In which our hero contemplates intelligence and the instrument you play.

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March 14th 2016
Published: March 14th 2016
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Saraswati Puja is a big festival we had here about a month ago. It celebrates the goddess Saraswati, the wife of Brahma (the creator) and the goddess of learning and culture. Everyone celebrates with idols of Saraswati, which are sold in massive quantities. The day after the Puja they all get dumped into the river with a big procession and an immersion. The neighborhood puts on a big to-do for it also and builds a big temporary structure called a pandal. It’s beautiful and has an enormous chandelier and idol inside. I don’t know how they do it.

In honor of Saraswati on this day you are not supposed to do any writing so as to honor the goddess of learning. She is almost always depicted with a magic swan who, given a bowl of milk and water can drink only the milk and leave the water, thus symbolizing the separation of the pure from the dilute. She plays the veena, a technically complex instrument, because it requires such mastery. Such complexity denotes intelligence. I play the ukulele because it only has 4 strings and sometimes I even confuse them.

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