18 December 2013

India Love . . . 3, 2, 1: Blessings.

Today I spent the day with my friend Shikha. Shikha teaches with me at Stamford in Singapore. She is here in Delhi making preparations for her son's wedding in April. She picked me up at 11am at Sanskriti. She has a driver for the week who took us to a market at Hauz Khas where I ended up buying two meters of green fabric and a meter of this gorgeous green and gold trim that had little red threads going through it. I sort of know how I am going to use the fabric and trim, but it's going to be a surprise. So you'll just have to wait . . . Here's a hint: it will be completed in Singapore. After our market run we ate at Haldiram's, where one can also buy a large quantity of fabulous Indian sweets. I had to-had to-had to buy a box of Soan Papdi. Oh my goodness . . . I inhaled it the first time I tried it during Deepavali. (Thankfully I'm giving it as a gift when I get back to Singapore, or the box would have been devoured in seconds.) Following lunch we went to Shikha's apartment for the bridal blessing. While we waited for everyone to show up, she told me all sorts of stories about ceremonies that I found absolutely enchanting. Once everyone--including the priest--arrived, the ceremony began. All of the family sat on the floor in a circle around a copper bucket. The priest started a fire in the bucket and the family fed the fire as the blessing continued. It was almost exactly the same as the ceremony that was given to me in Bali. I really love ceremonial rituals like the ones found in Hinduism. Everything is so new to me and exciting to learn about. Plus, it's really good research for the work I am doing in graduate school. At least for the work I want to be doing. I think about celebrations and rituals all the time . . . The colors, the imagery, the meaning behind the cause. It's all so fascinating! India is perfect for all of this! Okay: tomorrow is a new day! Rest well.

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