churchofchai

a view into the sordid life i lead

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sajal's World: Chapter 2

CHAPTER TWO

This mornings wake up was particularly obnoxious. There was the usual clanging pot action, supplemented with some mosquito-like miked female singers in a can. Then from the easterly direction came another groups input. Now this was live over a mike & was a somewhat better male singer, but when mixed with the already going action, it was simply insult to injury.

Up & at ‘em.

The Misty sisters are already with the honey, lemon water for Suzy & I, & are patiently awaiting our emergence from the room. They’ve left out the ginger, because Suzy read in some Ayurvedic magazine that plain honey & lemon in hot water first thing in the a.m. will reduce weight. Oh, fine. They announce our “garam jal” (hot bath water) is also ready & that they are going to Sajal with tea.

During my bath, the gathering of the usual suspects as well as a few additions gets under way. This mornings crisis is centering around “the fat, black priest” that Sajal had recommended to the temple that he sits on the board of directors for.

It seems the fellow had been observed pinching rice from the temple stores. The night before last, Sajal had been awakened with this news at approximately 1:30am (just after he had fallen asleep). He therefore, had to get up & go ride his shiny new bicycle over to see for himself. According to his word he had parked his bike in a visible position outside the temple & hidden himself in shadow. Sure enough, the fat black priest & his wife came now to the spot & out loud were wondering whose fine, new bicycle this was, when Sajal emerged from the shadow. Sajal made mention of the lateness of the hour & inquired what they were doing there at this time of the night; in the meantime grabbing hold of the culprit’s bag & taking a look at what might be there. Not to his surprise, Sajal found rice of the same quality (Indians know their rice, if nothing else) that Sajal had purchased for the temple. The priest’s explanation went along the lines of having purchased this in the market, but wouldn’t furnish details on which shop, knowing that Sajal would’ve immediately wakened the owners to confirm.

Back to this morning; the fat, black priest has been summoned to the room downstairs to be confronted by the actual benefactor responsible for the funds that are purchasing the temple stores. There’s a whole lot of yelling & sawing the air as I breeze by after the bath in my night dress. I get the details from Suzy who was down there just before the fireworks began when the fat, black priest showed up. By the time I make it to the actual inquisition room the whole thing has dispersed as though nothing has happened. No one seems put out in any way. All the participants are having chai & bidi’s & smiling & talking of other interests. The Sani propitiation, inclusive of fire sacrifice, is about to begin in the patio area. This will be performed over the next 2 days & will bleed into a Rahu propitiation by late Sunday evening (tomorrow), continuing Monday & Tuesday, then culminating on Wednesday when 3 different ceremonies (these current two & the snake ceremony from 2 weeks ago) are brought to a close.

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