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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

How Kantara helped a Kerala youth connect with his rich Hindu heritage

I’d like to share today why I personally loved #Kantara, though I thought it could have been slightly shorter. My mom has a small piece of land in Kerala and it has a divine stone structure of the Guligan there. 4-5 generations ago mom’s ancestors consecrated it there.

Mom says she heard from her granny that when she was a kid, the stone was found on a tree, it has been there ever since. As a kid, I have seen a lamp being lit there every day. My uncle lives in our ancestral house and he has been taking care of the Guligan.

He has never had to buy the oil being used to light the lamp. There’s always a stock of oil in our ancestral house that people have offered to the Guligan for the lamp. I remember the first time I was made to light the lamp, it felt like an event in itself. My mom, uncle & other relatives were watching in anticipation, while I was hoping I don’t mess up. Even today every house in the vicinity lights the “valaku” (lamp) in the evening only after the diya is lit to the Guligan.

I don’t even need to get into the logic of all that is said about the divine structure. My mom’s, my dad’s and so many other families connect to it as a community and that for me is enough to be awestruck. Even personal enmities don’t come in the way of respecting or providing access to the Guligan. Even a person my mom dislikes to the core would be allowed to pay their respect to the Guligan.

The land on which the Guligan is abode may be worth millions, my mom may own it, but I know none of us would ever think of selling it. And I am not even a theist tbh. The sacred tradition, the belief is a part of my rich culture, my identity and I revere it without questions. The magic of @shetty_rishab was that he made a spectacular movie completely dedicated to a small part of our culture with minimal resources.

#Kantara made me realise that the tradition followed in my mom’s village in Kerala doesn’t connect me just to the community there. It connects me to over a billion of us spread across this great land. It brought millions closer to their culture, thank you @shetty_rishab & team.

(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread posted by @AshwinNair99 on Oct 11, 2022, with minor edits to improve readability and conform to HinduPost style guide)

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