Today is Sunday and most people are off of work. Most businesses are also closed. It has been one week since I have arrived in India and I have already seen and done so many things.
Yesterday I went with Auntie to go visit her brothers and their families. They all live quite far from Tyagarajnagar—about 40 minutes and Rs 150 by auto. Their colony is what I would call suburban. The traffic is light and there is a lot of greenery and parks.
We first went to her brother’s who serves as a priest in the local Hanumantha temple. This is the same temple that Auntie’s father served in. There, I had jackfruit for the first time. Later, I was told by cousin Balu that bears invented the recipe of earing honey and jackfruit together. We were also served lunch of rice prasad and cucumber sabhar. For dessert, I had noodles in reduced sweetened milk. Auntie’s brother, Prasad, was very happy to hear that I knew a couple of mantras. He gave me a couple of cds to listen to when I return. During lunch, Prasadji showed me a video of a festival held at Tirupati. In addition, I was shown many albums of his murthi decorations and creations.
Afterward, we walked a short distance to Auntie’s eldest brother’s home. He is very well off and has a very large and beautiful home. There are granite floors, a sunroom, a beautiful puja room, and a bathroom for each bedroom. Uncleji also has two floors to his home. There, I spoke with Uncleji for quite some time. We discussed many things about India, the US, and the unique opportunity and experience that I am having here. I was able to look through wedding albums and quite a few photos of the grandson.
About dusk we went to visit the Hanumantha Devasthana. It was a very unique experience.
Tirupati Prasad – Ladoo
Turmeric + Lime = Kumkum
Corruption and Colonialism
Urbanization of India