Monday, July 6, 2009

Krishna and Ganesh

Every morning and evening Ashok prays to Ganesh (God of prosperity and success), at the little temple that his dad, Arum Sawand, set up in a corner of their kitchen. Arum also decorated it with flowers, and he changes them every Tuesday and Thursday. Still in the kitchen, Arum has a picture of his late parents on which he put a bit of yellow powder on their foreheads between the eyebrows.

Ashok, facing the temple, bend on his knees on a little rug. He pours a spoon of oil on the flame which is in a piece of cotton dipped in oil. He then lights a incense stick with the flame (Dia=light). He then prays silently with his two hands joined against his torso. He does the Sashtng Namaskar: putting his two hands on the floor before him, he stretches his body as to do push ups, touches his forehead on the floor in direction of the temple.

Lunch with Rahul's family, they're Gujaratis. The 14 of them occupy a 2 rooms appartment near Cotton Greens station, plus another little bedroom for Rahul. We were 9 at the time of eating, with the men on one side and women and kids on the other, but next to each other, sitting on the floor. We help ourselves to se dishes placed in the middle. Good ambiance, very friendly. Rahul's uncle, an architecte who's worked in Dubai for three years, chats me up. The chappatis are delicious.
Rahul is 19 years old, he has a Rock/Metal band and hides from his parents to smoke cigarets. His family are all Krishna followers and I witnessed his mom whispering the mantras to herself a couple of times during lunch.

The Sawand's appartement is of a very decent size for Mumbai, situated in a nice area of town. Ashok's parents share it with him and his wife, each couple having its own room.
At dinner time, the three men, including me, are being served by the two women. In our plates, served on silver trays, are little portions of tasty looking food. Arum is very joyful and he jokes around while we eat. He even sang something from a Dilip Kumar movie for me. The women will eat after us, helping themselves from the dishes.

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