The moment captivated everyone. We all took turns to taste the muddy water and declared it heavenly. And then it was time for the pooja. Incense sticks were lit. The coconut was split to drain the contained water ceremoniously. The symbolism is that we crack our hard human case around the mind to empty it of ego, that seduces us so much with its sweetness. The brilliant white of coconut’s inside stood for the cleansed mind. Two ripe lemons were sliced. Kutty held one each in his hands and rotated on his feet , squeezing the juice and spilling it into the ground. Then he flung the squeezed out lemons far away. We were thanking God of Untoward Happenings: “You have spared us of accidents and any blood letting during our endeavour. We don’t have a hen or a lamb to offer in sacrifice. Please accept the lemons and their ‘blood’ instead.”
Then the ash gourd with flaming camphor was waved around me and smashed into the ground. Everyone took turns to offer personal obeisance. I fell full length, face down, arms in front, palms together in thanks and prayer. The divine felt very close. Sweets and fruits were distributed to the smiling, chattering gathering. Soon, the Aureka team left amidst great bonhomie and promises to stay in touch.
Let the story stop here for now. What happened a few hours later and how it took another two weeks to overcome some initial technical problems can be told later. May 24 deserves a space all its own.