My 4th month + 1 day

Chagumba
Dressed for the big day

“Something sure was going on since the last few days. Dad was often seen busy talking on his phone and Mom rather seemed preoccupied & engaged for something big ahead.”

I was apprehensive if they could arrive in time. I expected my mom to come alone or may be with a nephew but I was quite taken for a pleasant surprise when mom informed me that they had already left Imphal with a mammoth crowd on my brother’s car. And my mother-in-law was to catch the 10:50 flight in the morning which was unfortunately cancelled at the last moment and she had to catch the last leaving bus instead. Well, all these activities contributed in  bits in sizing up a blown-up hysteria of a sort. Mom and her gang well arrived in time heavily tired and dangerously nauseated with the seven plus hours of non-stop driving. Mom-in-law was received at the bus terminus in a condition worse than the above, she was rather mercilessly shoved in and packed in the front cabin of the bus with so many co-passengers that it was quite a daunting task to count the heads in the exit door. Given her robust and generous extra pounds, it didn’t need a genius to notice that she had been squeezed & compressed badly to accommodate another five passengers in a space meant for her alone.

“I was quite woken up by the sudden noise in the next room. I felt like the whole population of the world had just moved in. And before this shock had barely settled, the next second I found myself surrounded on all sides with grinning faces I thought I had never seen before. I didn’t know how to react and I did what I only knew. I cried.”

All the arrangement had been finalized, the priest was already informed. After a hefty meal we all headed for sleep for the day ahead.The following day was Gubi’s Chagumba.

A fine morning with a subtle hint of fog for the first time of the season, it seemed winter was finally here to stay, we all headed to the temple for the Puja & other religious rituals. The Priest was a fine young man and he was gracious enough to go through all the minutest details making it a very soul satisfying Puja. We collected the remnants of the Kheer offered to the deity and made our way back home.

“My paternal grand-mom inserted her finger inside my mouth and God, it tasted so sweet & good.Yes, I was being fed for the first time apart from my mom’s milk. I had been such a fool not to realise then that all this hullabaloo & arrival of my jumbo family was for me only. I overheard them saying it was Emoinu too this particular auspicious day and how lucky I was to be fed on Emoinu

 


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