Tara had her Anna Prasanna today. Though I have been giving her solids for the last 2 months or so, it's only legal now that this wonderful little ceremony has been performed. Her aita made her a bowl of special payesh (I'll never actually pronouce this correctly and I can see your disapproving head shake, Vijay) which she was fed by family and loved ones as she sat on my lap dressed in her best frock and wearing all the gold jewellery she owns. She was beautifully behaved - she actually sat right through the naam, which is an incredibly long and fairly noisy thing. It's done by Assamese pandits who, I suspect, don't know much about the attention span of the average 7 month old baby judging by the sense of urgency they were displaying this morning. They really lucked out today though, because Tara was the perfect participant at the puja. She didn't even have little whispered conversations or take pictures guiltily like the rest of us did and will probably even be able to tell you what the pandits were saying.
My favorite part of the ceremony was when we presented Tara with a thali laid out with some items, each signifying her future interests and abilities. The options were: a book, a pen, some gold, some money, and some earth on a leaf. I actually held my breath as she reached out toward the thali...she started heading for the book but then changed her mind and went for the pen instead. Once she had decided on that, she stuck to it and went for the same thing even on later attempts (which we made just to negate any bias because of the pen's proximity to her on the thali. It's all very scientific, this whole thing.) I'm happy to announce that we have a writer in the making. At the very least, at least her school homework will always get done, right?
Write away, little Tara. I hope your words are always true and that they bring you happiness. I promise to read and cherish everything you let me read:-)