Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wonton Excitement

Ging and I had been bonding a lot over the weekend. Perhaps absence does make the heart grow fonder. Or maybe it was that the house was experiencing an estrogen overdrive with just me and Ging in residence, doing nothing much other than sleep, stuff our faces with the most sinful, calorie rich foods and sleep even more.
As much as we enjoyed our time alone, the novelty of the sleep-eat-sleep cycle wore off in due course of time, leaving us craving for some excitement. To beat the monotony, I found myself mindlessly surfing news channels and rereading my Enid Blytons, while Ging went about trying to rip the house apart. She even refused to sleep unless she had my fat arm clamped firmly in her jaws of steel....No matter that her mouth was stretched to a point where she could no longer open her beady eyes, the tenacious little boa wouldn't let go or settle for a smaller, more easily mouth-able part of my anatomy.
Obviously, the sloth enslaved moggie household was screaming for an adrenaline rush!!!

And it came in the form of a colourful, riotous festival. Ganesha Chaturthi, the birthday of the Elephant headed God Ganesha, who is invoked by Hindus all over the world for an auspicious start to any enterprise or venture.
Carried away by the enthusiasm and the frenetic pace of activities around us, I gleefully announced my intentions of celebrating G.C to a rather startled but nevertheless pleased Dsk and Ging.

Now, you may well wonder why the celebration of a festival was such a big deal. Much of the excitement was due to the fact that the moggies are not in the habit of celebrating very many festivals on a regular basis and even more so, because none of us knew the drill.
" We need to get a Ganesha Statue which needs to be brought into the house a honoured guest would be - bathed, dressed, adorned with flowers and jewellery, fed and finally immersed. It’s really simple"
DSK who has had a more traditional upbringing than me, tried defining the broad guidelines for my benefit. Ging, of course, opted to skip the theory, conserving her energies for the action.
" But can't we just bathe, dress, decorate and feed our Ganesha statue in the prayer room?"
" Yeah, I guess....But, why don't you want to buy a Ganesha? Is it because most of the statues available are not environmental friendly? We can get a clay one you know..."
" I know we can get a clay one...But I just don't like the idea of drowning poor Ganesha...I mean whatever is the philosophy behind it, I still don't think its a very good idea to drown an honoured guest.."
" Yeah..that is also true...well then, we will bathe, dress, decorate, feed and pray to the Ganesha in our prayer room...It also makes sense to do that because this is the God we pray to anyway.."
The basic order of business taken care off, Ging and I sent Dsk back to his meetings and turned our energies into researching the various elements of the festivities - the flowers to be used, the manner of adorning the Gods and most importantly, the sourcing of recipes for delicacies to be made.

It would seem that the Elephant God had decided to make us work hard for our excitement, because the first site we visited lead us to an article on Urinary Tract Infections. ..And the second attempt took us to a site which offered screen savers of gamboling pachyderms!
At this point, Ging decided to curl up for a nap, leaving me to plod on by myself and eventually discover that no matter how diligently you research customs and traditions, there is always a difference between theoretical knowledge and learning through observation and participation. But I was not to be deterred. Armed with my half-baked information, I hit the local bazaar in search of more helpful and knowledgeable people. And staggered back home two hours later, with an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, vegetables and pulses, which I was told were absolutely necessary. I hadn't the faintest clue as to what I was supposed to do with most of the contents of my shopping bags and as I meandered around trying to sort out my purchases, Ging amused herself with a pair of plantain saplings which she dragged about and shadow boxed till Dsk eventually confiscated them!!!

The day of G.C dawned bright.
I was in the kitchen right after the cock crowed, trying to get a head start on the various delicacies. I had decided to start with what I thought was the easiest of the lot -an Indianised version of steamed wontons with sweet and spiced fillings...All of which I was ambitiously making right from scratch.

Minutes ticked into hours..Rivulets of sweat ran down my face and back...And my enthusiasm steadily waned as I wrestled unsuccessfully with the wonton dough. But despite my wheedling, pleas and rants, the dough simply refused to rise to the occasion. I made a gazillion mental notes to myself, to check for ready-made wonton wrappers the next time I thought of GC....And then I amended th0se notes so that they offered a survival plan for any Indian festival!!!
I emerged a good 4 hours later..In triumph..with a plate of steaming wontons in my hand...

I am not entirely sure if Lord G shared my exhilaration because those wontons were all that he got from the moggies by way of food....By the time the wontons were done, my energy reserves had sunk below functional levels, leaving me with no drive for anything more. Thankfully, my moggies more than made up for my exhaustion with their enthusiasm and set about the task of feting the decorated Gods before falling hungrily on the wontons. Between mouthfuls, Dsk managed to direct a barely audible " not bad for the first time" at my retreating back, as I stalked off to once again seek refuge under my covers. Talk about adding insult to injury!!!
It will be a snowy day in June in Chennai before I even think of seeking adventure and excitement the festival route!!!


Roopa said...

:D Now I get the whole story! By the way, you seem to have typed this one in a hurry. I noticed some typos.

Moggie Mom said...

LOLS...No, I didn't type this in a hurry...Only between chaotic spells of work, sleep and household chores....And to make matters worse, I couldn't find my spell check and therefore the typos...Hopefully, they have been ironed out now....
:) :) :)
BTW, I also made full fledged GC lunch comprising of Parippu, Sambar, Rasam, Usuli, Pachadi, Vada and Payasam!!!...I am still recovering.....
:) :)

Ganga Dhanesh said...

reminds me of my Onam exertions in the US...whatever said and done, once I manage to put the array of curries on the defrosted banana leaf, it's certainly a moment for pride and celebration :) whether the kalan is a tad too sour or the aviyal too watery!

Moggie Mom said...

Oh you bet Ganga...It was a moment of absolute pride and nothing DSK or Ging said could dent my pride...
*big broad grin*