The day before departure

Jay Kannaiyan
Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment

I'm glad I got all my packing done yesterday as today was busy with welcoming relatives for a Satyanarayana Puja at my parents' home in Chennai. In the morning, I realized that I had messed up with sanDRina's valve clearance check in Cape Town and set about adjusting that to the specs in the maintenance manual. My uncle (pedanaina) from my mom's village had come to town for the puja and I was so happy that he could help me with the valve job. You see, he was the person in my life who encouraged me as a child to tinker by taking things apart and learning how to put them back together. He only studied up to class 8 but learnt how to repair borewell pumps and tractors on the farm. My desire to study mechanical engineering in the US all started with my pedanaina and childhood holidays spent on the farm.    

After the Satyanarayana Puja, I got the pujari to bless sanDRina and our journey through India. I'm not sure how long the flower garlands will stay on but it should help me in case I get pulled over by the cops. We cracked a coconut and squeezed lemons under the tires. All set with blessings from the gods!

Now, for a good night's sleep and the start of the journey tomorrow...

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