Our Pooja Adventures: Day Four!

Worshipping the vehicles

Running away from the firecracker

Today we listened to the kids (Rahoul and Kanya) and Patti on the radio. I had to run back to the school to get my radio and somehow managed to lose my key in the short distance back to the coconut farm…it’s still not been found despite everyone in that village out looking for it. Some of the radio show was in English, some in Tamil and some in the children’s tribal languages. Everyone was wonderful and we were so proud! In between the small snippets of talking there was looooads of music and that’s when we were busy making our breakfast. Back to Indian food that morning, we were taught how to make dosa. Dosa is similar to a pancake but only semi cooked and with rice (Apparantly, although I’ve no idea how rice is in there at all) But Ma’am showed us how to do it the unhealthy way, with butter melted over it, and it was AMAZING.

After breakfast we chilled out a bit more in the coconut farm, packed up our extensive luggage and waited for the van…to take us the 5 minutes back to the school again. That day I did an INSANE amount of laundry. I had a massive overflowing bag full of it and would not have got through another day without washing. Now, washing in India is not an easy task. It involves numerous complicated and exerting stages. Firstly, we soak all our clothes in soapy water, then bring them up onto this bumpy stone block to scrub soap into all the grimy bits. We rub this up and down for about 5 minutes, swirl the clothes about in the air and smack them off the stone block until they’re ‘clean’ enough to rinse out. I’m not going to lie, after eating curry with your fingers there’s a lot of stains on your clothes. A recent purchase of stain remover and 2 and a half hours later, my clothes are finally as clean as they’re going to get!

This evening, after planning lessons, dawdling about the place and washing clothes, we were called for the ultimate pooja celebrations!! These were so exciting! The men who drive the van and bus and car had decorated them all so nicely and were displaying all the sacrifices or gifts for the Gods in front of the vehicles. Then they carried a lit coconut around everyone to bless themselves with the smoke and then out of no where threw it viciously down and smashed it on a sharp stone. Also, they set off firecrackers, not the same as fireworks, and I thought somebody was going to go up in flames! We all were made to eat the gifts to the gods, now they’ve been celebrated they’re exceptionally holy so we all need to eat it up. We were given fruit, strange puffed up rice which was similar to a salty version of rice crispies, sugar cane and then a few gross gooey things which I politely declined!