August 24, 2008 Comments (6)
→ Desi• Bombay• Desh• Experience• Photo • • color• festival• matka• money• mumbai• religion
It’s Janmashtmi today. And if you don’t know what that is, look it up. I had to 😀 I mean, I know it’s Krishna’s birthday but having been away from Mumbai for the last 16 Janmashtmis, I had lost sight of both scale, and, urm, commercialization. So, I was educated today (and I confess I called the cops on some enthusiastic dhol beaters at 1am.) By 8 a.m., the loud disco bhajans and cheering crowd told me something was up. Across the house and also behind it, we had what are called Dahi Matkas. To mimic Krishna’s penchant for stealing ghee, they hang this clay pot pretty high and then acrobatic men make a human pyramid to claim it. Then I saw in the papers that the Andheri matka was worth the most money (Rs. 25,000!) I reached Worli and passed several youth in trucks, wearing team shirts, going from locality to locality to win the pot of ‘ghee’ ($$?) The cab driver told me the matkas near my house are “small and not worthwhile.” And then when I got near Banyan Tree, I spotted a team in action.
I later heard that the “small” matka near my house was eventually lowered a bit because all the teams that tried failed to reach it. I don’t know who won but they’re still making a racket!
August 20, 2008 Comments (10)
Desh• Nature• Photo• Travel • green• jharna• lush• maharashtra• monsoon• mumbai• Nature• pune• train• Travel• waterfall
I spent Independence Day weekend in Pune, away from the madding crowd. Friends and I drove up to Sinhgadh on one day and the next was spent mostly wandering around Old Pune resisting all the tempting street food (damn, no matter how hard I try, food always comes up. And I was making a special effort to focus on our motherland’s natural beauty for this post-Independence Day post!)
I took the train back to Mumbai the next day (avec drama, of course), and though I had work to do, I resisted pulling out my laptop until the last tunnel was crossed and the crepuscular light made phone photos impossible. I’m amazed my little Nokia got such a clear shot of the waterfalls, less grand, admittedly in 2 megapixels, but still – not bad through the grimy glass of the
Koena Koyna Express!
August 10, 2008 Comments (11)
Delhi• Desh• Experience• Food• Friends• Photo• Travel • chandni chowk• chhole• cinema• Delhi• Food• history• india• old delhi• samosa
Uh, so this post’s title ran away from me …but never mind. What you see in close up is a Japani Samosa. We read about this in the paper – this store run by a Sikh has been selling Japanese samosas for the last 60 years, so 4 days before I packed up my life in Delhi, we went scouring the streets of Chandni Chowk and Chawdi Bazaar for all the old-world treats. (we also bought jewelry on Dariba Kalan, the silversmith street, but the food really was the biggest draw). Here, across Moti Cinema, is Manohar’s Japani Samosa stall. The samosa is shaped like an accordion fan (think deep fried, stuffed, fanned phyllo.) The chhole, though, were to die for. (And after two helpings each, we were close.)
August 5, 2008 Comments (5)
Bombay• Experience• Food• Nature• Photo • • Food• india• mango• mangoes• seasons
Sigh. I don’t even feel like writing anything. There’s nothing to say. The mango season is ending. These shops are gone! Now, instead of heaps of orange, even red beauties twinkling in store fronts, you’re lucky to see a single basket heaped with green langdas at the fruit vendor’s.
The store fronts are super smart though: they’re let to the vendors seasonally. This one is a paper mart for the rest of the year, I guess.
This was the second year that South Asian alphonsos were available in the U.S. I anticipated hearing more vocal rejoicing, given how gross that fibrous tasteless mess that passes for a mango in the US is. 😉 Lucky me to be home in desh!