I am a Sikh. V is a Hindu. Its quite strange that we still had an arranged marriage, because generally in such cases, the parents arrange their child to get married with a person of the same caste, religion. Since, marriage in India is not just between two people but between two families, this logic makes sense. Its easier to adjust to the new household if you belong to the same religion. You are used to the customs, norms, everything. So the whole transition from a Miss to a Mrs is easier.
Before marriage, I never followed any of the Hindu customs or practices at home, though, I would sometimes visit the temple with my Hindu friends, and celebrated Hindu festivals like Holi and Diwali. After marriage, things have changed – nothing drastic nor anything I have an issue with- just something inevitable as a result of an inter-religion marriage. I have never been too religious, but since V is and so is his family, I have started praying. I am not even an atheist. I believe in God, but I believe the best way to be in his good books is by being nice to everyone around. No matter how much I pray if I hurt someone’s feelings I know I’ll pay for it. So for me, to get closer to God, I need to be more tolerant to those around, and treat everyone with respect. That’s always been my logic and for me self-improvement is the only way to keep God happy with me. But, out of respect for my in-laws and V’s feelings, I try to pray as often as I can. Of course, it does give you a sense of peace and calm when you pray. So, it’s something I have grown to like. And somehow, I feel that the incense and diya (oil lamp) lit after Puja generates good vibes in the house.
Now, last Saturday was Ganesh Chaturthi. My mom-in-law asked us to perform puja at home. Generally, during a festivity, when you perform Puja, you offer some mithai (sweets) to God and then distribute it as prasad (god’s offering). On Ganesh Chaturthi, the sweet offered is generally modak (a dumpling made from rice flour/wheat flour with a stuffing of fresh or dry-grated coconut, jaggery, dry fruits and some other condiments) but, I also read that Ganesh ji has an inkling for besan ke ladoo (a sweet made from gram flour and ghee/clarified butter) too. Since I did not have any coconut on hand I thought of making besan ke ladoo. I saw the recipe from this site. (I know, mine don’t look as great as hers- I think I would up the amount of ghee used)
They were not like the ladoos I have grown up having- the Lovely Sweets (a famous sweet shop in Jalandhar, Punjab, India) besan ladoos- which are heavenly. Well, they are made by professionals and in lots of desi ghee. So, I shouldn’t compare. But, these ones tasted good too. V, of course, loved them. The fact that only a few remain, lends a testimony to my previous statement!:)
An updated recipe for besan ladoos with tips and tricks to get perfect ladoos is up on the blog here