During Hindustan Motors’ day, we lived in its residential flats for many years. Yamuna used to organize and celebrate Chhath almost every year without fail. For some years, I also undertook the rigorous fasting for almost four days and offered prayers to Sun God. It used to be exciting to carry out the religious rituals at the sunset and the dawn next day in the water of Hooghly River with the temple of Dakhineswar facing us on the other side. It seems Chhath must have originated many years ago in Vedic period when Sun used to be one of the main God, and people worshiped the nature in all forms.
But I left HM and moved to Salt Lake. It became unmanageable for Yamuna to organize. When we came to Noida in 1997, we got further distanced. Old age also dissuades us. Some hundred thousands from Bihar must be living in Noida, but unless we pass by some of the bridges on Yamuna River or near around on this day, we hardly come to know Chhath, neither do we get any ‘prasad’ of the ‘vrata’ from anyone. It pains me, but what can I do about it. People from Bihar whom I know are either too modern that they don’t organize Chhath or they don’t have our names in the list of beneficiaries.
Alpana, my eldest daughter-in-law is continuing the traditions and fasts even in US on Chhath. Yesterday, she called us on completion for our blessings. I hear in Mauritius, people of Bihari origin celebrate Chhath in one big tank there. In Delhi, politicians take a lot of interest to get Ghaats of Yamuna River cleaned. May be one day, the people fasting for Chhath will take Yamuna cleaning task in their hands and serve the city and its regions.
However, we still wait for Mansa to bring in the ‘prasad’ that Yamuna asked her for. And Mrs Lakshman Singh wished me today in morning: ‘Happy Chhath‘ from her Kolkata residence.