When a child reaches the age to eat his first solid food, the moment is celebrated in a special ceremony called Annaprashan. The family meets in a temple, follows through a series of prayers, and receives blessings from the priest. Following that, the maternal uncle gives the baby his first food, usually a rice porridge.
Following the Annaprashan ceremony, a choosing game is played which can predict the child’s future. The baby may choose food (gourmand), the book (scholar), the pen (writer), the calculator (Information Technology guy?), the clay bowl (land owner), or the knife (king!). On this particular occasion, the child chose the book. He will be a scholar!
The baby’s grandfather, when packing for the trip from India, thought it worth the chance to bring this red book. It is the item which was chosen by the baby’s own father when he had his rice eating ceremony. It seems that history can repeat itself!