Baby Puja Planning Committee of One
Although there is a puja to kick things off, that's not the main ceremony. This particular puja begins with a ceremony of gratitude to the deity Ganesha, or more commonly referred to as Ganapatiya in Gujarat. Then, we move on to the baby ceremony that marks the period of time when the pregnant mother moves back into her mother's home for the remainder of the pregnancy. There is more, but I'll describe that in another post. But, this also reminds me that I do need to do a little write up for all my American friends and family that are attending.
Add that the committee's list of things to do. The Baby Puja Planning Committee of One - that's me. When my mother decided to do this she made the decision just days before leaving town. She left to attend another puja in Oklahoma and then to my sister's house in Florida. She didn't return until the week before Thanksgiving and planning could not wait for her return.
Enter the Lotus. Who quickly forms a committee (of one) and sets about planning an event for which she has vague knowledge of. I took the charge seriously because I've never had another major event in my life celebrated as such. No wedding, no graduation, no Ph.D. party.
The most enjoyable and pleasant experience in all this was ordering the flowers.
Chenoweth Floral is near my in-laws home and just down the block from the neighborhood center where the puja is being held. They were wonderful! The colors for this puja are pink and green and brown and gold. I wanted pink Gerbera daises on the tables.
The first thing that happened was that the really nice, young man who helped me, very tactfully, informed me that I was pronouncing the flower name wrong. It is Gerbera and not Gerber (like the baby products).
Then he encouraged me to order an assortment of colors. I was already feeling like there was way too much pink at this event, so this turned out to be a fantastic suggestion. They ordered directly from a supplier in Columbia which reduced the price per stem (just over a dollar, another place quoted me $4 a stem. Yikes!) and they ordered 100 stems. Then, they called me today and I was able to pick the 3 dozen that I wanted. I picked out pink, a darker pink, yellow and some orange. It was great being in the midst of all this color during this monotone season of snow and slush.
I also picked up a bouquet of small carnations for the puja, at a reduced price, I might add. Rock on! They were so awesome! I mean, Chenoweth was awesome and I highly recommend them for your next floral purchase, whether it be big or small!
And, since they right down by the neighborhood center, I decided to stop and take a picture. It was quite the ordeal finding a venue for this event. All the places in Minneapolis require selecting a caterer from their approved list, and needless to say, there were no Indian caterers on that list. I started driving from one community center to another, until I finally found this place in my in-laws town. I also managed to get a discount because my in-laws are residents. And, the bonus is that this is a stand-alone building so there aren't any other activities scheduled like there were at all the other community centers.
There is a cute little gas fireplace, too!
My sari turned out to be a lot pinker than I had planned. I ordered it from India and that turned out to be way cheaper than picking one up in Chicago where there is a large number of Indian apparel stores. I ordered these poms online from Etsy. Why? Because I love them! Also, I can hang them in the baby's room when all is said and done. Something for her to gaze at hanging from the ceiling.
So once I realized that there was getting to be too much pink, I made efforts to balance that out. Green plastic table cloths. Chocolate cake with green flowers.
Whew! I'm glad the big stuff is done. Now there are just the little details to take care of. And, now I have to go, because one thing I really need to keep my sanity throughout this whole thing is to work out. Off to the gym I go and of course, that means I get to eat more cake! Right?