Pooja, my friends.
Like when you are out shopping for gifts for your first trip back to the U.S.A and you buy several small clay Ganesh statues and then, upon arriving home, promptly drop the bag on the floor and find that you have broken almost_everyone_one. (Yes, almost...except for the one that your daughter has chosen as a gift for the driver...) Raju picked his Ganesha up, kissed it and said with a grin, "that is because I love the Ganesh, madame!" He kindly waited 2 days before letting me know that it wasn't really *proper*, nor particularly wise, to drop and break him...
Ganesh, being, among other things, the Hindu deity that blesses journeys...beginnings and endings. Ganesha is probably the most popular Hindu god and he is our family's personal favorite, as well.
And then, when you find yourself without a renewed visa ...only days before you are supposed to depart. And you are waiting. And Time Is Not On Your Side... A person might, if they were inclined, start to fret. or Holler. or something that forces others to see your less than admirable qualities.
Yep, given the circumstances and all that broken clay... and the fact that I am quite willing to take God where ever she might meet me:
Pooja Time... Raju thought it was an excellent and very necessary plan and was pleased that I had read his mind: He brought the bananas, coconut and jasmine flowers and we set off for the local Ganesha temple. Pointedly, prior to our Brunch reservation, because, as Raju, pointed out, "Madame, you will be drinking the champagne again?" (ummm...yes...?) "There can be no good pooja after drinking the liquors, madame." (okay... clearly he watches out for us...and is often wise about all kinds of things that I am not.)
We entered the temple, each ringing the bell. Raju conversed with the temple priest about us
and we were asked our names. Offerings were made, Coconut smashed, Incense lit, Prayers were said, and then the car had it's turn. "God Bless You" to each of us from the priest, a mark upon our foreheads and Prasad given (blessed bananas and coconut...which we ate). Limes placed under the car wheels... Jasmine hung in the window. Jasmine around Owen's neck.
And we did feel blessed. And calmer. Even the car honked more peacefully.
God Bless All of You, Too...
Om Tat Sat.
Calmly Awaiting Our Visas...and Packing like mad,