Recently I travelled 20 minutes and drove from my home to reach the SV temple. The Pittsburgh SV Temple (www.svtemple.org) is a truly amazing place. I am usually too lazy to go temple visiting, but this one is nice – amazing food, the great Indian environment and my kid loves the naadaswaram and mridangam there. Aarthi also gets an opportunity to try the nalli silk paavadais on rishitha. Since I graduated long back and do not have to take exams any more, prayer frequency has also come down significantly, but I like to drive and I haven’t eaten better desi food anywhere yet in the US (apart from home made food, that is). Thats enough motivation to visit the temple. Sambhar / kozhambu rice, tamarind rice, curd rice (err … yoghurt rice, with tasty pickles) – simply soopper! The best recipe for a wonderful Saturday / Sunday is eat at the temple, drive back home asap (preferably outsource driving to somebody as the food induces sleep) and have a glass of neeru moru (buttermilk) before crashing for a deep 3 hour sleep. Aah aah … shabash!! Patel Brothers is a good desi grocery store nearby that could spoil your sleeping plans, though! L
Food!!!! That wasn’t why I started plaagging in the first place!!
Talking about more serious stuff, I have been fascinated, amused and sometimes thoroughly entertained by the assorted mix of desis I get to see at the temple. My favorite kind is the Kal, Aaj aur Kal type families, where you would get to see grandfather, grandmom, IT professional dad and variable profession mom (homemaker, IT working, non working etc) and an American kid(s)!! The union of Indian, largely Indian less American (LILA) and very American cultures at the temple makes for interesting viewing.
By the way, the reason for my family visiting temple was to seek blessings and make my daughter say, “ummachi nalla padippu kudu” (lord, give me good academic skills, now that I have started school!)
Here is what I see at the temple canteen ( I think it is referred as eating area or mess, I forget):
Indian Kal (grandmom):
‘Dayee, Gopal, sithha paarenda, paavam, Baavanavikku baathroomm ponam polarikku. Jayandhee …. ”
(Hey Gopal, Jayandhee … looks like Bhavana needs to go the toilet)
“Bhavanaa, would you like to go bathroom?” (the dad was definitely conscious of other desis around and trying to put on an accent – I bet I saw his eyes as they became smaller when he uttered, ‘bathroom’. The ‘a’ in bath was pronounced the way ‘a’ is pronounced in tap or rat!
American Kal (Bhavana), approx 4 yrs old, in an American accent:
“No daddy, I am good. I will wait for mom.”
Jayandhee gets up and now we know why the parents are here, Jayandhee is at least 6 months pregnant. She disappears with Bhavana.
Rishitha, my daughter, sitting next to me and as usual fussing over her food, called me,”Appa, can I get some whaader.” I couldn’t believe my kid, a 2 and half yr old, who had gone to a preschool 2 times before and spent about 4 hours in all with her American teachers and 8 classmates, was already getting the accent!
Water, whaader!! Eeks!! …. I too was on my way to becoming a LILA dad!!