Posted by: akilamoni | October 27, 2008


So it is Diwali and lots of serious pollution!

My folks are here to celebrate my first Diwali(who cares if the husband is not around, lets celebrate!!)

So last few days have been filled with just non stop chatter about the sweets and goodies.

Got to eat some yummy pasta with wine on friday and some serious shopping on saturday morning before a visit to the railway station to pick up folks(Okie I am scared of trains and will do anything to stay away from them).

Saturday evening followed with some bad moods and a little bit of crying but sunday morning was hilarious.

Pip’s mom(what should I call her? Ageless? Ya, she is that personified and this will also give her already popular blog some more visits), Ageless had given a Thanksgiving Abhishekam in a nearby temple (for the wedding, for the awesome Daughter in law, and ya some scholarship that Pip has landed, thanks to my luck;))

So everyone was slated to get up early on sunday morning. My mother like my brother, keeps reminding everyone in the house about getting up early right from the previous night.So much so, you dont want to sleep any more! Only difference, my bro gets up the last while my mum wakes up at 2:30AM.We were to be at the temple at 8 AM and watch the whole abhishekam till 9 AM. We were there promptly at 7:55 AM only to be told by the Priest, “O! I have finished the Abhishekam, please go to the Navagraha Mandapam to see at least that abhishekam”

We ran lest we missed it. The navagrahas were already through with their bathing rituals and were even dressed!!

So we went back into the main temple and sat while the priest decided to go about his daily chores. He started dressing the idol. Ageless was convinced that he was Hi-Fiing Lord Ganesha. Ya, he gave him two jabs in his hand to fit some flowers. In between this, he also summoned his sub ordinates and gave some Ganesha Clothes Laundry, agreed to come for a trustee’s daughter’s wedding, did Jai Ram Jhi Ki to a couple of women, hurled some orders to his junior and ya also did some Alankaram for the God.

Then much to the horror of my mother, he proceeded to take a broom and started cleaning the flowers and dust which had gathered in front of the idol. He was redeemed only when he sprinkled some water on his hands thereafter. He continued his chores at an excruciatingly slow pace. Finally it was time for the deeparadhanai and he called us for receiving the prasadam. “Come here Samsaram(wife) of Pip” said he. OOh! Samsaram, naan oru minsaram(Wife am a bolt of electricity- name of a very bad Visu movie). He asked me my name and when I said Ananthalakshmi, he was might impressed. He was of the opinion that people dont keep names of God for their children anymore.

“If you have names like inki jinki panni how will you get a boy child?? You should name kids after Gods, so that you get punyam”

He told us that if someone has a boy baby, they should name them Sathyanarayana and he proudly proclaimed that his son’s name was Diwakara!(I wanted to tell him, I have a friend of the same name, sadly the world calls him Ganja- a college nick name that refuses to go away)

Finally some nice prasadam and prayers done, we proceeded to leave. He pointed to his Maruti Omni van and said, ” I used to be part of the Sringeri Mutt, but gave it up because I got into full stream Vaideham” .He was officiating all Poojas for people in that area and was much sought after!

Why all this? While we sat down later and talked about this extremely different abhishekam experience, Lalsan(Ageless’s sis) noted that the trend towards visiting temples had increased and every second Ganapati was called VaraSiddhi Ganapati(One who grants you your wishes) and while a guest noted that it was in fact the reverse in the rural areas. He told us about various temples, in the interiors of TN which are rotting away without anyone to care. They dont have enough Iyer priests because the Iyers earn more through more commercial vaideham(Poojas, marriages etc) or they want to go to the town and be a temple priest. He went to estimate that the city priests earn anywhere between 35,000-40,000 pm by just being at the temple. The better ones leave for Pittsburgh!

The “non-brahmin” priests dont want to touch the idol because they fear that the Gos is too powerful and will harm them!

Strange, the concrete temples are attracting more crowds than the steeped-in-heritage-built-in-stone temples. Suddnely I couldnt help hate the urbanizations and the creeping urban jungle.

Okie back to the insensitive real self who doesnt care too much!

