The Pooja day

Rama had organized a Satyanarayan Pooja on Sunday, my birthday. It was also to celebrate our finishing the first year in our new home. We had finished shopping at Produce Junction getting a whole lot of vegetables and flowers on Friday. The prices there are great and quality is usually fine. Indian grocery shopping was finished Saturday morning in preparation for a evening snow storm. Rama finished off the sweets (a burfi and basin laddus) Saturday evening after coming back from work. Sunday was an early start for her and the cooking marathon hadn’t completed by the time Shastri-ji came at 10:30. I had a bout of bad cough Saturday night; I managed to get by with Vick’s sore throat spray and Alka Seltzer. I was afraid of passing it to Vikas and/or Rama. Vikas himself had a cold.

The Pooja went very well. We had invited five friends and their families along with Harish, Poornima, Kee and Siri. My new HG-10 came in handy sitting on a tripod. I had tried it on Saturday and found it to my satisfaction especially in bright light. Inside, with the lights on, it is I would say fair – with a bit grainy picture.

The pooja ended around 12:30. The ladies helped out with the remainder of the preparation and lunch was served around 1PM. The children all had a great time. It was great to see them together. Ashwini was bright and cheerful – a warm satisfaction after all she had been through. Nagendra and Latha were in early; so was Maruthi and Pushpa. Vikas had a good time with Kee and Praveen. Ashwini had Medha and Siri’s company for most of the occasion excepting the last when the boyz took over the family room with some Wii time.

The food was great with Rava idli, majge huli, bisi bele bath, anna, saaru, beans palya, eggplant palya, happala, kosumbari – two kinds with carrot and cucumber. Pushpa had made obbattu, which was great. On top were the two sweets. The prasadam was to every one’s liking.

Harish had to leave as he was flying to London on a business trip. It was fun to watch Siri not just letting go of him – hugs and more hugs! She later pretended I was ‘Daddy’ in her own inimitable affectionate way.

Gopal and Padma couldn’t make it in the morning as they had a planned birthday celebration in NJ. They came in the evening though for dinner. Shastriji’s family also visited us in the evening for dinner. Their two children are pretty naughty and I and Mohan had to keep them engaged so that the boy wouldn’t run amok.

I got a birthday gift from Manu and Suma – a nice shirt and a golf sweater! Vikas and Rama has presented me (his pick) ‘Excite Truck’ – a Wii racing game. This I had ordered myself, so I knew that in advance. Lots of electronic goodies and clothing – I felt like a young boy again!

At the end of the day, it was the same great feeling we always have had after conducting a pooja – lots of friends, festive atmosphere and a sense of doing good! To cap if off, Vikas, Kee and Praveen each read a katha chapter.

Ash

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