Once awake and dressed, I jumped on the back of Madan’s motorbike and headed around town to collect food for the day’s festivities. One item was a beautifully decorated cake for which I had the great responsibility of balancing in my arms as we hurtled through the narrow streets. We made two trips to and from the house and by the time we were done the official proceedings had begun. In the corner of one room, a Hindu priest sat with an assortment of ritualistic paraphernalia before him, from rice and flowers, to coloured string, candles, oils, powder and statuettes. These were expertly handled in time to spoken blessings. It was a Rice Feeding Ceremony, marking the time when a baby starts taking solid food.

The priest was busy in his corner for the entire day, at times accompanied by Madan and his young family and all the time watched by any number of the seventy or so people said to be attending throughout the day. In accordance with the ceremony’s name, the main event of the day was the feeding of rice/milk mixture to Madan’s baby son, Samrat. Significant people all had a turn in feeding Samrat a spoonful and he didn’t like it very much at all. The celebration lasted all day and into the night, fuelled by delicious food and modest amounts of rice wine.

The food!

Accommodation Friend’s house
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 16,071km