I’ve just arrived early this morning, coming back from my sick leave. I’ve brought boxes of special chocolates for each of the four birthday girls, enough for them to share with all the girls in the dormitory. Taneile has gone to the market to buy ingredients for muti, a special mix of puffed rice, chana chur, curry, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, pickles and boiled potatoes. We make the mudi in a giant size cast iron pot there is enough to feed the entire dorm and then some. After making a mess, chopping, peeling and mixing, we are ready for the picnic. All the birthday girls are wearing their finest , gifts from their parents for this special day. We eat and eat, everyone laughing, really enjoying our feast. After finishing and trying to resume order in Taniele’s room, I bring the laptop into the common hall and we dance until we drop!
Although there was a bit of a crush to get to the chocolates, Taniele and I tried to mediate as some of the girls were trying for seconds, even though the less aggressive little ones hadn’t received their treat. Finally everyone was satisfied and happy. Taniele and I retreat to the (sort of ) quiet of my room to settle down for a movie and some chips. I feel like I’m back in college again, pigging out and watching TV while chatting away about each of our lives. Once again I am grateful for this friendship. We call it a day as tomorrow we must be up very early to dress in our saris for Saraswati Puja. We have our “dressers” arriving at 7 AM to ensure we are properly attired.
I sleep soundly and wake with anticipation about the pomp and circumstance of this puja. I feel like a kid again. These children have a way of erasing all time, I am rejuvenated.