Always respect tradition, I was taught And I would have obeyed, but then I realised If everyone had done the same thing Where would I be? Books would no longer be my friends, Education would be barred to me; My meagre brain at the mercy of The wise men, who guided me. My imagination neatly wrapped Between the lines of a prayer-book; My life would be of household chores. Respect would be an alien word; I would have taunts and scolds aplenty. My feet bound to the threshold Too scared to tread the outside world, No knowledge would ever pierce the walls; Ignorance would be my salvation. Always respect tradition, I was taught And I would have obeyed, but then I realised If everyone had done the same thing I would have faced a horrible fate. I would be at home, a veil covering my face, and a husband whom I worshipped for the kicks and punches, he rewarded me. I would be serving his parents while He harassed mine for money. I would pray for his long life, and not for any Claims of love, nor hypocrisy on my part. I would really want him to live long, For his death would be my destruction. I would rather have the bruises he gives Than be burned in the funeral pyre. Some cultures would spare my life Only to kill me everyday. Always respect tradition, I was taught And I refused to obey for the sake of a future girl. Because, when I bring a piece of change, She would be in some place better. ―K.A. Acharya © 2018 * I in the poem doesn't refer to me (as in Kiran), it's any girl who would have been victim to irrational traditions and customs. Pls check The woes of a Fiction Writer to understand.
In Maharashtra, Diwali is accompanied with a unique tradition—Diwali forts—small, clay forts which the kids make outside their house in the front yard or in their building compound. These little forts sometimes replicate the original Maratha forts found in the state. At times, the kids design their own fort.