We had Dad's 13th day pooja today and it went very well. Auntie Maggie got up early this morning to fry some potato balls (about 80) and as many pulourie. Bena was leaving for Calgary at 9:30am so she wanted to take some. Sunita was also leaving at 4:30pm and she wanted to take some too so that was the need for frying them so early. We all felt like it was Christmas morning and the presents were potato balls and pulourie. Every one of us had some and it made me think back to my Nani's kitchen and how much of a good cook she was. I'll have to tell that story some time later.
Anyway, we all worked together again and cooked another early dinner for about 25 people. Mom, Auntie Rosaline and Auntie Maggie made dhall puri. I made the potato curry with egglpant. They made spinach, pumpkin and dhall. we made rice and I made some killer kheer. We made parsad and Sunita and Sophie packed the bags for the guests.
The pandit arrived at about 2pm and the pooja started. Uncle Ram and Auntie Kay just returned from Trinidad so they attended and sang a Bhajan that Dad wanted them to sing when he was gone. It was beautiful and reminded me of Dad. The pandit actually invited me to participate in some of the rituals so that was a good thing. He was doing part of the pooja and at one point in the service he asked Karran for the names of any of Dad's brothers who were deceased so that he could say a prayer for each of them. Karran looked at me and I said the names right off the top of my head. Then he asked Karran the name of my paternal grandfather and again I told him. He said that Karran was supposed to know this since he was the one to carry on the family name. Then he asked the name of my great-grandfather and I said his name. The pandit smiled and told Karran that he is to learn the names. We went through the names of the maternal grandparents and mom's sisters who are deceased and I gave him those names too. I think he was surprised that I didn't spend any time thinking about or searching my memory for the names. They rolled off my tongue as if I had rehearsed them. The pandit told Karran that he is to know the names so that when he is doing this kind of pooja, he can pay tribute to the decesased ancestors and family members. I think he finally realized that I am really the family historian which started over 50 years ago. He kept referring to me as Savitree-ji. One of my friends whose name I won't mention (but you know who you are) said that he attended the memorial service on Thursday and he thought the pandit had a "deer in the headlight look" on his face as if he was scared of me and expected me to take over the service anytime. I thought that was funny! I think the pandit has a new respect for me and the rest of my family now that he has been to my home twice and seen first hand how we live as a family.
Well the religious rituals are over for me, or at least my part in them are over. The pandit said that he'll call me tomorrow to tell me what has to be done in the next year regarding other rituals but I'm not sure why he would be telling me when he says that Karran is the one who should know and have to do them. Karran has to continue to do his part for the next year and I am sure that he will do whatever he has to do. I am now completely satisfied that I did everything that I could do for Dad and his journey to the next life will be paved with goodness. We cleaned up the kitchen, and are doing another several loads of laundry so that the house could be back to some semblance of normalcy. The cleaning lady is coming on Wednesday but with the traffic and guests in the house over the last two weeks, the house has been cleaned and recleaned several times already. I'm not sure what she'll have left to do. Auntie Maggie and I had a short but nice conversation. She said that I should be proud of what I did for Dad but that's half of the journey. The other half remains with taking care of Mom and she's right. Mom will have to take some time to grieve and then decide what she'll do with the rest of her life.
I want to go to sleep for a month but I also realize that I have not done any proper exercise in two weeks so tomorrow I will restart my training for my CancerCare walk on June 11. I'm going to have a nice long shower and go to bed early tonight and I really mean it this time.
Here is the first picture of memorial presentation. Take care everyone. Hope you had a nice weekend.
|December 1952-Dood & Sharie|