Monday, October 29, 2012

Images from Ozar. 
None of the Ashtavinayak temples will let you photograph the deity-- dunno why.
Kukdi river has a lovely expanse.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Just back from a beautiful pilgrimage-- Ashtavinayak
lenyadri, Ozar, Ranjangaon, Theur, siddhatek, Morgaon, Mahad, Pali.
Jejuri too.
These images are from lenyadri, the first stop. In this Buddhist cave complex (3 BC to 3 AD), one cave has a swayambhu as in self manifesting image of the Lord Ganpati. The climb is a not so simple 150 steps.

inscription on the wall of the cave
Lenyadri-- the cave dates to 3 C BC
arches outside the cave where the Ganpati  deity is

The cave with the stupa

very interesting vaulted ceiling

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rangoli outside the labs
yesterday we celebrated Dusshera puja at work. Wonderful to see the girls in their festive best.
the color was pink, and I had to scrounge though my cupboard to sort of mix and match.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My grandfather, a village doctor, was ambitious for his sons--which is probably why I’m not waiting in queue to draw water from a village well today.
My tribute to my grandfather, Beholden, has been published in a nonfiction anthology, Real.


31 writers are featured in essays on life, love, sex, food, art, the future, history, travel, doctors, family ... and more!

Revealing the truth in all its guts and glory!

Featuring the talents of Gessy Alvarez, Cheri Ause, Meghan K. Barnes, Layla Blackwell,Laura Bogart, John Wentworth Chapin, Rebecca Chekouras, James Claffey, Joanna Delooze, Mira Desai, Gloria Frym, S.H. Gall, Cinda Gibbon, Walter Giersbach, Jane Hammons, William Henderson, Gill Hoffs, Claire Ibarra, Joanne Jagoda, Maude Larke,Michael Gillan Maxwell, S.B. Phoenix, Matt Potter, Mark Rosenblum, Shane Simmons,D.M. Simone, Jonathan Slusher, Sharon Louise Stephenson, Thomas Sullivan, Susan Tepper and Diana J. Wynne

Monday, October 22, 2012

Saptami puja at Ramkrishna Math, Khar

Yesterdays color was orange.
Soneri is orange, is it not?
Dazzling golden, fine spun.
Yesterday I was privileged--sat right at the feet of the mother at the Saptami puja at Ramkrishna Math, Khar.
Soneri is the color of the dhaki, and the maddening drum beat that sets your blood cells whirling.
Soneri is spun gold, the color of dazzling light on sea waves at the beginning of creation.
Soneri is the might of young mountains breaking free of the ground, coming to life
Soneri is the sunlight, touching the first trembling leaves in untouched first forests.
Soneri is the color of teardrops glistening on my eyelashes as the hymn comes to an end.

RIP Yash Chopra sir.
Death spares no one--but the city puts one to shame.
Dengue decimates in the priciest areas of town

Saturday, October 20, 2012

grey seas, NP

Today’s festival dress color is grey. But there is no way you can wear the grey of uncertainty, or of grey skies,  or hazy grey lines. When I hunted for pictures I notice grey stands out only if there is color or texture to contrast. I shall think  instead about swirling mists and the sheen of grey pearl, and the grey or a rose-tinged dawn.

Friday, October 19, 2012

agave. its tip as sharp as a shrew's tongue

These festival days are supercharged, something dazzling about the light...Today’s dress code color is green, the green of dark forests, the green of light from the other side of a leaf, many hued generous splendid green, from pista to jade emerald.
Though I must admit being more familiar with the green tinge of envy.

