Certain events that happened recently have caught me in a difficult position. Dying traditions across generations within a single family, perhaps. The death is chosen changing priorities and also the environment in which the generation is brought up.
We had a house warming ceremony and as usual I and my dad were chanting the Sanskrit slokas which I had learnt. This induction to slokas is a normal part of a tam-bram upbringing and so I learnt it along with rudram, chamakam and Vishnu sahasranamam (a thousand names of Lord Vishnu) as well. For the uninitiated they are slokas and pretty long ones at that.
So everyone, by implication my relatives and our generation, watches us dumbfounded along with the sastrigal, who conduct the ceremony, wondering -
1. How come they know all this ? ( how come we missed it ? )
2. How come they know all this ? ( this time the sastrigal, wondering about a professional threat or a sense of relief that there are people who know these slokas )
So I wonder who chose not to learn? I have learnt some Sanskrit and it feels wonderful reciting them with the intonations and all. To quote a specific example - imagine about 50 people reciting slokas together in a crescendo and wonder the kind of environment it creates, quite akin to a concert of Oasis or Pt. Birju Maharaj. Within my family tree, generations have side-stepped these things. Well is it a question of interests or relevance or priorities or sometimes just the vicariousness of the experience? I am gloomy at what I see.