3:00 The spirit is of celebrations and the children have come back early. Tomorrow is Vasant Panchami, the fifth day of spring. It is the special festival to Sawaswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. There will be celebrations at school and in the village.
Lunch is ready when the children return. Not long after ,Mucto falls asleep in his chair as he watched television through the metal fence. He does not sit much and never for long. Everyone calls on him for job and his friends say that he is always there for those who need help. Not long after, he is off again to harvest the mustard plant and make one or two trips before dark. He piles it in the yard to let it dry and then collect the fallen seeds. Mustard seed is a basic element used in preparing food. The rest in the plant will go to feed the animals.
Paying jobs is what he and his brother want so they can finish the house they are building brick by brick. There will be two more rooms, two at the house entry that will be for the boys when they grow up and one near the barn to store more grains. The flat room is used to dry harvests.
As her role demands it’s only when everyone has been served that Phalan can now sit and eat her lunch. Then the courtyard empties to visit between sisters and friends. Today, they are particularly curious about how the preparation of tomorrow’s feast is going. There will be a Puja at the school in the morning and another one in the afternoon in the center of the village.
Nayan has a sister married in the village and her family is preparing a Puja. This means they will feed the entire village. The women are in the yard peeling and cutting food. Nayan sits and helps cleaning vegetables, joining in the chatter. A young men helps to stir the large (pot) of dal while the others are busy building a temple (name?) just outside the house gate. They want it ready when the idol is delivered. Two idols have been bought for the event. One for the small village temple, a small covered area is used for the different Pujas throughout the year. The other is for the family organizing the Puja.
Tomorrow a Brahman will come to conduct a ceremony in both places. (From cow dung to rice will be offered to the Goddess, prayers and request ( link to info). Everyone will worship together and share food. It will be an occasion to dress up, for young girls to show their beauty.
Students are the ones who worship with the most intensity. They must ask for mercy as this is time of exam throughout India when Grades 10 and 12 students have much at stake. Papaye is happy. He will participate helping the Brahman with incense and smearing every one’s forehead with the sacred ash.