People stay awake all night during the day of Shivarathri. Shivarathri, the Hindu religious festival, celebrating the union of Siva, the Hindu God of Destruction with Parvathi, the daughter of Himalaya, is a day when all the spinsters fast and observe many rituals for getting a good person as husband, in Malabar. This festival has many other dimensions and patterns of rituals in many other parts of India. Even in many other parts of Kerala, this day is celebrated as the day of the dead.
In Malabar, it is a nice feeling, during Shivarathri, being a man; a good one of its kind, according to the norms and the conventions accepted for the Marriage Market in the locale. These norms and conventions range from physical appearance to education and from job to cast and creed. As for the nice feeling is concerned, it is from the thought that all these girls, with the angelic beauty, are fasting for the one who is good at heart, wealthy, and settled. And who else that one would be, other than one himself. This thought runs through every masculine heart during the Shivarathri season (I mean, bachelors' hearts), giving a very special glow on their faces.
They also participate in the 'Vrat' or fasting for the arrival of a good woman in their lives, not knowing the fact that he himself is the only one 'good', according to the picture in their expectations. In other words, these rituals instill an expectation in the minds of the people who are going to get married, of possibilities, which are not going to be fulfilled. In fact, this possibility exists even if one do not observe these rituals.Getting a good man or woman is only a matter of chance.
This problem-- if it is a problem-- of getting a good husband or a good wife, will only be resolved, if one understands the importance of acceptance. No individual will appear complete for us except ourselves. The only good human being living in this world is one him/herself. This is the wisdom of the new millennium. The olden periods had difficulty in accepting this fact. But they too, [even in the case of Jesus] crowned an individual good only after his or her death.
Since oneself is the greatest human being, it's one's duty to treat other individuals—full of flaws and mistakes-- with tolerance. Kindness, thus is a privilege.
It seems to be an interesting coincidence that Valentine's Day(14-2-10) follows Shivarathri (12-2-2010), this year. Both these days share love, kindness and humanity. But one thing is hopeless about these days—some people are badly in need of these "special" days to express their love to their beloved ones! Or is it my problem having difficulty in comprehending the significance of the rest 363 days!
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