Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Celebrating the Elephant God


What a beautiful celebration it turned out to be. I was wondering how to celebrate Vinayakar Chaturthi by myself away from home. Today is His birthday and I wanted to make it special for Him in a small way within my means. It turned out better than I expected; rather it was such an unexpected moment that came together on its own, as though this is how it was meant to be. 


I was chatting with Devi about recipes and she was telling me that her stress levels were getting the better of her. She has finally got back to kitchen experiments in full swing and shared a few recipes with me as well. That gave me the impetus I needed to go down to 69th street and pick up the ingredients for parupu vadai. I was initially planning to make rice pudding or pal payasam, but realised I was out of rice, instead I opted for the Moong dal payasam which I remembered my mom had told me, was easy to make. 

It was a rainy day and we gave up our usual 45 minute walk around Media town. Instead it gave me time to prepare the lentil batter for the next day morning. I also prepared the payasam ingredients so that it can be offered fresh to Ganesh on his birthday. I woke up at 6.15 am and got to work. I fried the vadas and prepared the payasam with coconut milk. I decided to set the Ganesh images on the dining table where there was enough space to light the candle, incense, offer flowers and the vada-payasam. Austin kept following me around in the hope of gobbling one vada that I may drop on the floor. Tough luck for the poor chap. He had to wait until I had showered and offered my prayers. He is my in-house walking-talking Ganesha. 

I noticed the two bananas on the table, so that made up the fruits. For the flowers, I checked the backyard, but the rains had wilted the blooms. Suddenly I remembered the yellow and orange blossoms Ted and I had picked up at the Chinese Produce Market. The blooms were fresh and looked gorgeous. I was able to offer flowers as well. The best surprise was finding incense in the house. I was completely taken by surprise. Everything tied up so beautifully.

I listened to Vinayagar Agavel by MS Subalakshmi on youtube. The flowers, fruits, incense, vada-payasam and the candle - I was incredibly happy to be celebrating the special occasion with Ted and Austin. I offered my prayers and left for work  feeling blissfully content.

I caught up with friends online and we of course exchanged Ganesh Chaturti greetings. I couldn't but stop gushing about my crispy crunchy lentil fritters and also packed a few pieces for work.

I also managed to go to the Gurudwara on 69th Street and prayed there for sometime. After having some delicious prasad made in ghee, I was back on the train headed for work.

Is this what one means when they say that God works in mysterious ways?

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