Monday, March 05, 2007

His first grain of rice


The three of us at Joy's Annaprashan


In Bengal it is a tradition to feed a baby his/her first grain of rice... after 6 months... its like an initiation into solid foods....
There is however a weird.... rule... for boys they are fed rice between 5-6 months and girls are fed rice at around 7 months..... god knows why....?????? I have been curious... do the food pipes differ for girls and boys.... anyways... it doesn't matter....most babies I know are on cerelac or some kind of semi solid food by 4 months anyways.. and the rice-ceremony is just a custom and is quite cute.....I have come to the conclusion that in India .....irrespective of religion .... we just need an occassion to celebrate.... be it a birth, naming ceremony, rice ceremony, upnayan, wedding,anniversary etc......not to count birthdays,festivals,rains,summer, winter,spring and autumn......
Anyways.... Joy's Rice ceremony..... it is called Annaprasan or Mukhebhat in Bangla... meaning "entry of grain" and "rice in mouth"resp.
Traditionally this ceremony is carried out in the child's paternal home where the maternal uncle is invited to feed the child his/her first grain of rice. In our case, The Husbands home is in Kolkata...so we had the ceremony there....
Joy being the first child in his generation( there is one a lil older than him.. but abroad...hence he is the eldest).....was given special treatment....
When The husband and I realised the scale at which the ceremony had been planned in Kolkata ....we immediately called up my in-laws and asked them if had lost their minds.....only to be curtly told off...." He is our first grandson"......when we persisted.....we were given logic...."he is our first grandson...since we are not Brahmans... we do not have a thread ceremony...which is celebrated in a grand way.....and we have doubts about our being there for his wedding.... so for us ....this is a BIG thing......hence... large and lavish ceremony it will be...." and it was....

There was a coctail and dinner hosted for friends and family at The Royal Calcutta Golf Club....it was beautifully done... round tables with blue ribbons , blue and white balloons..flowers and little rice lights all over...it looked gorgeous.....just like a wedding.






The Husband seeing the blessings of our Ancestors



The husband and I sitting down with Joy for the Puja



The next morning was the actual religious ceremony....it started off with a Puja done to seek the blessings of the ancestors both The husbands and mine....for our little Joy... The husband sat and did the whole puja.. which went on for almost 3 hours...


Joy and I.....watching the Puja


Then a "totto" came from his mamabari "mothers house" ..which looked like what is sent during a wedding...with a "topor".....and dhoti kurta and mojri...etc...silver and gold etc....chocolates and cookies everything....


Joy's Totto......it looked so good...


His mama..my brother...was there to feed him his first grain of rice...in the form of a payesh..rice pudding....


The Husband, Joy and his Mama.....getting ready for the rice ceremony


He's done it....Joy eating his first morsel of rice


The other symbolic part of the ceremony is the picking of an item to indicate the child future... So a silver plate is placed in front of the child... containing 5 elements like Maati...soil for property,shona/taka...gold/money for wealth,kalam ..pen for learning, dharam pustak...the Gita for religious minded and grain for agriculture .. or something of that sorts...

Well any child at the age of 6 months will lunge for anything placed before him/her.... so well so did our Joy... and he picked GOLD... The husband and I were quite relieved... "good for him.. his priorities are right from the beginning... " was the look we exchanged....He will hopefully do better than us... Both of us picked the "Pen" ..hence...our sad state of affairs....




Joy about to pick up something from the tray




He picked it up.... he picked up GOLD.... Smart boy!!


There was also this huge lunch laid out for the close family who attended the ceremony.....


Food laid out for Joy... which his Mama has to finish....



Joy's Great Grandmas......



The happiest of them all : The Husband's Grand parents......



The Husband.... Me and Our SON.......

10 comments:

The Mad Momma said...

love the topor picture.. and damn.. my son picked the pen too... does this mean he is destined not to make money?! :)

Sumitha said...

Such a cute little baby!God bless him!

OrangeJammies said...

okay, by virtue of visiting your and Dipta's blogs, do I get to eat malai chingri maachh? I'm sooooo craving it? :0(

Trishna Chaudhuri said...

MM : on the future of Brat ..we shall not comment .. but shall just wait and watch.... from what i heard last... he was tempted to become a plumber and a mason.... maybe ... thats a good idea... considering ... the demand for these guys... he will definitely be employed and busy all his life..

Sumitha: Thanks...

OJ : Sweetheart .. anyday.. just call ( Ahem!! if in town that is ..!) and arrive..
otherwise.. drive over to Oh!Calcutta in Tardeo..and bill it to the husband...

Housewife Blues said...

Hey Tina! Thanks for visiting my blog. I have been reading your posts from quite some time. Baby Joy is such a doll :-) I wish I could meet him real soon. I can see you have chosen your future daughter in-law already ;-) good choice! I missed out though, sob sob of making Joy my future son in-law. But then I am first in line when it come's to your second :-)

Moumita said...

Hi..I got to read this when I gave a search in google with mukhebhat.I am panning for my son's mukhehat next month. nice to meet Joy..real cute he is especially with the topor.It wa squite well written :-)

Anamika said...

I am waiting for my baby and u know wht I have started dreaming abt the ceremonies :)
u have such a cute baby and tht topor pic was soooo cute :)
Gob bless him..

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the whole description, My husband and I are invited to a mukhebhat ceremony next month, should we bring a gift or give money! In this case would you say: congratulations or give a card?
I would appreciate any help,
Tx
BTW

Maulin said...

Well, my mom told me that I had grabbed both the gold AND the pen - so I guess my dream of becoming a surgeon is taking shape!!!

priyanka basu said...

Say Hi to JOY..
He might be a big man by this time. :)
I am planning my DODO's Annaprashan on Sep 2015. Viewed your blog its truly very informative. I really don't know many things about this ritual. Got some sort of ideas from my in-low but clear picture came out after reading your blog.
Thanks a lot...