Yesterday religiously and ceremoniously the Jamai Shashti got celebrated in West Bengal or rather all over the world wherever Bengalis are domiciling. On this day Mother- In-Law or the wives, as a representative of their mothers, cook delectable widely spread delicacies directly from a Bengali Kitchen. When it comes to food we Bengalis are always ready with our creative version of delicious dishes. Mishti Polao, Five types of Fries, Dal, Vegetable Torkari/curry, variations with Prawns dishes, mutton or chicken, Ilish/Hilsha, the must present dish, Chatni, Mishti/Sweets, etc are offered to the Jamai with an eye catching presentation during this fest. This is a day when the Jamai/Son-In-Law gets pampered by his Mom-In-Law.
Shashti is actually a name of a Hindu Goddess who is worshiped "as the benefactor and protector of children (especially, as the giver of male child)." (source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shashthi). On the other hand "Shashthi (Sanskrit: Ṣaṣṭhī ) is the sixth day or tithi of a Paksha or fourteen-day phase of the moon. The word comes from the Sanskrit cardinal ShaRh (six), whence the ordinal number (linguistics) ShaShTha (sixth), fem. ShaShThI (days of the pakSha are feminine gender)". (Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shashthi_(day) )
Usually the sixth tithi, known as Shahsti and especially in the waxing period (shuklapaksha), the mothers in Bengal worship Goddes Shashti during this day by fasting for her child's well being. But in a particular day of the month of Jaishthya is mainly celebrated as Jamai Shahsti, though the elders shower new cloths to the younger in family and the mothers do Shahsti puja during this time too. This fest symbolically ties up a strong bonding between two families and mainly an affectionate bonding of love between the parents-in-laws with their son-in-laws. Every ritual in a sense brings the family members close together and a quality time to be spent in a festive manner. And a Bengali Festival means the scrumptious kingly size spread of delicious food and new clothing.
Now let me come to my point what I want to establish and urge for in this post. A thought just came in my mind why we don't have a Meye/Bou Shashti?? Posted in my facebook status yesterday and got many positive vibes to start one for. Even when I shared my thought with my Mom-In-Law, I found her more excited than me and asked me several times when we are going to have that day…...
We spent a particular day for the Jamai/ Son-In-Laws, but whenever a son-in-law is visiting his in-laws house he always gets the special treatment and offerings of the inviting delicacies. So Jamai Shahsti often cycles around, though not along with all those rituals, pampering is always the priority. May be I might sound a bit jealous but we ladies many a times secretly crave for this kind of treatment. Busy with our every day household chores, work place, taking care of the every family member, we, ladies also need this kind of special care often. But OFTEN the word may sound too much to the men. Ok at least one day we can have at least. Who knows while spending one special day for the ladies of the household may cycle back every month.. It will make a relationship not only strong but will infuse a fun in our busy boring live too. And yes the Man will also get a different taste of life by relaxing himself from his busy schedule and tiring days. (Strategy to make them convince…wink)
So therefore let us have special day for Meye/Bou Shashti in the Indian calendar like Jamai Shashti. I know many may oppose my claim and may argue with it. But let me clear my views rightly. The main symbolic hidden secret of a festival or a ritual is, it creates a strong bonding in between people. As Jamai Shahsti brings closer the son and parents in laws, same like, I also want a day should be celebrated, if not religiously, to make a strong bonding between the ladies and the men, between the daughter- in-law and the parent-in-laws in a household. The Ladies may spend many special days by herself, with her husband and in-laws but I call for a day where the ladies should get pampered and treated with special care on a particular day (Though I claim this too be specially treated every day, that might give too much pressure to the men…:P). But it is something like feeling special for a day when the Men will cook for the ladies of the house and give us a full day leave by showing their love and affectionate for us.
Even from our childhood we two sisters celebrated Bon PoNta as we don't have any brother and tying up Rakhi on each other's hand…So it's not always that the boys will dominate most rituals we can also have ours..
So what do you say????? If the month June is for the Jamai/Son-in-Law then let us make July our month.
So we are going to spend every year the Second Saturday or Sunday of Month July. Let me see how many of you are going to celebrate this with us.
Last but not the least I have a request. Please don't spoil this would be happy celebration by too much arguments and criticism. If you don't like it or don't want be a part that is absolutely your choice. But those who want please let them enjoy it to the fullest. Thanks in advance.