There was no Aarti on Sunday. Somehow I suspected this would be the case. Must be Murphy's Law or some similar law that I would manage to pick a week when they are not having it. I've been meaning to go for about two months now and it finally lined up well for me. Turns out they stopped doing it because the semester is winding up. Right. College group, so that makes sense.
But I found it and it will start up again next semester. The Interfaith chapel has its own Hindu prayer room and everything. I look forward to trying it after winter break.
Tonight my boyfriend and I cooked apple jalebi. We found the recipe on Utube, done by a delightful woman named Manjula. She demonstrates a number of Indian dishes. The jalebi is apple rings that are battered, deep-fried, and dipped in syrup. So yummy.
I'm realizing that every part of my life is touched by my interest in Indian things. I cook Indian food, wear Indian clothes, I'm learning to speak Hindi, I do a classical Indian dance called Bharatnatyam. All that is completely aside from the religion (except the dance, it is a religious dance).
For some reason I have never felt connected to a culture before and I've fallen so deeply in love with Indian culture. As I've said, my roots are western European. Yet I have never felt connected or drawn to it. I've felt devoid of culture until about six years ago when I realized that my beliefs were in fact Hindu and dove head first into the path I'm on now.
I sort-of blame my mother for that. Her mother was from Ireland, a very rich and interesting culture. But I received none of it. My mom was a bit of an older mother and her mother was really an older mother, so my grandmother was so old when I was a kid that I didn't really get to know her. I've seen some of my cousins get very attached to and involved with being Irish. I wonder if this is a common problem in America, which is such a young country and does not have very much in the way of cultural tradition. A little bit, certainly, but apparently not enough for some of us.
You should try the apples jalebi. Seriously.