Friday, June 19, 2009

Occupying our 'vacated' apartment

We hoped that our apartment would be ready for occupation when we arrived as we had made an earlier trip to ensure that necessary repairs to the plumbing, wiring, painting and cupboards etc were done before we arrived! Contractors were selected and a go ahead was given but that it was not ready when we arrived is an other story!

Luckily the painting was almost done and we hence decided to occupy the apartment. It was not that simple as we were told that we should boil milk to overflowing at the apartment before we thought of sleeping there! Then Tara thought we should have a 'punyarchana' as well.

Easy enough task except that we did not have a stove to boil the milk over. Getting a gas cylinder is another long story and will probably be written two months later when we hope to get gas organised.

Then appa (Tara's father) said it should be done at the right day and at the right moment to enjoy the full benefit of the ritual. His tone said that we may even get into problems if we did not. He however was not sure which day or time it should be. I and my sister felt any day is ok for this and Raji felt any Friday should be ok.

Luckily there is a temple close by and Tara went and spoke to the priest at the temple and it was all set for the 18th of June. The maid's father loaned us a kerosene stove the night before. And we had the pooja early in the morning and we did sleep at the apartment that night. We had received the cots on that day sans the mattress, but we managed by borrowing a thin mattress from downstairs!

All this is pretty routine stuff for a Bengalurean. I however had planned but failed to ask the priest 'Why is it necessary that we boil milk?'. The question is now open to public!

My guess is that in those days, a move was not easy and it was essential that one stayed close to a milkman for obvious reasons. (Unless of course you owned a cow.) Milk for the morning coffee obviuosly being the major reason. Then of course, there would be small kids and so on. Hence it was paramount that one established a source of milk supply and probably firewood as well, before one made a move to new location. Remember the days were before we had a fridge and milk supply in plastic sachets!

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