Sunday, August 26, 2007
Sinking a Coconut in the Monogahela
Yes, living in Pittsburgh is always an adventure. As a completion of the tasks left to my friend Vijay after his Hindu house blessing ceremony, I assisted in the sinking of a coconut in the river. After his Mom blessed the house, it was left to Vijay to properly dispose of the holy objects left over. He had to pour the Hanuman holy water on a tree, give the coins to a child, and sink the coconut in a river. It was mid evening and the sun was at that stage where the shadows are really playing off the ground. The foilage around the river seemed extra green, and the tide was moving pretty quickly. We (Vijay, Rachel, and I) first attempted to sink the coconut by putting it in paper bag with a rock. Having nothing to close the bag with, after throwing it out, the bag surfaced, and eventually the coconut broke free. The tide brought it close enough that I dragged it closer with a stick and Rachel picked it up. Vijay called his Mom, who advised him to crack it open and then it should sink. So we located another sizable rock, with which Vijay cracked open the coconut, submerged it in water until it had some inside of it, then tossed it out again. This time it sunk. Mission accomplished. It was a beautiful evening to be on the river, and there was some sense of nostalgia or history not my own; some tradition that I was allowed to become a part of, however briefly.