Where I came from?
“People are made of places. They carry with them
hints of jungles or mountains, a tropic grace
or the cool eyes of sea gazers. Atmosphere of cities
how different drops from them, like the smell of smog
or the almost-not-smell of tulips in the spring”
- Elizabeth Brewster
If someone asks me to introduce myself, I will tell them my name, after that, I will tell them the place I live. And one thing is for sure. The place where I came from is really going to tell a lot about myself.
And As the above poem tells us “People are made of places” I verily agree with this part. Everyone is at a certain place in certain time and everyone came from some places. if not them then their ancestors came from. Belief is that we all came from Africa 300 million years ago :)
And if I have to tell where I came from; I would drift back to a time which is past and a lot of thoughts and pictures would come in my mind.
I can tell- I also came from some place.
“The place where I came from people still worships stones and eat foods with their bare hands. They do not tolerate to use spoons and they have high faith in God. They worship the God who is strong and powerful. The same almighty! Who gives to all, who cares for all?
The Roman had 12 gods and goddesses. The Greek also had 12. The Christian has one, the Buddhist has one and Muslims has one. But, It freaks me out when I remember that there are 33 millions gods and goddesses in my religion, each unique and perfect in their own field. And I often wonder who might even be able to remember all the name of gods and their different characteristics.
The place where I came from, they all go to temple on a daily basis and worship gods by offering flowers and colors to god sculpture. They clean the temple; they light the surrounding with oil lamps, day, then they burn camphor and incense. I really love the smell of the surrounding.
The place where I came from people still believes that life and death is an endless cycle of birth and rebirth. Their belief is that if a person dies, he/she will reincarnate again. And the only way to get rid of this endless process of reincarnation is to go to heaven.
The place where I came from people still believes that if people die saying the name of God they will go to heaven and they will reside there with their favorite god.
The place where I came from People there still believes that world was created by God but if asked “who created the god they cannot accurately answer.
Once I asked about the creation of gods, then my grandfather who did not go to school answered:
“Who really knows, and who can swear,
How creation came, when or where!
Even gods came after creation’s day,
Who really knows, who can truly say
When and how did creation start?
Did He do it? Or did He not?
Only He, up there, knows, maybe;
Or perhaps, not even He.”
The place where I came from people read a lot of antique Sanskrit books filled with the story of gods and demons. The myths, the ode where the central character or the hero is some kind of mythical god who fights with a demon and helps normal people and everyone for the betterment of humanity. They always think God is good one and demon is a bad one and human is struck between both.
The place where I came from people do not go to disco or bars but they rather organize a festival or manage a religious and cultural program from time to time. They sing hymns and they dance. There are 366 festivals in 365 days.
The place where I came from, people strongly believe in astrology. Astrology- the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world. The amazing thing is they read palms and can predict one’s future. They read horoscopes and talk about the movement of celestial objects in the solar system and how it affects one’s life.
A Pandit of my village looked at my palm and told me that I am lucky. When I asked how he said pointing at a line of my palm; cause this line is straight. I nodded my head in agreeing gesture. Before him leaving, I have given a glance at him, he had worn white dhoti and the red eye-capturing slanted tika on his forehead which was memorable for me. When he left I saw he had a long pigtail in the back of his head.
I had asked my mother who he is. He was a Brahmins and a pundit. The mother said, “They were the people who chant Sanskrit mantras and we need them in every religious and cultural occasion”. They were the people who were very close to God. I did not understand then. But, Pundits were like a pastor in a church or like a monk in a monastery.
Thinking back it makes me wonder that in beginning of 21st century, they are still unaware of the fact that the name of constellations in the universe is more than the name of horoscopes. Obviously, how could they know they did not go to school and colleges? This was the condition of the place where I came from.
These people were the people who had to vanish in human history. They were too much into their antique history . .. Their history was their religion, their history was their culture. Their history was now and had just begun.
They did not know that present is not only the reflection of past but a possibility of future also.
But amid that one thing was for sure. These people sure had a habit of living a quiet narrow and simpler life. These were the people who had not bought any contribution to the world, who did not know how to. They were never looking forward towards human future. All they knew was history. All they knew was what happened when Lord Vishnu reincarnated in the earth. What happened when the greatest war of human era “Kurukshetra was fought? What happened when Krishna friend sudama came to meet Krishna.
All the knowledge, they knew was derived literally from the past experience. It was mythical knowledge they had, but they were unaware of it. How could they know they were poor people of a poor nation?
I am Nepali, born in a very rural part of Nepal- Bhojpur. I moved to capital city Kathmandu when I was 14 years old. Recently, When I returned back to bhojpur again.
I didn’t know things have changed! when I looked to these people and myself and the place where I came from-a lot has changed
Things were not normal however people were trying to act normal. The playground where my father grew up playing outdoor games is now a helipad. The local spring where my mother fetched water is now dry. The school where my parents studied was in bad condition. The people were not together as they used to. The festivals and celebration were not joyous. People were modernized, westernized. They rarely go to the temple , they rarely follow gods and religion. They do not care about our old culture and tradition anymore.
I met there youths of my own generation, they are lost. They are directed towards other things
It made me sad in a way, they do not listen to their parents as they think their parents are dumb.
There was a moment I remember when our grandpa used to speak and everyone had to listen. But now nobody listens to them.
And in this situation, i can only advise people by saying-Stay true to your roots.
A flower after blooming cannot abandon the plant. A flower should know its root. cause that is when the flower journey started. IN same way our ancestors and the place where they came from is where our root is and it should never be forgotten.
Being 19 years old I can surely tell there is nothing wrong with this. Even a lot of people disagree with me by saying “old generation is backward”. Or, older generation people are boring.
We teenagers and youths often talk about the generation gap, miscommunication between parents, how backward and superstitious they are. However, we always forget the fact they have a reason and a whole story behind how they were and how they are.
The place where I came from, that is where I belong. “people are made of places- thus-wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Never forget the place where you came from!