Much confusion about the actual date – we thought it was on Monday but navmi finishes sooner than we thought, apparently. So the pooje happened today, kosambri and paanka follow tomorrow.
Ramnavmi is a bit of fuss in our colony. Money is collected, an elaborate pooja is done, and the idols are taken on a procession, preceded by the vaalga ie, the nadaswaram and the mridangam. The chariot is not fancy, just a utilitarian bandi with a canopy. Evening, a classical concert and dance by young students on a side road under a shamiana.
This morning the procession came around as usual. As mum waited with offerings of grain, I surprised myself by feeling all warm and nice. The little procession was a few houses away and the musicians particularly good. At every gate, people stood thalis in hand, waiting for the idols to be brought nearer. Aunties, with signs of having just finished their own poojas, standing with their daughters, daughters-in-law; the men a little more discreetly in the background. A raddiwala cycled past, curiosity writ in every line. He stopped, stayed a minute with head bowed and went his way.
I don’t know what exactly it was that moved me. Being part of a community, or being involved in the culture of it all… the flowers, the music and the faith? All of it, I suspect.