Saturday, June 28, 2008

Destroyer of Obstacles

My cousin Elizabeth and my Aunt Penny are on a mission trip in India to help poor children living in squalor. They're working out of Khardah, a city just north of Calcutta (or Kolkota - however we're spelling it nowadays). We can only assume that they are also assisting with your tech support calls about why Vista keeps crashing.

Lizzy visits the schools in the area and works with the children. I just learned that apparently my cousin is not only beautiful, smart and athletic, but she can also speak Bengali. Overachievers make me sick!

While Lizzy's at school, Penny puts her nursing background to work by performing wound care to the homeless people who live at the Dum Dum and Sealdah train stations and other areas. Penny has obtained a reputation as a healer and is currently enjoying a "celebrity Angelina-like status!"

I can't tell you how proud I am of Elizabeth and Penny. It's really wonderful that they're giving their time and energy to these people. And it would be even more wonderful if they brought me back a little statue of Ganesha.

I've always felt a strong association with India, which may have something to do with the fact that I'm a computer programmer. From working with Indians I've learned that although there are thousands of different gods in the Hindu heritage, they are all just different facets of their supreme god, Brahman.

But my favorite Hindu god is Ganesha, or more accurately, the 7th Incarnation of Ganesha named Vighnaraja, the "Destroyer of Obstacles." Ganesha is the god that Indians worship before they start any task or journey. He has the head of an elephant, uses a mouse as a vehicle, and is basically just the coolest Hindu god there is. Name one other elephant-headed mouse-riding god that has at least 7 incarnations... yeah, that's what I thought! In your face, Hanuman!

So in the spirit of their mission I will be praying to Ganesha for a safe journey home for my cousin, Godmother and statue of Ganesha.

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