Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dasara (Durga Puja)

Today was Dasara (spelled many ways...), the last day of Durga Puja. Small (and not so small) shrines have been popping up around Hyderabad, and today was the last day (and climax) of the 10 day festival. Srinivas, my current Hertz driver, took us to a temple west of Hyderabad and then to his house for lunch.

BUT - I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. Katy arrived on Tuesday, and we've been sightseeing, shopping and just puttering around Hyderabad. I'm still working, which limits our schedule, and so this weekend was very full. Saturday morning Srinivas picked up Preethi on the way to our house and then we all went shopping for saris, salwar kemeez and other goodies.

We had a long day of shopping, and in the late afternoon we drove to Preethi's home (in northeast Secunderbad) to drop her off and wound up staying for dinner (our plans with Anil and Anu fell through when Anu fell prey to another round of morning sickness). After dinner Katy was given mehndi for today's outing. Here are some pictures of the process:

That final shot shows the entire design as it looked when we drive home Saturday night. The mehndi is drawn with a squeeze tube of a henna preparation that's a little like cake icing. Katy slept with it on until this morning, when she washed it off and revealed this:

It continued to darken thoughout the day; I'll post a another picture of it later.

Anyway - this morning Srinivas came by around 8 to take us back to Preethi's to continue the process of dressing Katy for the day. I asked him to wear whatever he wanted (not his usual uniform), and he showed up in this lovely outfit:

We drove to Preethi's, and a bit later Katy emerged from the bedroom:


Here we are with Preethi's parents:

Suitably dressed, we piled back into the car and drove to the temple. On the way, we passed a clutch of bathing trucks (getting ready for puja):

At the temple, we found out how trucks do puja:

We were entertained for a while by a group of monkeys:

One of the deities at the temple is a much bigger monkey.

The temple was beautiful and interesting.

Scooters do puja, too.

We left the temple and drove to Srinivas' home, not far from Preethi's. On the way we passed this small roadside temple (where a snake is alleged to live):

At Srinivas' house we met his brother (with wife and daughter).

Here's Srinivas, with his wife and children.

And here's the whole extended family that lives here, including Srinivas' mother.

Srinivas' sister-in-law is expecting her second child in about ten days.

Here we are in front of the house.

For more pictures, visit the album:

Dasara (Durga Puja)

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