Juicing is hard work. Last month, I went to Janakpuri for a work visit and exiting the I just loved these two little boys who were selling sugarcane juice (replacing the shakharkandhi chaat of the winter) from this rotary machine which took all their strength. There were plenty of takers on that hot day — one of the first sweaty ones in Delhi’s so-called spring…
Their ice blocks are covered with jute sacks and the sugarcane stems
are then passed between the two grinding wheels. The result — a flattened stick of fibre, and sweet, sweet, sticky liquid sugar 😉
Last month, my trusty iBook crashed on me and I was near devastated. I had such a crap day that I really was in no mood to do anything but crawl into bed and cry over lost data. My parents, however, cajoled me into coming out to dinner with them on the promise that their friends would cheer me up with funny stories of their misspent youth. They lived up to their promise and I did feel better. But the highlight of the evening was seeing two sambar forage in the B course in the moonlight. Here’s one with shadow thrown on the gumbad behind. Blurry, but then my camera phone isn’t really made for nighttime shooting.
I’ve been ‘home’ for one year. A whole year!
That happened sometime late last night and I was too frazzled to even think about it. Walking with my mother this evening before dinner, discussing my impending move to Bombay later in March, I stopped in my tracks at the realization that I’ve made it through an entire year — relatively unscathed! I can’t even begin to enumerate all the great things that have happened to me and the awesome people I’ve met, the fabulous stuff I’ve learned, done, and become a part of … not to mention the amount of street food I’ve savored… (I’m going to gloss over the crap radio job, the horrid winter, the awful allergies/ migraines/ bureaucracies/ roads …). And to make it all seem most fitting, today, I was given my first fortune cookie since I left America. And it read “You will have new adventures!” No $%*#, Sherlock! HAH!
So, early one Saturday, I went downstairs to get something and heard Meena, one of the maids, screaming from the garden to Anita the other maid upstairs on my floor to shut the balcony door immediately — there was a monkey on the parapet. Given that Anita is petrified of the dogs, Meena guessed right that having a monkey come in while she swept would not have amused her. So Anita shut the door. Meanwhile the monkey hung out and calmly watched all the chaos.
I can’t believe that such a huge wild animal is hanging out in suburban Delhi. Yes, we see them at tombs and in large parks but in congested, residential South Delhi? Anyway, I’m haunted by the thought of said visitor stealing my underwear which dries in the balcony he was just below. I’m not sure what I’d do if I found this chap in my bra and panties — let him keep them, I guess.
This is an old photo…maybe 3 months old now. I’ve had it saved in a draft post since I took it because it’s just heartbreaking to write about. This little imp of a puppy hangs out at the dual ATM’s near my house. When we first met him, he was fuzzy and frolicky, as puppies are. The next time I met him, he had a huge wound on his head, but despite the dried blood and flies, he was in great spirits, gamboling, playing, wolfing down food. The watchmen and workers there were engaging with him, looking after the little cutie. Now, three months later, he’s sick. He’s lost his fur. His eyes ooze, he’s got fleas, he’s pretty wretched. And it breaks my heart. In Bombay there’s the Welfare of Stray Dogs that sterilizes strays and attacks the problem at the root, so to speak. I’ve been dying of guilt over this puppy. I should have called one of the animal shelters and had him fixed early on at least. And vaccinated. But this is my dilemma: should one even bother? It will sound heartless but is that really the solution? Should one actually just let them die out — as they surely will (in fact, as another sick dog down my street just did?) Wouldn’t euthanasia be a kinder fate than dying slowly once your cuteness disappears?
Leaving the church across my house on a Sunday afternoon was this foursome. They were just so cute, I asked if I could take a picture. And they agreed. So here they are: four to a bike.
Ok, so I’m romanticizing wildly and anthromorphizing, as well. But when it rains and rains and rains in Bombay, everything looks like it’s smiling. Well, to me. Erm, probably because I don’t live there 😉 and don’t have to deal with crazy commutes. This past week in Bombay was super cool. After having lived in cold, cold rain for 12 years, I was happy to go out and stand Titanic-style on the balcony every time it rained because it was so wonderfully warm. I’d nearly forgotten how lovely and refreshing and welcome rain can be.
… you’re on a bus 😉
That would be the poster of Ram Gopal Verma ki Aag on the back of a BEST bus featuring my baby brother who’s all grown up and … arrived. There are other buses tooling along with the poster along the side as well, but this is all I could capture while in motion on the roads of Mumbai.
So, since Monday, we’ve had hoopla (and no time for blog) galore. We saw the preview screening on Monday, and on Thursday we went for the red-carpet premiere. I behaved myself and acted the star-sister rather than the glamor-struck fan or the journalist 😉 And I got out of the way of the paparazzi that was solely interested in the bro … and how 😀 First day first show screening is tonight for all our friends. Critics’ assessments come tomorrow…
Rakhi, this year, was on the 28th. In the last 12 years, I think I have been physically in the same city as a brother, cousin or otherwise, only once — Berlin in the fall of 1998. For the last four years, the Internet has made life very simple. I went to a desi portal, selected a design, typed in a ‘personalized’ note, and hit send (and also punched in my credit card number.) And invariably, the rakhis have reached the brothers in the US, Europe, Australia and Asia on time. For the first time in a long time, I purchased rakhis myself, wrote out notes longhand, bought and affixed stamps, and mailed them all out. Prashant should be so glad I didn’t buy him one of these pictured here. The choices included a real cell-phone sized metal ‘phone’, a dolphin, ninjas, and rotary phones. All to be worn on the wrist, yes.
After work one day, I decided to do a bit of shopping at Lajpat Nagar market — one of the largest markets in Asia — and on my way back at gloaming, my cycle rickshaw walla (whom I chose over an auto rickshaw since it’s environmentally sounder) decided to go the wrong way up Ring Road — only the busiest thoroughfare in Delhi! That’s the view over the rickshaw walla’s shoulder as I held on tight with one hand, continually gasping in disbelief that we didn’t get hit, head on!
I don’t recommend it. It’s hair raising to have cars, buses, and scooters (and random pedestrians dashing across!) aim at you and only just barely miss!