First Pooja

Amma wakes up at 4 to get ready before the poojaris (priests) arrive. They only came around 530 am. I hear movements and dropped utensils, but go back to sleep and wake up a little later. There are two pyres set up with bricks around it in the front room for the pooja this morning. Soon the fire is lit and the house is full of smoke and the prayer chantings start. The smoke is quite dense and gets into all the rooms. It’s quite difficult to breath or even see anything. It reminds me of the residents of Grenfell tower and a glimpse of what they must have felt initially as the fire spread. This doesn’t compare at all to their suffering but even this small amount of smoke is suffocating. Asha is going to Trivandrum again today for a wedding, so she leaves early to get ready at the beautician’s home. When the prayer comes to a close Amma and I are called into the front room to accept the offerings and to give the ‘dakshina’. I say a little prayer for the Grenfell victims.

Even after the fire is put out, it takes a while to get rid of the smell of the smoke which has infiltrated into everything. According to an uncle this smoke is meant to be good for you and the atmosphere. I’m not convinced.

There is nothing much else planned for the day and the rest of the day passes uneventfully. I laze in the front porch, but it gets too warm after a while. A couple of cousins come to visit. Asha returns from her trip and tell us about her day.

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