I was wondering if little children pull the rath still.... But I noticed my Facebook timeline having quite a few pictures of smiling faces with their bedecked little chariots, much to my delight. In this digital chaos , somewhere these simple customs are lost , like a friend lamented this morning. Our parents bought us this crude do-tala rath and we decked it up with ghuri r kagoj and made The Trio sit in the prime position as we pulled the contraption from one room to the other offering the papad, math mishti and batasha......The contraption rested for a week when the ritual was repeated on the ulto-rath day. And then there was also the Rath-er Mela , with it's stalls full of trinkets and baubles and bhepu banshi.
Strangely, we also had a film magazine which was called "Ulto -Rath" and which was out of bounds for us as kids, thus building up on the curiosity quotient. The magazine honestly, wasn't much really, a few stories, gossips and black and white pictures , but generates a whole hoard of memories.
This year Rath happened on the last day of Ramadan. I went all over the town, looking for the best haleem. On days like this, I feel like a child again, remembering what Baba used to say, "Rath o dekhlam , kolao bechlam!"