Self Expression Magazine

The First Day at the New Place…

Posted on the 27 September 2013 by Raina

Read this for a flash back : Then, we landed. So, how did it all go down? Defeating my biggest enemy ever.  The big move.

The next day was a Sunday, which is the day before Vinayaka Chavithi.  We decided to perform the Ganesh puja that evening as my brother has to work on Monday.

Vinayaka chavithi comes around August- September every year that is three months into an Indian school year. Kids place their new books in front of Ganeshji and pray to him to bless them with a fruitful school year. I happen to believe that Ganeshji is the reason why I did well on my education until now. The first year I came to USA, I continued with this tradition and performed Ganesh Puja but then for the last four years I have not been performing the puja for several reasons.

As kids, we always celebrated Vinayaka chavithi at home. My mom made the prashad, me and my brother made the arrangements. Therefore, this was one of those festivals we had loads of fun as a family. I missed Ganeshji and so was really excited to celebrate Vinayaka Chavithi this year. Lord Shiva is my favorite because he is very naïve but I believe Ganeshji to be my protector.

A small back story here: The first year after I got my license in USA, I met with an accident. It was my first time driving on an icy road, and I was not able to control the vehicle. I was on a free way, but luckily, it was just a one car accident. I lost control and hit a giant wall from the bridge above the free way. As I lost control, I knew I was going to die, and I prepared myself for the end. The car twirled and twirled at 60-70mph and just before it hit the wall, I saw the image of Ganeshji on the wall, the same Ganeshji that was in my bedroom. The bonnet and the battery flew away and ended up on the opposite lane, but I ended up scratch free. Therefore, I consider Ganeshji to be my protector. It might just be my mind playing its trick on me, but I choose to believe in higher power than myself as it brings me comfort.

Anyway coming back to the present day, we bought a small little Ganesh idol from the local grocery store and prepared Ganeshji’s favoured prashad. His favorite food is called “vundralu” in Telugu. We place the “vundralu” on the books in puja, hoping Ganesha while happily eating them will bless our books. :) We read the story and mantra’s successfully, that was a big ordeal, and I patted myself on the shoulder after that. I can speak well in Telugu but reading or writing is whole another ball game. Telugu was the subject; I got the lowest grade all through my school and was very happy when the nightmare was finally over after 10th grade.

After we were done with Puja, it was time for Rakhi. Yep, my favorite, we were celebrating it late, but it did not really matter as I am tying the Rakhi in person after six-seven years. I placed the Rakhi’s in front of Ganeshji and asked him to bless my brother and give him success in all his endeavors. Then, I tied the Rakhi and made him touch my feet, so I could bless him. When we were young, he used to be happy touching my feet provided I tie him more than three Rakhi’s. He and his friends competed for the title “who got the most Rakhi’s?” Now that he is very tall, he becomes lazy, and the magic number does not work on him anymore so, I have to force him to touch my feet. I think the whole fun of Rakhi for us is during the feet touching. He makes really funny facial expressions and always reminds me that he never even touched my parent’s feet. To that I reply “that’s okay, but you still need to touch mine.”

After that I truly felt home, though I still do not like outside our apartment. Celebrating two festivals (Double Dhamaka/blast) :D in one day really helped with my India homesickness. I felt happy and “D” and I Skyped before going to bed, and I described to him everything we did that day. Skype is such a life saver. We have been skyping every night, if not for long at least for 15 minutes. I think this helps a lot, and so we are not missing each other too much.


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