For Devi Puja on ashtami (6th October), Durga Mata, resplendent in red, fully in control was seated entre stage on her favourite tiger. From her elevated position, she looked with compassion, on her devotees that had gathered to receive her blessings. For the first time we had four students, from a Vedapatashala, chant Ganapati Atharvashirsam, Shri Suktam, Durga Suktam and Medha Suktam. It was interesting to watch and hear these young boys (Batus, those learning chanting of mantras), chant in the style of their own parampara. Swami Prakarshananda revelled in the puja he presided over, keeping an eye on every detail, which had been earlier worked out to precision. The evening ended with the energetic joining together to perform the dandiya, to the rhythmic beating of the drums.