As I said, I don't normally go in much for the pooja rituals, but yesterday, I decided to buy all the necessary stuff and do the pooja (we call it poojai) to... so here's OUR Varalakshmi! I drew the picture at the back. I did the poojai quite early in the morning so the light is coming from a table-light which I always use as an illumination for the mantapam.
Normally, I would have a large silver "kalasham" or pot filled with rice,grains and other symbols of prosperity, and have the face of the Goddess on a coconut kept over it in a bouquet of mango leaves; I would arrange it so that it looked as if the Goddess was sitting there. I would arrange a silk cloth to look like the pleats of a skirt. This time I wanted it much simpler (ha, I have no elder in-laws to dictate rules!) so I used a little copper kalasham of gangaajal (Ganges water) with a tiny figurine of Lakshmi atop that!
My husband and my youngest brother in law (he is visiting from Phoenix, where he works for Honeywell) were more interested in the 'paayasam' (rice-milk-sugar preparation), and the 'modakam', 'appam' etc!
All you "missing-home" friends, friends' daughters, daughter's friends....am thinking SOO much of all of you.