Traditionally Yours

“It is a family tradition”

Radhika looked up, every damn thing here seemed to be tradition, which end you eat the mango from to who dices the melon. It was rather irritating.  But guess that was what traditions are all about, the Deshpande family has been thinking, behaving and doing things this particular way, considering Radhika’s father-in-law was a travelling salesman somehow the Joshi traditions did not enter the zanana of the house, so Advait and Vedant grew up as good Deshpande sons frozen in the 1930’s.

The traditions had become the security, particularly when the mind is secure it is in decay. Coming from another tradition across time and space, Radhika seem to break traditions that were handed down over the papad rolling and pickling mangoes.

“How on earth do I tackle this” she wondered,

“Ring” the mobile rang, “Rads, I’ve had it,” Radhika smiled, somewhere her sister-in-law always seems to deliver the required right break,

“Yeah tell shruthi”

“It’s this army hierarch, I mean what the hell, the officers don’t sit until their wives don’t, the wives don’t sit until the brigadier does not, and the brigadier does not park until his wife does, and she is busy conversing with tunnu-munnu.”

Oh! Traditions again.

When they had been to see the movie Kabhi Kushi kabhi gum all of them had laughed aloud, but then there these small things that popped up. Coming to think of it, over the past 10yrs of marriage, the evening tea together had become a tradition since kids came back from school and Vedant from office that time somehow had set in. probably that was what traditions were all about, at the end of the day tradition is quite a fragile thing, in a culture built entirely on the memories of the elders.

Sometimes Radhika wondered if traditions and habit are just that, comfortable excuses to leave things be, even when they are unjust and unworthy, sometimes but not too often,


Actually conventions are the death of real traditions, as they are of all real life and we tend to use the two synonymously. Conventions are the parasites that attach themselves to the living organisms of tradition and devour all its reality turning it into a hollow formality.

Traditions are alive and kicking, while conventions Aare passive and dead, tradition does not form us automatically, we have to work to understand it, convention is accepted passively as though a routine. That allows convention to easily evade reality. It offers us only pretended ways of slowing the problems of living, a system of gestures and formalities, traditions actually teaches us how to live, take responsibility for our own life, and often oppose the ordinary, but convention which is a mere repetition of familiar routines follows the line of least resistance. One goes through an act without trying to understand the meaning of it all, simply because everyone else does the same. Tradition which is always old, is at the same time ever new as it gets revived—born again with each new generation to be lived and applied in a new and particular way.

Conventions are simply ossification of social customs. The activities of conventional people are just excuses for not acting in a more integrally human way. Tradition nourishes the life of the spirit; convention disguises its interior decay.

The only understanding that Radhika could gel with was tradition is the living faith of the dead while traditionalism is the dead faith of the living, and probably since people were rather caught up on traditionalism, it is traditionalism that gives tradition a bad name.

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