I am awake when the alarm started unusually early. It was also rare that mylady promptly heeded the iterating calls of her smartphone. Up and about she was, without that mandatory curled up, pillow smooching delay until the sexond call beckoned exactly half hour later. The voice was still laden with sleep; but the wakefullness was smiling bright. She was off to the first offering to the rising Sun God, this day in the early morning, which will be followed by the second offering later the same day, in the evening, to the setting Sun.
I reckon this to be the oldest worship man ever perfomed : to the most primordial face of Being — the Sun. The spirit is “pagan” … from the preparatory, deep felt purity the performers beckoned from within themselves, to the rituals readying the body for one of the most ardent of fasts they kept on several such festive occasions through the year, filling carefully their offering basket with fruits and special cookies, carrying these on head to river bank, or canal or reservoir as might be nearest, and waiting knee deep in the water … for Sun to rise. Along the way, the women, always in a group would sing… Nothing fancy, arty or literary, but melodiously about their very going, specially in praise of their male members who usually carry the heavy offering baskets, and of the Sun… whose face they would especially behold.
It’s a day I vividly remember from my childhood days when we brothers will lead the way, ahead or surrounded by the group of females singing melodiously right through until we reached the thronging location, by the lockgate on a canal that meandered from River Sone, a tributary of River Ganga, on to Gana itself.
It’s past seven… The worship would be shortly over and the lot would be back. They who’ve kept fast (nobody who hasn’t is a worshiper proper) would rest. Many would resume at the daily household chores, devoted and praying, and humming melodiously. Groups will again converge about ten hours later, for evening repeat, accompanied with much joy and blowing of conch shells.
The fast however would be broken in the morning next.