Friday, August 14, 2009

The Janmashtami that never was…

I woke up in the morning all upset that I will not be at home in the evening to celebrate Janmashtami. I would be missing the usual puja that I do to ‘my favourite God’. However, I took a quick bath. Along with my usual meal preparation, I started preparing vella-avil (a preparation of poha with jaggery), followed by sabudana payasam. I cleaned the puja area, wiped all the idols and applied chandan and kumkum on the birthday boy-deity.

After brooing the area outside our house, I put rangoli and also made footsteps of the Lord with rice atta, all the way from the stairs upto the puja room. This is my most-liked part of this festival (of course other than the sweet-eating!!). Once satisfied with the rangoli design and the footsteps, I made the thiri for the lamps, oiled them and also stuck 2 agarbaththis on the agarbathi stand. I hurriedly kept all the sweets and savouries for the neivedyam on the dining table before getting ready for work. I also stuck a note near them saying “These 5 dabbas for neividyam” so that Hubs knew what eatables he was supposed to offer to God.

After reaching office, the first thing I did was sending a mail to Hubs summarizing to him all that has been kept ready for the evening puja and also explaining what he needs to do once he reaches home. I mentioned in detail when to light the lamp, when to do namaskaram and when the neividyam. I also asked him to buy fruits and flowers on the way home which he could use for the puja. Only after sending this mail did I calm down, assured that my absence will not affect the birthday celebration of ‘my favourite God’.

It might not even be half hour since the mail was sent, my mother called. She sounded very very apologetic – something not very usual of her. I asked her what happened. She started off saying, “I know you are going to be very upset and angry with me. I blundered…but please don’t shout…” I wondered when was the last time that I shouted at her that she has to say this to me. Did this mean her mistake was totally unpardonable? I couldn’t take the suspense she was creating and tried to hurry her, “What is it, tell me..”
“Janmashtami is not today, it is only tomorrow. I wrongly read the Panchangam and hence told you the wrong date earlier.”

For a couple of seconds I was calm. I even told her not to worry as it wasn’t really that bad a mistake. But no sooner, my mind started re-running all the preparations I had made since morning, giving attention to every minute detail. After this though I couldn’t hold myself and burst into peels of laughter, for the first time not even minding that I was at work. I laughed until my tummy hurt and mummy laughed along with me. In the august month of August, I had just been made an April fool.

I called up Hubs to tell him the birthday of ‘my favourite God’ had been postponed by a day. After 5 minutes of guffawing he only had this to say… “Duffer, duffer!!”

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