April 19, 2013
We were fortunate to experience the last day of the Navraatre festival the next morning. Navraatre is dedicated to the goddess Durga. On the last day of the festival, local girls are worshipped as if they were the goddess. The children are brought into the house, have their feet washed and then offered money, food and presents like lunchboxes or pencils. The girls were all very cute and more than willing to pose for the camera.
Our next stop was to visit the farm that belonged to a man that worked with Pooja’s dad. The farm was an hour outside of Delhi, so we had a nice time chatting with Ekta about what she is studying, life in Delhi and various other things about Indian culture. We visited a small Sikh temple before arriving at the farm. The farmer showed us his wheat fields and explained that he had just had a harvest and that in a few days he would be planting another crop. His entire family came out to greet us and show us around their house. We meet their three cows and two buffalos. We were served an amazing lunch with hardy glasses of buttermilk. The farmer’s mother offered to accompany us back to the US to cook for us. We immediately agreed to take her home with us, but she might have thought we were joking.
After a round of photos with the family, we drove back to the city where Ekta took us to the ISKCON temple or The International Society for Krishna Consciousness. This temple focused on the teachings of Lord Krishna. We toured through a number of displays that explained the basics of the Hindu religion and the highlights of Krishna’s teachings.
Our last stop of the day was downtown Delhi so I could get henna on my hands. This is something I would never do in the states, but when in Rome… There were many designs to choose from, but I just allowed Ekta to do all the talking and decision making. The woman doing the henna did a good job and I have to let the henna dry for half an hour. Good thing I didn’t need to use the bathroom during that time. When we got back to the house, Pooja’s mom made a lemon-sugar mixture to help bring out the color even more. We had another superb meal with Jalebis for dessert and when to bed super excited for the next day.