Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Home Sweet Home :)

It all started before I even met Sri. As I have mentioned before, its one of the biggest coincidences of our lives :). He had booked an apartment before he met me and after he did meet me, it turned out that the apartment he had booked, was almost right behind my parents' place, not even a Km away!! We actually got teased a lot on this. My parents were happy about it, as they thought they can see their daughter regularly after marriage (I thought I could wave out from my balcony to mom as the apartment was visible from her kitchen).

But fate had different plans in 2 ways. One was obviously us moving to US and the second was that several other apartments arose in a matter of months between my parents' house and our apartment. The second one pales in comparison to the first, doesn't it? ;-(. Some things cannot be helped..

The apartment building got completed slowly, somewhat behind schedule because of court cases (as usual if there is land, there are always people who claim it as theirs :-p). But we still thought the registration would get done soon. Since we were here, dad got the responsibility and he had to dash around for it. But all his efforts were in vain, as the formalities never really did get completed until we actually landed there. So one of the first things was to get the registration done (the other was the visa in Delhi). Well, that completed, all that was left to do was the Gruhapravesha or the house warming ceremony. This is how the buiding looks from outside (the reason for the shabbiness of the photo is because it is taken from the plan, and not the real photo. There is no way to take a proper photo from outside because of the surrounding buildings):

The gruhapravesha was planned way before we landed in India. Hence most of the formalities of engaging a Poojari, adige bhattaru (cook) and the chairs/tables etc was taken care of by, who else :-p, my mom and dad. But to our credit, we did take care of the last minute cleaning of the house, getting some lights/fans for the house ('cause it was very hot) and making the final arrangements before the pooja.

10th May 2006:

The first of the poojas started on 10th May evening. It absolutely coincided with the electricity going poof and the start of the first few drops of rain. The pooja was no problem but the cook did have some problems as the rain kind of fell on the place they had the pendal put, despite the fact that it was in basement. Moreover there were no lights in the basement. Thanks to dad and Puttanna kakka (my chikkappa), some of the problems did get solved.

Meanwhile the pooja went on in the first floor which is where we had our house. We didn't have electric lights, but we could manage with the deepas lit for the pooja. So we started off with the sankalpa for the Rakshogna Homa which is done first to ward off evil powers when a shubha kaarya is going on :). The main Pujari was Adigaru who also was the one who conducted our marriage :). There were also about 4-5 colleagues (hehehe) of his who were helping out.

As the poojaris started off the homa, we sat for another pooja called the Vaastu pooja. Vaastu Pooja consists of worship of the Vaastu Devata, the deities directions East, West, North, South, North-East, South-East, North-West & South-West and 49 other deities residing in Vaastu, which bring Health, Wealth, Peace, Prosperity & Happiness.

The rangoli that the one of the poojaris drew is so pretty, isn't it? Pity it lasted only for 2 days..

After the Vaastu pooja, we continued on with the Rakshogna Homa, the holy smoke of which is supposed to spread throughout the home and get rid of anything thats evil. Pollution you say? Well it is. But it is also peace of the mind in another way :).

Smokkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkking eh? ;-). The pooja went on pretty long after which everyone of us had our dinner and retired for the day :).

11th May 2006:

Early morning next day was the actual gruhapravesha :). I wore a saree that my MIL gave me and was ready by about 7 AM!! The gruhapravesha consists of a pooja in front of the main door and later, kicking a tumbler full of rice with the right leg before entering the house (well, not as exciting as it sounds, a tumbler is not a football, nor are you supposed to kick it like one :-p). The fun part is that the lady of the house (thats me, me, me :-D) gets to enter the house first ;-) :-D.

After the gruhapravesha, next we had the haalu-ukso programme. The milk boiling and flowing over ceremony indicates the invitation and arrival of Goddess Lakshmi into the house :).

Meanwhile, there were problems again for the cook as there was no electricity. Dad, mom and Puttanna kakka had to run around to get many things done. People who actually should have been treated royally as VIP guests, ended up getting all the work done. But again, as I repeatedly have been saying, some things cannot be helped and thanks to them, some of the problems did get solved. Well, whats a ride without a few bumps eh? ;-).

To go ahead with the poojas, next came the Gana Homa. My favourite God is Lord Ganesha and it was my wish that this pooja be done. After the gruhapravesha, I changed into a saree given by mom (again a ritual) and sat for the Gana homa.

Next in the pipeline (:-D) was the Sathyanarayana pooja. There is always a feel-good factor associated with this pooja :) and we were glad when everything went off well and got completed on time.

Thats when everyone brought out the goodies ;-). We got pretty gifts from friends and relatives. After a fabulous lunch, everyone headed to their homes. There were a couple of relatives who visited us in the evening, but that was it. I was really happy that a couple of really close friends could make it to the function :). It did rain on the gruhapravesha day too, but it was basically in the evening. But some friends were unable to come in the evening as promised before because of the rain. Par chaltha he :).

And so our house warming ceremony came to an end {sigh}. Hmmmm house warming eh? Does a house really get warmed by just a function, I wonder! Doesn't it require to have human warmth, joys and sorrows to really warm it? We are really lucky, aren't we to have a house there in India while we live far away from it in US? :( :'(.

Whats really ironic is that as soon as we landed here, our lease ended and yup, we shifted to a new house here. With the same UHAUL story as before, we landed in this house, only this time we shifted to an independent house and not an apartment. Also this time, thankfully there was no snow to hinder our move in any way.

Yup, this is our house here in US. I have one room here exclusively as an office and I'm very happy with the house. If I am so happy, then why can't I help but remember the "Home Sweet Home" in India which has become the "Home Away From Home" for us right now? {sigh}....


Soumya retorted...

Great Deeps...Very nice to know everything went well...Photos are wonderful...Full grihini now uh!!Ur hair looks longer than I last saw u...
I guess it is more of a "heart warming" than "house warming"...But yeah, it is great that u have a home there, whenever u want to go back...
Ur new house here looks great...So, it is an independent house with yard and all!!!That's wonderful...

Harish Suryanarayana retorted...

New House ! Congratulations ! Long time :)

direkishore retorted...

Alliruvudu Nammane, Illiruvudu Summane.

Usha retorted...

Congratulations on the new house. Nice record of the grihapravesam and the vaasthu rangoli is amazing. You look very nice in all the photos.

Deeps retorted...

>> Soum >>

Hehehe. No gruhini and all, I previous time I wore a saree was about an year ago :-p :-D. Yeah re, my hair has grown long, I was very afraid to give it in the hands of these American hairdressers, so never got it cut here. But did get it trimmed when I was in India :).

>> Harish >>

Thanks :).

>> Kishore >>

Rightly said :). I think this was also a song right? Baby Shyamilee and Sunil "Allide nammane, illi bande summane" :).

>> Usha >>

Thank you madam :). Yeah each time I see the Vasthu rangoli, I keep thinking its so pretty and it'll go in 2 days. Only snaps are the records of it ever being there...

direkishore retorted...

gottilla if it was in a movie :)
It is a saying by Purandaradasa, though in a spiritual context.

Deeps retorted...

>> Shiv >>

Sorry I got your name wrong the other time..

Yeah in the movie also, the baby has some terminal disease and "alli mane" is supposed to be the heaven :-D.

wise donkey retorted...

Congrats :) phew it must have been tough the arrangements and planning..and days just Fly when you come back home

couldnt see the pics:(