Our beautiful beach-beater came to us via Ali, who was letting her go because he was selling most belongings before returning to India for the next few months. When we first drove her as our own, I reached up and began to peel away a golden sticker from the inside of the windshield. I quickly stopped myself and we have since come to love the three Hindu deities that adorn our Accord. I'm not superstitious, nor do I worship Hindu gods/goddesses, but something about taking a sticker off that was put there as part of a Hindu blessing ritual made me feel like I'd be ending our good luck streak.
I did a little research on Hindu blessings and learned that many Hindus believe in blessing everything, especially the tools they use in daily lives. From what I understand, the puja, or blessing ritual, is preformed by a pujari (Hindu priest) upon the purchase of a new car. The purpose is to rid the car of all bad influences. Hands are washed with holy water, the owner is given three handfuls of rice to sprinkle over the front of car, then a swastika is drawn with paste made of turmeric and water (aside: swastikas were born in India 5000 years ago and are good luck symbols). More rice to bless the swastika, then mantras to recite, then meditations on Lord Ganesha, break 1 coconut and 4 lemons. The pujari often places a small symbol of Ganesha in on the dash.
Back to our car. She has not one, but three idol stickers. We've got a sticker of Gansesha - worshipped as the lord of beginnings and as the lord of obstacles; a Lakshmi- goddess of wealth, light, wisdom, the lotus flower and fortune, and secondarily of luck, beauty, courage and fertility, and a Vishnu - All-Pervading essence of all beings, the master of and beyond the past, present and future, the creator and destroyer of all existences, one who supports, sustains and governs the Universe and originates and develops all elements within.
All I have to say is, Thank goodness we have some protection on these wacky Hawaiian roads!