Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ganapati Bappa!

It's Ganesh 'chanda' time again and I have just now not managed to shoo away the third set of donation seekers for the morning. We can't remember all the faces and have no way of knowing if we've paid this party before - but Rs 20 per group is not too large a sum for the entertainment they provide, so we're grinning and bearing it.

One bright, hopeful fellow yesterday prompted my father to return to his wallet and fork out more. I was about to fortify Pater's defence before I heard the rest of it: "21 rupees iyyali, uncul!" Chastened, my dad went back to the coin dabba and gave them a rupee more. Then, the group insisted that he should have a receipt. Father was embarrassed to receive a receipt for such a small amount but our donees were determined to be very proper.

My turn today to pay one lot. I wasn't sure if this was a repeat and squinted at the previous receipt for some hint of name or precise location of this pandal. It yielded no such information. A nice colour paper. The inevitable icon of Ganesha to one corner, 'Sri Ganesh Utsava Samithi' in Telugu and also, 'Chanda raseedu'. Signed 'Teesukunna vaari santakamu'. All very discreet.

Anyway, I gave them the usual quota, this time armed with the necessary coin. They waved the receipt book questioningly. I nodded. They spelt the name and amount out laboriously, didn't bother to sign at all under 'Teesukunna vaari santakamu' and tore it off with a flourish.

"Ee receipt books ekkada doruktayi?" I asked. The faces brimmed with satisfaction. "Marwari kottula doruktayi. 12 rupees."