Car Puja

The decision to hire C as my driver was the best I’ve made. He exceeds in all the basic requirements — safe driver, knows the roads, professional, great referrals, etc — but he’s also infinitely patient. And he’s the best Guy Friday. And today he was bursting with joy.

“Our”* new Toyota Innova arrived this week as May 23 was deemed the most auspicious day for C to pick it up. Once he was done at the dealer, it was a quick drive to the temple by Ulsoor Lake for a Puja (blessing) of the car. The pujari (priest ) attached flowers to the hood and grill, then finger painted an “Om” on the windshield with sandalwood paste for good luck. Next he said mantras to Ganesh, while C tossed rice. The pujari lighted a fire with incense in a small brass tray used for these purposes and C tossed rice, while the pujari circled the car and steering wheel. A small Ganesh was placed on the dashboard. A coconut is dropped hard, so it will shatter, in front of the car. Each tyre was anointed with a lemon to ward off evil. Now the car is blessed.

*I say “ours” because C will own it, but it will stay in my garage and be used for my family & guests. An Innova was initially described to me as a “mini-SUV” and I think Toyota advertises it as “multi premium vehicle”. I confess, it seems more like a minivan to me. There are tons of them on the roads of Bangalore as it’s quite popular with local drivers. It’s a pretty comfortable ride which is important in a city known for its traffic.

Clearly C is thrilled to have this car. After all the help he’s been to me, it is heartwarming to see him so happy. I told him to take it home with him tonight to drive around his family (versus leaving it in my garage). I gave him money to buy his family ice cream, too. (That’s what I recall doing as a kid when my dad bright home a new car – we drove out for ice cream!)






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7 responses to “Car Puja

  1. Sharon Lea

    I knew C was lucky for you! I love the car with flowers all over.. What’s her name? The flowers look like a necklace. I think you have a friend for life in C.
    Audrey will leave June 1 for Opera Maya, south of Cancun for 2 weeks to participate in an opera workshop/camp. She’ll have classes from teachers from all the US and Mexico while being at a beautiful resort. Also there will be yoga classes and other things to do at the resort. She’ll get home on the 17th and we turn around on the 23rd to leave for CA for Philip’s wedding 6/29. I’ll send some photos to your regular email address?
    Love you😘😘
    Aunt Sharon

  2. Maria Valentin


  3. Anne

    I’m loving C vicariously through you. Every good woman needs a C in her life; it sounds like you really hit the jackpot with him.

    Maybe we need to take a queue from the people of India. Considering most of us are somewhat angry and annoyed drivers, the American tradition of tossing a few coins in the back of one’s new car is quite possibly trivial and ineffective compared to their new car ritual.

    That was very generous and kind of you to give C the car. And who doesn’t love ice cream?

  4. Penelope

    This is wonderful! I love it. What a lovely ritual and gesture by you.

  5. Bianca

    I love reading your posts! Makes me feel like I am living there with you! So awesome! Hoping that Jo and I will meet C some day! Nyack misses you!

  6. Pingback: Weapons & Implements | Dez in India

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