@ 32 years ago, my parents decided that it was time ,me & my brother underwent a sacred thread ceremony. Those days in an era now bygone, organizing any event required significant planning, preparation & logistics .Postcard invitations had to be mailed months in advance so relatives could make train reservations to partake in the auspicious occasion.
All the arrangements from groceries, cooks, flowers, priests, snacks , band baja , shehenai, material for various rituals, special clothes for the ceremony, new clothes for reception , return gifts for guests , photographer, most importantly a barber to shave off the head during the ceremony and even such minutiae as sourcing cowdung for the sacred fire that is lit during the ceremony ,all had to be negotiated and arranged in person. I can’t even imagine how my parents were able to organize such a ceremony for us . And as if one such ceremony was not enough, my parents decided that me & brother would be having our munja ( sacred thread ceremony) on different dates - 6th & 7th March . I am still astonished at their stamina and willpower to pull through such a vast enterprise back to back for 2 days.
We lived in a tiny apartment and as the dates of the thread ceremony came closer, it become a beehive of activities. To ensure there were enough snacks for all the guests who would be visiting / staying at our home, huge container full of ladoos ( boondi ), chivada etc, were prepared . Needless to say, we had clear instructions not to help ourselves to those goodies atleast till the day of the ceremony. I still vividly remember that thankfully (& grateful to our relatives ) we had plenty of stock of laddoos left after the ceremony and we happily feasted on them for many weeks. Both my parents were working and so had to take many days off from work to organize everything for the ceremony, most days my Dad would walk around town procuring supplies for the ceremony or arranging for something. While the thread ceremony is the main event, but there are also several ancillary rituals that need to be performed leading up to the event like Kelvan and after the event like Gondhal. And my parents spared no expense , even now I still feel overwhelmed at their ability to orchestrate such a massive undertaking and that too with so much grace. And all this was executed from a tiny house with 5 of us staying in it .
It is quite an irony that many of us even our parents think that just because we work overseas or have fancy titles or expensive cars , we have in some way achieved more than our parents, but that is far from reality. What they did for us in that era has no parallel .