Tuesday night Chris had to work late. Not a big surprise as he has regularly been pulling super long hours since we arrived in India. While he was burning the midnight oil, I was busy entertaining our visitors with an amazing dinner at one of my favorite Chennai restaurants. When we finally arrived home, Chris was holed up in one of our spare bedrooms on a conference call and our kitchen table was filled with stuff.
At first glance, I saw this huge bouquet of flowers, a box of Belgian chocolate, and a package of Indian sweets.
My immediate reaction: “Chris is so sweet, he remembered that our anniversary is tomorrow!”
As I began to inspect the loot further, it started to become suspect. Why did he get me fruit, Indian snack mix, puffed rice cereal, and a bottle of whiskey?
I can’t drink whiskey and he knows that I don’t even like it in the first place. [Where did he get whiskey anyway? It is somewhat difficult to procure alcohol in Tamil Nadu.]
Chris eventually emerged from the spare bedroom and I could finally get to the bottom of this. Had he really remembered our anniversary? Usually his friend Bryan has to remind him.
I can’t say if Chris remembered or not, but I can say that these were Chris’ gifts, not mine. The plant he is working in gave him all of these goodie in celebration of Ayutha Pooja. Pretty awesome! I have never gotten gifts this significant from a job before. Lucky for me, Chris was happy to share the chocolates and the Indian sweets.
So what is Ayutha Pooja anyway?
Upon leaving the house Wednesday morning, I began to fully understand. It is a Hindu holiday where equipment such as tools, machinery, vehicles, and weapons are carefully cleaned, adorned with decoration, and worshiped. The streets were filled with vendors selling decorations such as flower garlands and banana leaves. Nearly every car and scooter was decked out for the occasion. It was quite a sight.
I still can’t get over how many holidays there are in India. Perhaps it just seems like a lot because I am unfamiliar with them. As far as I know, the next big festival is Diwali later this month. From what I have heard Diwali is kind of a big deal, so I’m very excited to see what it is all about!