Slumzilla past the colony wall lives exuberantly and spoils me for choice --disco garba remixes to the left and traditional garba that I can sing from memory, to the right. Ah, life!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The bauhinia are in bloom.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nestled in Sunday’s paper was a flyer from Creative Handicrafts, an organization that works with slum women to teach them means of livelihood. Ordinarily, I abhor shopping, specially the mall variety, and operate with little free time, hence the preference for single-store purchase and experimentation with bagittoday. But this sounded good, and so it was. 
kurta detail, change purse
cutwork bag detail
Creative Handicrafts is aided by the local parish, the Sacred Heart, which has been around since this part of the suburb was dense forest, and I have heard tales of cheetahs lolling in the church compound, then it wasn’t slumzilla and post industrial, though the ancient, 1st C? Buddhist caves must have been there. The sale was very good, and the range of clothing and bags/ folders/ cases superbly designed, specially the block printed work and the embroidered shirts. They work using modern machines, and give a fair wage to the women from the surrounding slums
.Apparently most production is exported, and they sell locally what is left over. They also offer a range of jams, folders/purses, soft toys and shoes at a shop just off Mahakali Caves Rd, near Maruti School, also near Bhangarwadi. I reached via a meandering shortcut via the shanties past the Church but I wouldn’t recommend that unless you like exploring  shortcuts, like I do.
ps: this afternoon I took my friend V there. Was blessed! Met Sister Isabel. now 86, who began this effort fifty years ago. She still had a sparkle in her eyes, a proud honorary Indian.

Mother Mary blessed my friend P’s home on Sunday. Her home was freshly painted and decked up with flowers for this all important guest. But the first time I went to her home in the distant west, I was too early, had mixed up the time—so after my usual Sunday prayers at the temple, I went again to pay my respects, even the rickshawalla said, "Darshan adhoora nahin chodna chahiye..." Serene! I have a special connect with Maai.

At the temple in addition to the Vishnu Sahastranam, we’ll now be reciting Shri Suktam.for Navratri, rather Guruji will recite in his perfect Sanskrit and the likes of me will humbly listen, wondering in which lifetime will i learn this! Late last night they brought in Ambama’s statue in the shantytown past the wall, superb drumming and much festivity, lights twinkling late into the night.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rant warning. I might have gotten myself into a standing battle royale with bagittoday, but I shall persevere, no matter that the return address is so far from Dilli it is halfway to Haryana, or where ever Bhatti village is. Ever gullible and on the lookout for an escape from mall shopping, I  took a deal offered on kurtis, and was sent possibly the smallest size despite asking for generous, big, large-- the tags were altered but they forgot to snip off the cloth tag that is sewn into the seam..

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I have been thinking of legacies, inheritances. tangible (cash,assets) and intangible (values, outlooks, life priorities), and how they sometimes go beyond flesh and blood.
An elegantly fashioned clothes hanger crafted out of german metal,  with movable hooks, created in a time when such items were not assembly-line manufactured. The person who rescued it from the trash heap- raddiwalla was not a family member, and yet... somewhere the long gone would have been pleased. Very sad to hear of family heirlooms being trashed... at such times I remind myself that this is not exactly my family. It was good I stayed  away, I would have cried.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

How many times must I have gone to the central Baroda  area called Mandvi, as a kid? I was a regular at the Central Library a few paces away, and one of my lasting regrets is having dutifully returned an early Dickens edition. Anything good, anything worthwhile in that city and you can be sure the wise King founded or funded it, eons ago. I was in the area over the weekend for some work, and was drawn by this working hospital. What wonderful work even if it needs sprucing up.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

1972- 1991
Which ever lifetime you are in now, peace and joy little one, be well.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Delighted to announce publication of a story on Pureslush for their Virtualism theme:

Monday, October 01, 2012

That fantastic drumming and clash of cymbals as deities were taken for immersion. The peace of prayers, mindful of the conjunction of distant planets. Sitting quietly with a friend, hearing her life tale unravel. The shock of a teary birthday wish too late, and much too early in the morning—don’t know why, but I can guess—has anything really changed in the last twenty, thirty years? The scare of a nonresponsive external hard drive, much praying, long distance assistance, and eventual relief at a solution. Some resolutions for the new year, to free up and use chunks of time. Last year’s hit and miss was hallmark plodding mule, but cussed persistence is in my genes.