(Suggest a title pls)
My ever-religious family is getting more religious every day. When you return home in vacations, you expect the kids to be at their naughtiest best. Not studying at all, playing a lot, attending all those summer camps and what not. All this is happening, no doubt, but along with it, some other things too.
Every Saturday evening, all the kids of the family (aged 2 to 18, around 20 of them) gather at one place, for 'Sundarkaand' path (from RamCharitMaanas). The Path is followed by Hanumaan Chalisa and some other rituals. Ofcourse, the whole affair has got family approval now, so more than the kids it's their mummas attending it.
Sunday mornings, it's Chinmaya Mission meeting, where again, all children gather at one place (our home), and we have Geeta path, MahishasurMardini MantrPath (which btw, is a beautiful collection of shlokas, written by Shankaracharya) and after that some discussion about life etc. (that doesnt make much sense for kids aged 10 or so, but mom thinks more than that it's important that they learn to live with all kind of ppl, whether they like them or not - and the meeting is a way to teach them this).
There's more to it. every morning when we drive Nanu for his tennis practice, we recite the twelfth chapter of Geeta (which Nanu has learned by heart, I still have to read it). Last to last time I came, I taught the kids the fifteenth chapter, and now they can as well teach me the twelfth one. For one thing, Nanu's got a clear pronounciation of shlokas and a good understanding of the chhandas and matras which I often find lacking even in girls my age.
All in all, there's at least one benefit - every weekend we get to spend 5 hours together, reason enough for all the religions.
In the end, religion, as Nida Fazli saw it-
"Bachcha bola dekhkar, masjid aalishaan
Allah tere ek ko, itna bada makaan?"
"Andar moorat par chadhe, ghee, poori, mishthan
Mandir ke baahar khada, Eeshwar maange daan"
"Ghar se masjid hai bahut door
Chalo yun kar lein
Kisi rote hue bachche ko