Rainy Day Bloglet

Landed in the motherland. Greeted by warm, wet air instead of the arid breezes of the homeland.

Before long a storm arose, the lights went out and 3 slightly giddy women of differing ages danced in the rain with lightning crashing almost overhead. Very primal.

Drying off by the candlelight where giant shadows danced on the wall; trying to make sure the clothes aren’t inside out or front to back is the challenge.

But the wind is sharp and cool and the rain water cold and shiver-inducing. New memories are being made here tonight in a place not usually so evocative or filled with mirth and belonging…

Ta 2018!

I’ve been lazing in bed all day. A semi-cold grounded me. But as always, laziness plays a far more potent role than I ever give credit to.

2018 was a year of massive highs and lows. Saying goodbye for good isn’t ever easy. It’s harder still when it’s out of the blue and leaves you reeling. But thankfully there were the same old comforting things like reptiles and dinos and superhero movies to look forward to, while bingeing on nachos and setting up reading challenges.

I traveled a fair bit and I hope to continue that into 2019 as well. Caught up with the dearly beloved and some others out of a sense of familial responsibility but came away with realizations each time around which have been and will be enlightening in the long run.

We took some tough decisions as a family and girded ourselves up for potential big hitting changes but things haven’t rocked the boat yet. That we are prepared, helps me sleep better at night.

I started on my book. It took me forever to see what was staring at me all along; I needed to talk a bit less and write stuff out a whole lot more. It may never end up on a bookshelf barring my own, but it will get done and soon.

As a family we achieved big milestones of forbearance, discovery and made new memories. We had major laughs, hit our heads against some walls (me more than Red) and in the end decided to suck it up and be grown ups!

More than anything else, this year has been one for generating massive amounts of food for thought. What kind of child to I want to be? What kind of a parent, friend or spouse? And most importantly…how do I want my day-to-day to play out. Am getting to the answers despite the lure of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Here’s to a fabulous 2019 from me and mine along with a retrospective of the year that was.

Salut! 

 

A Quick Trip To Uppada

In the district of East Godavari, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, lies the smallish village of Uppada. Know for its hand looms, the place was on our itinerary recently as we took in a bit of sight-seeing while exploring the wetlands of Kakinada.

Our kids, mine and a friend’s, are pure city slickers. Mine cries out for room service like Princess Vespa from the Spaceballs movie.

But all that apart, our target was to get the kids to see how different people make a living and possibly see a bit of village life and how something as beautiful as a silk saree gets made.

Here’s what we found…

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A partially woven silk Uppada saree

 

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The weaving extraordinaire…notice the pedals below the floor level
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The weaver’s grandsons showing us how a bobbin looks.
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A lovely, vibrant and lightweight Uppada silk.

The artistry of Indian weavers is eons old and while in many places it’s a dying craft because of mechanization, it’s still quite inspiring to see a few colorful threads spinning around merrily and transforming themselves into a lush fabric.

Here’s to more visits to the hinterlands and discovering more of indigenous art forms and their practitioners.

Wordsworth Had It Wrong…

The clouds were *not* lonely and he could have done a lot more of the waxing on eloquently about clouds rather than daffodils- which are pretty flowers all said and done.

I’m sure I usually drive my co-passengers a bit batty with the clicking sounds from my camera or my mobile, but something comes over me when I see clouds. The poofier the better.

It’s a privilege really, to be soaring in the skies and seeing everything be so close and yet so far away.

Musing At The Waiting Lounge

I like tea. I like tea infused with herbs and flowers which many people (read husband) make a face at and deduce that either am a hippie, far-Left, tree-hugging kook or a pretentious individual who wants to stand out by ordering hibiscus tea when everyone else at the table is just fine with their latte, thank you very much!

But despite caffeine being the lifeblood, I really enjoy a good cup of tea from time to time. Brewed well, steeped just long enough and fragrant as well as flavorful.

Am sitting at the Chennai airport right now, watching humanity rush, loiter and basically mill about. A subdued cyclone brought gusty winds and heavy rains and suddenly I needed a tea fix. And while grub or anything at an airport is hideously overpriced but the heart wants what the heart wants especially with 2 hours to kill before a flight. 

So I chose a tea bar (yes…teas have their own bars now..le posh!) and found that they had a lemon-chamomile blend which seemed like a good choice. Alas…seeming and being are two ends of a spectrum at times. This blend is blah. And to top it off, it looks like a specimen one reluctantly gives at the doctor’s office and tastes like nothing. Just a big, fat nothing.I think I’m qualified to rant a bit because I’ve had the real deal and it was just lovely. 

Nearly 20 years ago, I was on a trip with my folks up in the hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh and we ran into a colleague of my dad’s who was a local there. He and his wife lived in a lovely, quaint wooden house and she grew chamomile…just because. 

She brewed it and added it to various things and also had it as a tisane. She also knitted some lovely woollen socks and gave me a pair; which I ended up giving to an ex-roomie because her toes were freezing off in Frankfurt in the middle of their rather harsh winter, but that’s another story for another day. 

My mother had that baggie of chamomile tea for years. It was fragrant, mild and soothing. It grew in good earth, without too many pollutants and was given as a going away gift by an extremely simple lady who didn’t know how that tea would travel with us over the next couple of years and become an anecdote each time it was brewed.

The only good thing to come out of this cuppa is the stirring of memories of a sunny days, hills and good people. 

Salut.

Buddha Had A Bulldog

Note: This post has been patiently waiting to see the time of day. It did not get it’s moment in the sunny blogosphere due to a nasty hand injury which prevented me from doing anything else but insulting the world at large. Read on below.

Or did he? It’s one of those things we may never really know about for sure. Well, not unless we research a bit into bulldog geneology and map it to a timeline and figure out when the first ones appeared.

But why bulldogs? Why not Shih Tzus or Sharpeis when they are clearly the cuddley-wuddley-izzums of the small dog segments? Well it so happened this weekend when we were at a place in the outskirts of Hyderabad, I came across the landscaping which was clearly done by a team/person who loves Oriental symbols and the Buddha especially.

 

 

There are statues all over the resort along with those chubby, laughing babies one tends to see in their artwork. What one doesn’t usually see are bulldogs. And yet there they were. And so was a pelican! Go figure…


Out of all the things there, these bulldogs caught my eye. Why wouldn’t they? They were so life like. Imagine trudging your way to the restaurant for breakfast, semi-zombieish from the lack of caffeine, and behold. A bull dog. Totally the cover for Better Homes and Gardens.

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So, did Buddha have a bulldog? I guess we’ll never know.

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P.S: What do you get if you cross a Bulldog and a Shih Tzu? Bullshit! Image result for laughing dog gif