Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How was your Weekend ?

These events happened simultaneously over the last weekend, really

Over the past several months Jimmy has been complaining that he has not lost a tooth. " I will be the only one who never loose a tooth" Then "Hey my tooth is loose!" "Come on Feel it" "WOW" and on and on, of course the tooth was not coming out. It was bound and determine to ruin the little guys life by holding on until much later into adult hood and then pop out causing 1000's of dollars of therapy and dental work. Then like a watched pot or like an unwatched pot of Friday afternoon at 5:10 pm Karnataka Standard Time, "Mom and Dad hurry up I lost my tooth, cool."

"When am I going to loose the next one?"

Later that evening as Raj was preparing dinner for the Target India Executives, which Tracy is now a member, the rain came like there was no tomorrow. We had this dinner planned for weeks and of course the weather choose that day to hail. That is right, here on the Equator where it is 90 degrees all the time it hails on our dinner party. Everyone was in the streets dancing. Lokesh Angela and Wades driver wanted to know if it was true that if you eat hail you will have long life and prosperity, of course. Meanwhile during the rain Florence, Raj's wife, water broke and she was sent to the hospital to have their baby.

We were in a panic ..."come Raj you need to go. " "No problem this is my job and I will do it". So the story went. Raj was fine with making us dinner and staying out of the hospital room that was full of sister's ,Mother in Law, Mothers and a bunch of other women. Not a bad plan.

He created some fabulous dishes from Curd Rice, Green Chicken Prawns in a brown garlic Sauce, fresh Chapatti and Gobi Manchuria all awesome. The rain did abate and the dinner was under the stars and the night was very nice.

Meanwhile Saravana was planning a party of his own. It seems that the Hindu's or maybe Indians in general,have a tradition that about two weeks before the baby is due the Dad to be has a send off party. You read me correctly, he has a party, invites all the family over, feeds them and then sends his expecting wife and the rest of the family away and they do not return for about 5 months. 5 months - no wonder they are so happy when the child is born.

Sunday brought a day of rest as we meet Ajay and Angelica at the Bangalore Club for lunch. We had the extra special privilege to have Ajay's Mom and Dad join us as well as their friend David. David needs honorable mention being that he is from New Zealand and has agreed to assist us in our trip planning for this coming December!! The kids spent most of the day in an old cart that was used to bring the tables and chairs claiming it was their rocket ship and were heard continuously saying " Start the countdown, five, four....." (Photo disclaimer: this was taken by Billy and does not truly capture the essence of Ajay and Angelica:))

Then Lokesh had to have us all over for the holiday Ugadi which is:
"The New year festival or Ugadi comes close on the heels of Holi. While the strong colors of Holi start fading away, the freshness of spring lingers on with sprightliness all around. It is believed that the creator of the Hindu pantheon Lord Brahma started creation on this day - Chaitra suddha padhyami or the Ugadi day. Also the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya's calculations proclaimed the Ugadi day from the sunrise on as the beginning of the new year, new month and new day. Spring is considered the first season of the year hence also heralding a new year and a new beginning. The vibrancy of life and verdent fields, meadows full of colorful blossoms signifies growth, prosperity and well-being.
Predictions of the Year : Ugadi marks the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon's orbit. It is a day when mantras are chanted and predictions made for the new year. Traditionally, the panchangasravanam or listening to the yearly calendar was done at the temples or at the Town square but with the onset of modern technology, one can get to hear the priest-scholar on television sets right in one's living room.
It is noteworthy that we use mango leaves and coconuts (as in a Kalasam, to initiate any pooja) only on auspicious occasions to propitiate gods. People also splash fresh cow dung water on the ground in front of their house and draw colorful floral designs. This is a common sight in every household. People perform the ritualistic worship to God invoking his blessings before they start off with the new year. They pray for their health, wealth and prosperity and success in business too. Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures.

It is said that what you do on Ugadi is a prediction on how your year will be. Our plan was to sit by the pool and relax. It was not to be so....
Our day was little more akin to Apocalypse Now. We arrived in a Banana field where Wade was prominently seated at a table with four Indian fellows waiting on him. Tracy and I sat down and the fellows were all fevered trying to get us comfortable. I mean as comfortable as you can be in a Banana field with the kids running around trying to use the banana tress supports as lances and going on safari arguing whom was Dora and who was Diego.

We had warm beer and red wine served along with some nice chicken briyana and spicy chips. Very Nice. We had to make a stop at some relative or another and were invited to yet another wedding.

We then made it home and had our final Taco night with the Millers and headed home to sleep. Waking on Monday to a call from Saravana that he had to rush Sunita to the hospital and would not be driving today....

On a better note, the bridge they have been working on near our house for the past 1 1/2 years(and the one we need to cross multiple times a day) is OPEN! It seems Ugadi is also an auspicious day to say pooja on new bridges. Coincidence?! I think not....

Welcome to the new year!