9.17.2007

Ganesha Bandha Steamed Kadabu thinda

This year's happenings were totally unexpected. I did not expect to get a long vacation. My in-laws did not expect to see USA. T did not expect to have enough moolah to show us around a lot. But a lot of it has and is coming true. And who to thank but Lord Ganesha for it. And this year something unexpected happened for him too. A grand puja in the States for Him! In our house, a quiet small place became a bee hive of activity and festivity as he adorned the center stage on Ganesha Habba day on Saturday. We decorated him this time not with the usual Maavele et al but with local leaves and flowers. We also managed to tie a Thorana for him with leaves which could pass as betel leaf in one angle for the kalasha and a shortened version of Maavele in another angle for the Thorana. Apples substituted Coconuts for the kalasha. After all its the significance thats important. Gowri got made from mud and tied in a cloth to form a Mannu Gowri taking us back in time when the painted idols of today were not available in the market and the married women had to make their own Gowri and worship Her. Nice cheerful flowers adorned the whole landscape and He sat radiant amidst all the greenery. Going with the adage "When in Rome, be a Roman" our Ganesha was also made of the finest white wood and he resembled, in colour, to any of the white American folk. A foreign Ganapathi joked our guests and we had quite a few of them. Friends and family came to partake the Prasada and share in our lunch. The lunch itself was a veritable feast and unexpected since we did not have the paraphernalia to make it. But my m-i-l and I managed to get the show on the road (rather on to the dining table) with the limited resources. Having to use one medium sized cooker for everything from making rice to mixing curries and chitranna and ofcourse to also make dough for the kadabu. We also pulled alll available man power (f-i-l and T) to make the Kadabu. As is the tradition in most Kannada homes the Kadabu is not fried but steamed. Its much healthier eaten this way as it has no fat content. But I secretely did crave for my mom's Kayi Kadabu, those scintillating reddish tinged fried sweet kadabu! It was indeed a very joyous occasion with everyone sitting around our living room, joking, talking and some of us even acting like 5 yr olds to impress the 1 yr old toddler we had for company. The calm which pervaded over the whole situation is something which would have been tough to accomplish in Bangalore. There, the festivities tend to become bigger than the God Himself somehow. All in all a fun time with also many prayers going up to the cute God. The morning calm led to a chatty evening and when night finally descended f-i-l, T and me in turns happened to see the Moon (Chandra) which is considered inauspicious on that day. So we all had to read the Shloka which will prevent anything bad from happening to us. And my worried m-i-l went back to her Panchanga and deduced that seeing the american moon might not have the same bad effect as seeing it in India because the direction was different. But the fear did prevail and we did read the Parihara Shloka which strangely has no reference to Chandra or Ganesha but to the incident Lord Krishna had with the Syamantaka Jem as is present in the Ganesha Kathe (Story) that we read on that day. Strange aye?

And this is how he was seated that day :


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