It’s raining during the middle of shadi season; let’s hope it saves me from having to attend any.

I helped my mother make dhewri today. They’re laddus made of aata with nuts mixed in and taste like…well…like sweet aata with nuts mixed in. Not my favorite form of mithai but dhewris, it seems, are a necessary part of Gorukhpuri weddings. I don’t really understand why, considering it’s extremely hard trying to eat one; it crumbles into dust at the slightest touch and you can’t get more than a few powdery bits in your mouth at a try, the rest just dissolves into smoke on your sleeve, but I guess that’s the charm of traditions. They’re there because they’re there. No logical reason behind them.

Nobody in my family (other than my mum and an aunt) knows how to make dhewris anymore, but all their elders (well, the women at least) could. It’s funny the stuff we leave behind as we move forward. We shed traditions like snakes shed old skin- they no longer fit so off they go! None of this generation knows how to speak the old gorukhpuri that my eldest taya could. The avats and jaavats and dekh-yuns, and we understand next to nothing of the customs that they insist are part of our heritage. We absorb their stories in wide-eyed disbelief- but I doubt any of us can picture their life in India. I can’t even begin to comprehend how an entire wedding could be pulled off in 5 rupees- regardless what century it was.

It’s sad realizing that at some point in time even these dhewris will be a forgotten bit of my culture, like giving a ‘dhuuni’ to a bride is. Like making lapsi and puuri when it rains is, like the gathering of all the family women for the dupatta- takai is. I remember these from my childhood, they don’t happen anymore. After all, who has the time?

So rationally speaking, as one progresses one must discard the things one no longer has any use for. This includes superstitions, traditions, and clingy people who keep calling you in the middle of a nap to ask you whether you have someone’s address. Technically it’s the right thing to do.

But emotionally speaking, rationality should go hang.

14 Responses to “Dhewri”
  1. Majaz says:

    Sigh. Lurvly post, woman.

  2. YesterdayWazBetter says:

    i am kashmiri and though cant speak but i do understand the language and even though my mom and dad is gradually left some of the traditions behind in Pakistan but i am still hanging on to them and i am quite proud of it….

    i know most of the traditions dont make sense but how else is it gona differenciate us from non kashmiris

    nice blog gal….keep it up

  3. Safiullah says:

    I hate traditions were you just have to do something because the world wants you to and they make no logic at all!!! Yeah I know that is blasphemous on this blog!!! so go ahead, make me a heretic!

    And I don’t know why people have to differentiate themselves from ‘people’. Why can’t we be just ‘people’? Why do we have to be Karachites, Lahoris, Pendos, Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese, Hyderabadis, Beharis, Bengalis, Madarasis… Haaaaaaaaaaah, I am tired of thinking up more.

    Can somebody please answer that.

  4. Hira S. says:

    WHY would i make you a heretic for disagreeing with this post, if i didn’t brand you a male chauvinist pic for saying women can’t drive? this is a bohemian sort of blog. say what you want as long as you don’t offend me

    Maintaining one’s individuality is a good thing; it’s approved of in Islam (Allah made all of us different for a reason)and it keeps people interested in each other. I would prefer living in a colorful world filled with people of different types, rather than ISO 9000 certified androids.

    Thanks lurve 😀

    I’m extremely practical, and only follow those traditions that don’t inconvenience me, but still, there’s something beautiful about having ones own ‘culture’ and ‘cuisine’ and ‘background’. It’s like having a bond with one’s ancestors. 😀
    Anyway, welcome to my blog!

  5. Safiullah says:

    Dude that was quick…. Are you online?

    I would n’t say an ISO 9000 cert for all people, but I would definitely like them to conform to a minimum specification to be called people. Hehe I guess you know what I mean. And be as unique as you want, hell you could be the devil, the hell I care, but at your own home, not where everyone else is. (Not directed to you!)

  6. Anas Imtiaz says:

    Nothing wrong in following traditions esp. when they are related to food!

    For languages, I’d like to see a world with a unified language, if that ever happens.

  7. Absar Shah says:

    Of course there’s seldom a point in traditions, but they make life so much more colorful. I mean, getting bangles on chaand raat isn’t exactly a shariah requirement, but Eid just wouldn’t be the same without it. People should make time for these small things, because these things make up our identity. The only reason we don’t take the time for these things anymore is that we’re no longer proud of being us. And that should change.

  8. Musab says:

    I think there were attempts at a Universal Language (how pretentious does that sound) with Interlingua and Esperanto…
    Anyhoo, now that Gakkhar Plaza here in Pindi’s burnt down and Karachi’s the only source of multimedia nourishment for us Pindiwaals, applications are being accepted for the post of “Buy-Stuff-From-Rainbow-Centre-And-Courier-To-Pindi-And-Receive-Ludicrous-Amounts-Of-Money”-persons. Any takers ?

  9. karachiwali says:

    as far as the traditions are not unislamic, i have nothing against following them and certain traditions are actually a lot of fun. they make us wat we are and give us our unique identity which atleast I wouldnt want to lose.
    lovely post, btw.

  10. Hira S. says:

    My brother’s ideal for the job. He lives at rainbow center and khadda market.

    @ Anas
    You should try gorukhpuri food. It seems my foremothers had this silly belief that the more time and effort it takes to cook something, the better it will taste. No traditional dish takes less than 4 hours to prepare- including samosay. It’s only during cooking I wish I was punjabi- now that’s a culture that appreciates fast food.

    @Absar and khiwali
    It is all about pride, isn’t it?

  11. farooqk says:

    can u like write a summary on this post?! 😛

  12. Hira S. says:

    once you send me the passwords to yours, yeah.

  13. Safiullah says:

    Nobody answered my question!!! Waaaaaaa’an

  14. SAWJ says:

    I want to learn more about my Delhi and Agra origins. The older I get, the more I keep on realizing how wise old customs are.

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