Sunday, September 8, 2013

Puja My Ride

So the big news so far for me in year three is I bought a car. About 3 weeks ago I purchased a used car. For the few car enthusiasts, who may read my blog (I don't think there's a single one) I bought a 2010 Hyundai i20.

In India, it's common when you purchase a new car to perform a puja or blessing. My good friend Khush asked if I was going to perform a puja. Me, being me asked, "Well should I?" and of course, Khush being Khush said yes. She said it would give the car good luck for me and take away any previous bad luck.

Khush said I should bring an egg to school and that she could help me with the rest. I wondered about an egg because having had a car egged before, I'm well aware of the damage that can happen when egg meets car paint. When I questioned it, she said, which now in hindsight is kinda obvious, that we wouldn't get it on the car. Of course not! Just it's just the combo that surprised me.

So two weeks ago on a Thursday during our lunch, chosen because it was an auspicious day and well I wanted my car, Khush and I descended down to the basement of the school.  The elevator doors opened and we exited to the dark and damp basement. Surprisingly there was more going on than parked cars. Men working, lots of machinery and a couple of school security guards sat watch. I saw my car parked further away toward a far wall. We brought the egg and other items over to it. Khush set them all out nearby a pillar on the ground.

Then we started the blessing during which Khush not only served as the puja priestess but also my photographer.

First I tied a flower garland of jasmine and marigolds onto the front grill. Easer said than done!

Next Khush said to, "Take the egg around the car five times." To me that meant to walk the egg
around the car five times. As I started my first of five laps, Khush laughed and said, "No. Stand
in front of the car and twirl it around five times." As I did it, I had to think about all the bad things
being removed from the car. Then I took it over to a grate and smashed it to truly rid it of all the
previous bad car karma.
Next I sprinkled flower petals under the tires of the car to just make sure, when we left the parking garage,
all of the bad influences would be rolled over and left behind. 

Then Khush told me to bless the car, I'd smash a coconut on the ground and then sprinkle the
water from it onto the car. Having never done this I asked about how I should proceed. She said, "You just
smash it." So I did. As you can tell from the action shot, I used a little too much force. I completely
smashed it; loosing all the water onto the basement floor.
A good priestess however, says, "Don't worry about it. Just still wave it over your car and
think lots of positive thoughts." While you're thinking this, she also chants, "Positive thoughts.
Positive thoughts," just in case you were feeling worried about loosing the
precious coconut water.
Finally, you light some incense with help from your puja priestess. I twirled them in a clockwise
circle five times around the car again thinking lots of positive car thoughts like, "Smooth driving.
Parts are working smoothly. Positive people and fun times. Just don't let anything break this week!"

My blessed car!
About 15 minutes in all from the 3rd floor to the basement to the puja and back up.

I really appreciate Khush for all her help with this. Not just because so much of her doing it but taking time of of her hectic day to organize it, schlep down to the basement with me during lunch and just making my new car purchase special. My car and I both feel very blessed.

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