Son performs rites for living mother

Love's labour

His love for his mother drove him to do something that many term as ‘shocking’ and ‘irreligious’. But he is defiant and unrelenting.

Ram Lal, a mason and resident of Tadi village in Varanasi district, loved his old mother dearly.

He had grand plans to observe her ‘terahwin’– Hindu ritual that starts with the cremation of a body and ends with a community feast on the 13th day – after her death.

But he felt that she could not see on what scale the ‘rituals’ were performed.
Hence, he decided to perform them when his mother was alive and show his love
towards her.

Ram Lal got his head shaved as a son would do after his mother’s death and engaged a priest to perform ‘yajna’ (a ritual by fire) daily till the 13th day. He ate only once in a day after ‘puja’ and slept on wooden cot.

“There is no way my beloved mother could have seen after her death how I discharged the duty of a son. I would perform the rituals on a grand style but she will not be there to see,” Ram Lal said.

“It may sound strange and also against established traditions. But it is my way of showing my love and affection for my mother,” he said.

Wrong message

His mother Jagvanti Devi, though moved by son’s love, felt that it would send a wrong message to society.

“I tried to persuade him not to do it but he did not relent. I know he loves me a lot but it is not in conformity with religious traditions,” she said.

Even village panchayat chief and many others did their best to convince Ram Lal.
But he remained defiant.

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