June 25th, 2011


Anklet at the Bell Convention, 230611

We went to see the bells exhibited at the Bell Convention yesterday, because

Gordon Barnett

makes exquisitely-designed bells, and was exhibiting, too.

For photographs of the various kinds of bells we saw, go to my Facebook album ...

click here

if you have a Facebook account.

Gordon told us that there were only two or three bell-makers, most of the delegates were bell-collectors. And he was no exception! As we walked around, we all drooled over one particularly well-wrought, chunky anklet...but it was Gordon who went ahead and bought it! Here it is, rather incongrously on his sock-and-sandal:

anklt flsh 230611

I took this one with the flash:

ankltnon flsh 230611

I do think that well-made jewellery is the poetry of adornment!

I learnt about mechanical bells (the kind we still see in Government offices in India, where the officer presses the button on top, and the bell goes "DINGGGG" to summon the peon), crotals (no, no, that is NOT scrotal spelt badly, but the shape is certainly ball-like...it is like the "maNi" we have on our bharatha nAtyam shalangai), and though I've seen ThanjAvur "thalai Atti bommai", this was the first time I saw "nodders"...where the clapper of the bell, below, extended above the arch of the bell as the head of a nodding figure! Here's a video I took of a nodder:

In another room, called the "Behold" room (where more bells were exhibited), there were several bells up for auction (people could write down their bids) and being raffled too.

We had a very enjoyable and informative evening, and though I am afraid I will never be an avid bell-collector (the bells didn't "speak" to me the way some of the collectors described!), I did enjoy looking at the variety of bells.

Gordon tells me that from an attendance of 1400 people in 1977, numbers have rather dwindled to 170 or so this year.

You can go to Gordon's blog if you

click here

I am still very curious about how these bells are packed and brought from all over the country, and abroad (there were delegates from several other countries, too)....but that must wait, I suppose!

Visit to Principia College with Stephen Silha and Gordon Barnett, 220611

I've posted a lot of photos of the visit, to my Facebook album; you can use your FB account to view them


It was a day of serenity and peace; upon the hillside, hearing the soughing of the strong breeze in the leaves of the ancient, majestic trees, KM sat for a rare moment of calm and quiet:


I loved the idea of an architect (Bernard Maybeck) making a small house to practice his experiments and make his mistakes; indeed, this small building on the Principia campus is now called the

Mistake House

....that's something I wish every architect would do!


The Chapel is a beautiful building, on the hill, overlooking the (now swollen) Illinois River; and I loved the symbolism of two paths leading to the same chapel:


I do hope you have a Facebook account, and enjoy my account of the visit...must be wonderful to be educated in such a beautiful place!

Off to Florida in while, where there will be a huge family gathering (about 30 family members, apart from friends!) for our niece's arangEtram...I don't know how much internet access I will have, or how much time I will have for it, either!

Ocala, Florida: 250611

We got here very late and this morning, got up to find the house full of immediate and extended family....and it feels good to catch up with everyone again....some of my relatives I am meeting again after long years!

And to remove any doubt that we are in contact with the world...here's the array of laptops on the counter of the open kitchen!


Laptop manufacturers ought to give our family volume discounts....

The bharata nAtyam performance is later today (it's about 1pm now, and the performance starts at 4pm I think)...will post about it later.

Meanwhile, photos-from-the-air, of a lovely sunset and landmarks of St.Louis, are