Sure, cast member Brian Benni is thrilled with his new BMW. But his mother insists he has the vehicle blessed before he tears it up on the mean South Florida streets. Benni and his mother take viewers along for a traditional Indian blessing as Benni muddles his way through the ceremony, making some pretty hilarious missteps along the way.
While Benni’s mother is very familiar with the ritual, Benni appears to be somewhat lost, likely going through the ceremony for the first time. So what is involved in an auto blessing?
First, remove your shoes
When Benni and his mother arrive at the temple and see the priest, Benni begs his mother, “Don’t make me seem like an idiot.” She giggles at her son’s request. The priest first asks the family to remove their shoes.
The priest begins the ritual, marking Benni’s forehead with orange paint. Benni stands, holding a platter of fruit. The family then places flowers on the front of the vehicle. A producer stops and asks, “Why are you blessing a BMW?”
Benni responds, “Well, it’s not just a BMW, it’s a BMW 340i. Kay? It’s pretty fast,” he says smiling. As the priest continues to perform the ritual Benni seems to get a little worried.
Does that paint come off?
Benni is concerned that the ritual will change his new car. The priest applies more of the same orange paint he placed on Benni and his mother’s foreheads to the hubcaps on the car. “Does it come off,” he whispers discreetly to his mother. “It comes off, right?” She assures him it will come off.
“You buy a new car and you always have to bless the car to protect the vehicle from all this exterior danger,” Benni’s mother, Dharma explains. Benni jokes, “She’s in her moment right now.” She adds, “I’m in the zone!”
Next, the priest pours water in the family’s hands. Benni immediately starts to drink the water, but his mother corrects him. The water isn’t for drinking, but to wash your hands. “Wash your hands,” the priest advises. Of course, this sends Benni’s mother into gales of laughter. “It was so funny, oh my God,” she says.
Now to get rid of the evil
The priest then places cut limes underneath the vehicle’s wheels. “So you’re gonna crush the lime,” Benni’s mother quietly shares. “It takes away the evil.” The priest tells Benni to just drive straight ahead. The sun has now set as Benni drives his BMW forward and over the cut limes that were placed under his wheels.
As he drives, the priest and his mother chant. “I’ve grown up Indian my whole life, but for the first time, I’m just proud to be Indian,” Benni exclaims. “I’m telling everybody I’m Indian. What are you gonna do about it?
Before the family leaves, Benni touches the priest’s feet. He uses one hand, but his mother reminds him to use both hands. “God bless this child,” she says.
Family Karma premieres on March 8 at 9 p.m. / 8 p.m. central on Bravo.