Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sankranti Harvest festival

Wow, what a great day with my higher power on my side.    
 Started off in the famous church of St. Philomena for Sankranti.  Sankranti is the beginning of the start of the harvest season for farmers so there is a big celebration.  It is almost like the New Years for India-it is a pretty big deal.  I was interested in participating in the festivities as much as possible.  In the church, there happened to be a wedding along with the service.  Beautiful saris filled the rows with long black braided hair with fresh coral and white flowers inside. There were unique instrument sounds coming from the church choire and in the middle of the ceremony I saw a dog just walk right in- oh india.  The couple looked very young, but so happy to be together and I felt happy for them.The priest opened up the doors wide for them and then right behind them came along another couplep-quite a busy day for the St. Philomena Church. 
After, I decided to head to Chandi Hills where the famous temple was because where a famous temple is, there are holiday celebrations.  I was asking a local on the bus where the temple was and she held my hand and took my off the bus.  She was holding on tight and not letting go.  I appreciated her help, but really wanted her to let go of my arm and stop pulling me like a ten year old. I eventually saw the temple and I gave her the green light to part ways.  

In the Chandaswar temple, their was a huge line.  For some reason, it felt like Easter to me because all the girls were dressed up with adorable colorful dresses and bows in their hair.  The one lady kept looking at me and smiling and when approaching the front of the temple, she grabbed my cheeks and laughed.  The man next to her said she just wanted to touch my skin.  This fascinates me because again I am Indian too!

I do some meditation on the hill top and meet a group of kids who ask me the standard India questions.  They act silly and am circling around me laughing and eating corn on the cob.  They proceed to leave blowing me kisses and laughing.  This is how kids should be at their age just eating some food, laughing, and flirting with girls-quite normal for boys. 

Walking in front of the temple, I saw some locals feeding the cow rice puffs.  She gave me a handful and I fed a few scoops to the cow.  The cow’s mouth on my hand felt wet, but it was quite funny and entertaining to them when the cow started going to the bathroom as I stood there.  This is pretty typical with animals and crap ha!

Leaving the Chandi hills and heading back down the hill, I decided I wanted to go down on a motor bike so I asked some local guys to take me down the hill.  I thought there was one, but they asked me to hop on the back when two of them were already on the bike.  I thought to myself, “Hmm this will be an adventure and it sure was.”

They took me to see the statue of the bull and we shut off the motor pretty much rolling down the mountain and getting to know each other. One is a mechanical engineer and the other one is a chef.

Immediately the three of us clicked and we decided to go get some lunch. They were so sweet and accommodating asking me what I wanted to eat, if I needed water, if I was okay on the bike, etc.  They were completely sincere in their gestures with no alterior motive at all-it was so refreshing and made our experience enjoyable.  I told them I wanted to go the villages to see the bulls parade around and be lit on fire.  We went off into a couple villages and saw the bulls all painted wearing flowers and bells and local kids preparing to make them run across the street.  They block the street with hay, light the hay on fire and have the cows jump across- a sight you just have to see to believe.  Oh India we said.  This came to be our common saying that we would refer to when discussing the unique place that we call INDIA. 

We went around on the bike singing Bollywood songs while watching the sunset.  We drove back into the busy city dodging through cars, people, and going through the alleys.  Salman Khaan(the engineer) was driving like Batman.  It was super exciting and fun.  We then headed to Mysore palace to watch the light show and then our night came to an end as we both had curphew to be back home ha. 

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