well, someone who is kind to you and not a male chauvinist, I replied.
But I could see that it made no sense to her.
O.K. then will boys also have to pray to get a good wife? She asked perhaps after pondering over what I said.
I parried as I didn’t know the answer but it set me thinking all day. May be it would be more appropriate to redefine the occasion as ‘puja for a good spouse,’ which also removed gender bias, I concluded.
n.meera raghavendra rao