Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

03 Oct 2005, 11:39 a.m.

Memoirs Of A Puja

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2005 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

MC Masala for this week takes you to a suburban house in boomtown Silicon Valley, a generic place where I remember spending every weekend in the 1990s.

Kids ran around the house, shrieking and playing, too young to behave for the length of the puja. But at the end their parents brought them back for the aarthi: Someone held a tray of oil lamps and moved around the room to bless each person by moving the tray in a clockwise direction three times. The flames danced and blurred. Everyone ate the prasada, the sweet communion pudding. Parents coached their kids on standing still, performing aarthi and giving and receiving with the right hand, never the left.