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KUMKUMARCHAN (Holy Ritual)
ABHIJEET ARVIND DALVI
"‘Kumkumarchan’ is a story about a mother and her differently abled son. The mother strenuously works in a wooden warehouse on daily wages to feed her family. She works hard in order to provide a good education and better life to her son. A mother who works hard for the welfare of her child, is unable to buy slippers for her own due to poor financial condition. The boy works on a juice cart during school vacations and tries to save every last penny he earns. While working on the juice cart, the boy likes a pair of sandals from a shoe shop. He tries to save the money to buy that pair for himself. Meanwhile, the boy receives a book on the life of Rajmata Jijau and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. That gives him a new perspective on the mother-son relationship. The boy, well aware of his mother’s hardships, sacrifices his dream of buying himself a sandal and purchases slippers for his mother with the money he saved during school holidays.
Kumkumarchan is a Puja ritual, where the Goddess is worshipped by offering the sacred Kumkum on her feet. The differently abled boy in the story recognizes his mother’s love and hardships. He puts aside his own dream of buying a slipper and instead, purchases the slipper for his mother’s bare feet. This is his way of Kumkumarchan.