Well, in the evening we went to a new and upcoming real estate property. On our way back, Ageless wanted to show my parents”the good roads of Bangalore”. We were in Kanakpura Road and took the NICE road(she was told by the real estate manager that only the last 400 m was bad, but it was manageable). Man was the road good!

She shifted to fifth gear and we cruised enjoying the drive.

Scrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeechhhhhhhhh. The road ended abruptly after about 7-10 mins of drive.

The last 400 kms connecting to Bannerghatta road was non existent!

Hats off to Ageless, she managed to drive us to safety!! Landed home tired and hungry(Bangalore makes you feel hungry very often). After some Diwali sweets and snacks(Somasi, Almond Ksheera, Mixture and loads of calories) we decided to unleash the crackers.

What an Anti Climax. Someone had sold some not so good stuff to Prof(Pip’s dad). Ageless and my mum tried to light some diyas which kept blowing off thanks to the wind, much to Ageless’s chagrin)

BalaMuniyamma- the in house glutton (aka Pip’s dog) thought the Chakram on the ground was actually something to fight with(She is a mongrel and boy does she love to fight). I was of the opinion that she thought it was some bright shiny sweet to eat!Kaiser our next door neighbour( A German Shepherd) was scared to his wits. Felt bad seeing a leonine Kaiser shiver for some silly patasu.

Diwali dawned and I woke up late- Ye!!!

Landed at Pip’s house for lunch and devoured my mum’s,Ageless’s,LalSan’s cooking

Vaangi Baath, Rasam, Curd rice, Avial, Olan, Kovakkai, Payasam(JackFruit) etc etc…. Full on Kumbakonam and Kerala Clash!! I was a happy me. A call from work telling me to take the day off was icing on the cake!!!!!!

Evening, Ageless and Lalsan came home to officially gift me my Diwali Gift- a nice shiny microwave!(I can see my reflection on the cover as I type this). We did some microwave warming and had glasses of milk(like house warming-get it?)My parents gave me some money(to spend on myself and Pip, Bruhahhahaha. Think they keep forgetting Pip is not around)

Some old tales exchanged, a much tired Ageless and Lalsan bid us adieu!

Took my mum out and showed her some serious Diwali lighting which my Enclave had put up.( A notice from the Association which runs my enclave read-” Please dont burst crackers within the premises and avoid bursting them on the road too. We shall try to put up some serial lighting”. I live in a draconian but lovely place which has only Sify and BSNL for broadband and Tata Sky is strictly not allowed)

When we stepped out we found the air thick with sulphur. Long live the Indian rebel spirit.

Got some sms-es and strangely and much to my happiness each one was personalized wishing me for my first Diwali after marriage. Awwwww. Me Khush Hua. There is Chandramukhi on SunTV and dosas from Mum! Couldnt have got better!

A Happy Diwali to all of you(Wonder if anyone reads my blog anymore)….

And ya, the travel and sci fi writing classes have been postponed till Nov 2nd week. Until then am forcing myself to read some sci fi so that as Arul says, “I can have an equal conversation”



  1. Happy Diwali..glad you put up that photo with all that food. Smells awesome…Sigh!!!

  2. oh ya it totally was…it is to make the husband character J!

  3. Happy Diwali Akila!!

  4. Thanks Kichu!!! happy diwali to u too!

  5. whats this thing with diya and diwali…i know its a festival of lights and all blah blah… but dont remeber seeing colony lit up with diyas..:-)…

    folks back in cbe?

  6. Oh ya what a day it was and I intend to have a long chat with that priest one day and tell him that he is NOT the boss and Pillayar is the boss in the temple.
    Oh yes, I shiver every time I think of driving on that non-existent road. Actually I was in such a state of shock that I don’t remember what happened and how we managed to get home.

  7. Okkay so you are our blog bahu . Keep up the tradition with that effortlessly witty writing šŸ™‚

  8. haha the road you call NICE is the most litigated piece of rot in the history of India šŸ˜€ and of course while i was in Blore i joined the gang which fought it… they also ransacked our office twice… tried threatening us to withdraw our cases and beat up my boss on the that same street… dont you love development?
    Hey congrats on your first diwali in a new place you’d still call home šŸ™‚ love

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