Today is Aiyda Puja, also known as Sarasvati Puja; Extra Special!!
After the many pujas around seven in the evening, every vehicle will be washed and tarted up with baby banana trees, garlands, turmeric and Kum-kum splats, each will be blessed at the Kali temple and they will all rage around the hill honking and hooting after dark. Stopping on the way for auspicious pujas at favourite shrines. All the sparky action happens after dark.
The daytime contains the build up; here’s my take on the morning:
The Kali temple Flower Stalls are spruced up ready for big business.
Each vehicle will need a garland and a pumpkin. Smashing the pumpkin lets the bad out. Plenty of pumpkins:
Best to clear away a bit of the rubbish.
Looks like we transport the rubbish elsewhere. Vehicles start to be spruced too; the Auto Stands become festive . .
This is the eighth day of the festival you know; there have been heaps and heaps of pujas leading up to this Special day.
The Auto Drivers get in a game of Carom behind the scenes:
But the pace is picking up on the road:
In town too, I sneak in to see the action. It was difficult to get around.
This is the main drag of town: Car Street:
Back on the Local Drag things were hotting up, especially around the Puffed Rice Stall that magically sprouted in front of the shop selling banana leaves; life here is spontaneously well-organised.
A queue was forming at the Kali Temple, vehicles being washed, adorned, before the pumpkin smash and holy blessings.
It has been raining on and off all morning – a good omen.
Helga died around about this time. It felt like the lull before the storm outside the ashram:
I decided to go home.
A silence pervaded Pellacothu, just a couple of boys fishing, a couple of cows:
Where Helga lived and died.