Last Saturday (15th September 2007), like we do every year, we celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi.
The Kozhukattai Neivedyam was scheduled for the evening and come afternoon, Mommy and Grandma were busy making Kozhukattais. Two little apprentii were at hand to roll out the purnam and help us stuff it into the dough made out of rice flour.
Whilst the kozhukattai making was in progress, Vic got back home from work. And told both Appu and Abhay that the kozhukattai dough could be used to create shapes and stuff too.
Now it so happened that there was very little of the plain dough left. Most of it had already been used up to cover the purnams (fillings). So, well before brains started to work overtime, eyes started to look at the yet-unsteamed kozhukattais from a new angle and before little hands decided to try and undo some of the dough in order to facilitate the "creation" of new shapes - Mommy directed them towards their pots of PlayDoh.
Fortunately for Mommy, it had been a while since they had laid their hands on PlayDoh and so - with the excitement and hullabaloo that only children are capable of - off they went in search of the pots of PlayDoh. Back them came in a jiffy (by which time the Kozhukattais were safely resting within the confines of the pressure cooker) looking for newspapers to spread on the floor. Off they went again with the bounty (newspapers) clutched in their hands.
Mommy just could not resist joining them and after a while Grandma too followed.
And this is what we created with PlayDoh on last Saturday.
The PlayDoh Ganeshas alongwith the small plate of PlayDoh Modaks and Bananas and the two small bunches of cherries and the one mango and the vettalai pakku too were placed on the prayer shelf. The Neivedyam done, the modaks (kozhukattais) beckoned all of us from the dining table.
It was when Appu was attacking the Kozhukattais that we saw trouble brewing. Abhay, who had been giving her rather baleful looks, walked up to her and asked her very seriously
"Aparna - why are you eating Ganesha's modaks ?"
"That's Ganesha's modak."
Aparna, the modak all forgotten on her plate, was desperately trying to come up with a reason plausible enough for Abhay to buy.
She did finally manage to stave him off long enough to polish off the Modaks on her plate. Abhay did not want to have any because he kept repeating - "They are Ganesha's Modaks".
All of us who did have the Kozhukattais were subjected to the same round of interrogation.
All this because while we were making the modaks Abhay was, as usual, full of questions. And Grandma told him that Lord Ganesh likes modaks and so we make modaks for him on Ganesh Chaturthi day.
Next time onwards, memory ought to serve right and there does need to be an added clause to such explanations in that after the pooja God does indeed give human beings permission to consume the Neivedyam.
As far as Appu is concerned - her penchant for Kozhukattais (Modaks) has led her face to face with a dilemma of sorts. A catch-22 situation, if I may call it.
Cos her proclivity and partiality towards Modaks led Daddy to coin Appu's latest nickname (which is in use till date).
The nickname being "Modakeshwari" !!!