Arya, Prashanthi, Chaitanya, Chaitanya’s mom and I went to Pittsburgh during the Labor day weekend. We have started from Bayonne around 7:15 a.m. on Saturday, 3 September. We ate iddlis and kobbari pachhadi around 8:30 a.m. in the car itself. The roads were traffic free. Since we were going to Sri Venkateswara Temple in Pittsburgh, we wanted our bodies, hearts and spirits to be very spiritual, we listened to Vishnu Sahasranamam and Annamacharya keethanalu through out our drive to Pittsburgh. Prashanthi and Chaitanya wanted to join in Srivari Kalyana Utsavam which was scheduled to be performed at 2:30 p.m. Chaitanya has booked in The Hyatt in the downtown as he could not get any hotels near the temple. We reached the temple around 12:15, but we wanted to check-in at the hotel and freshen up first before we go to the temple. So we reached the temple around 2 p.m., of course there was no parking available near the temple, so we were dropped at the temple and then Chaitanya parked the vehicle in a mall directed by the temple volunteers and reached the temple by a bus arranged by the temple.
We had a nice experience during the Kalyana Utsavam and Chaitanya felt like spending some more time at the temple. So we decided to come back to the temple again for Ekantha Seva. We visited Radha and Hemchand garu. We had dinner at their place, spent some time with them (Arya had his first Jeep ride on Suhruth’s jeep) and came back to the hotel and dropped Arya and his grand ma (as she was tired by that time – long journey in the car etc.,). Three of us went back to the temple. There was some homam going on and we had vedi vedi chakkara pongali. Love it. We were there until they let Lord Venkateswara to rest for the day and decided to come back to temple for Suprabatham. Returned to the hotel and I read my husband’s crisp and inspirational speech (nth time) at the temple’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
Want to read the speech – Speech at Pittsburgh Venkateswara Temple 20th anniversay and got little emotional and thanked God for giving him such an opportunity and blessing.
My emotional journey continued as we went to the temple for Suprabatham and had the good fortune to sit in the garba gudi – just in front of Lord Venkateswara and look at him through out the pooja and then came out and sat outside. but again directly in front of the God through out Sahasranamarchana. It was an awesome experience and would relate it in another post. Again we had yummy yummy vedi vedi daddojanam. Then we visited Sai Baba’s temple which is 4 to 5 miles away from Sri Venkateswara Temple. We went to Udupi restaurant for lunch and really enjoyed the food there. Returned back to the hotel after the lunch and packed and checked-out from the hotel. Prashanthi bought a small chocolate cake to celebrate Arya’s 7th month birthday. As I am writing this, it is another coincidence of 7 (7 kondala vadu) and also the room in The Hyatt Hotel was also on the 7th floor. He cut the cake on the boardwalk of North Shore river and we had some nice pictures taken. We started back around 3 p.m. and with a small 20 minute coffee break we reached Bayonne area around 8:45 p.m. On our way back, we had good discussions about the great poet Annamayya and also the movie Annamayya, itunes and some dirty Indian politics etc. Since I wanted to return back to my place that night (I am childishly stubborn when it comes to the issue of going back to my place), poor Chaitanya had to drive to Manhattan with a hectic traffice at Holland Tunnel to drop me off at my place. On the whole, it was a very emotional journey….
Want to check my Picasa album to have a glimpse of our journey