We finally came back to Bangalore on Dec 30th after nearly 45 days on the road and staying mostly in hotels.
We went to mysister’s house where preparations were on the way for her birthday party on Jan7. We relazed a few days watching India and South Africal play a 5 day test match that India lost.
The party was arranged by my sister’s children. Six of her children were present, two of them are in the US at this time. The party was very well organized.
Jeannie wore a sari for this occassion.
In the morning around 7:30 my sister and all her children recited 1000 names of Vishnu in sanskri. Afterwards theu read Chapter 2 and 12 of the Bhagavad Gita – a long tradition in my family that my father established. In fact as they were reciting Chapter 12, a lot of the verses came back to me as I used to do it in the 50’s on important occassions such as Krishna’s birthday, Gaesha’s (the elephant faced God) birthday, Ramas’ birthday, special days such as birthday or anniversary of grandparents etc.
After about 90 minutes of this we all went to breakfast prepared by caterers in a house across the street. They had erected a tent in the drive way and in a vacant land across the home where we would all have lunch later. Friends and relatives started arriving around 10 AM, and we had set up many chairs in the shade in the driveway to sitdown, relax and visit with each other. My sister’s children made sure everyone of them said hello to every guest and made tem all welcome. Some children (19, 12) provided classical music and drums. Some of the guests were long lost cousins and their children There are more in town and we did not know how to reach them. It is some what difficult to reach my sister’s home as it is at the very north end of the city, and many live at the evry south end of the city, a distance 30-49 kms.
By 1 PM we had nearly 80 guests and we started serving lunch.
As is the custom here, the family members always ate last. Lunch was served in 3 batches. At every barch many of my nephews and nieces were active hosts, inquiring with each guset eating, made sure they were comfortably seated, respected, etc. It was a real nice touch. I was playing this role when my sister;s family sat down for lunch.
Every guest went away with a gift ( a coconut, betel leaves, a bag with sweet and salty preparation by the caterer and a candle.) The candle was hade specially by mentally retarded folks in another part pf Bangalore.
We spemt all afternoon visiting with relatives and friends and mot of them lefr by 5 OM. That is when the real party started – family members and some friens started enjoying many hours karaoke. We finally went to bed around 10 PM after a long day.
My sister received many calls that days including 4 from the US. Iy was a great day for a wonderful woman who raised 6 boys and 2 girls under extraoridinary conditions (poverty, children aving all kins of problems in which she personally intevened.)
All her children just adore her and they all know how difficlut it was for her. They are all doing very well.
That was the party we came back to Bangalore for.