January 4th, 2012


Colour on our footpaths...

Our pavements and footpaths are full of people who are trying to eke a living in a city that they have moved into. Amongst these are the immigrants from Rajasthan, who make these ceramic artefacts:

pavement L 291211

Several of these patterns seem to be the most popular, including square containers for Tulsi plants, vases, and Shirdi Sai Baba statuettes. They certainly add colour to our footpaths, even as they block them for pedestrians!

A question, a poem and a song...

Our entire family (excluding us in India, of course) got together over New Year, and had a skiing holiday ( as I posted


KTB went "kating" but no diaper-wearers got on the ski slopes!) Regarding the skiing, shortindiangirl's friend Uday asked:

"I can't understand what the attraction to skiiing is. Outside my zone completely. 1) it is *expensive* , 2) it is risky from many angles*, 3) the act is always justified. How much does convention & norm have to do with this justification? "

In response to this, SIG penned a poem, and this reply:

"She is winter.
Whispering white.
Clear air. Silent peaks. Crispness.
A primal hug with Mother Earth
As I carve around her.
No asphalt, concrete trucks
No manufacturing lines of Japanese workers building automobiles.
Just me, the mountains, and
Extensions to my body.

"Active and passive,
Breezy melody on the way up
The ski lift sways over tree tips
The snow dances with the wind
And rhythm down the hill
Down, turn, carve, up,
down, turn carve up
A smooth music and easy flow
The soft white soil below
Responds like skin to the touch of a finger
Loving you back.

"Warm body on a cold day
Apres ski pervades the collective soul
Red noses share a glass
And the adrenalin of the slopes.
Soaking the marvel of Mother Earth
Enveloped in warm water
Bubbling upwards under sparkling stars
Fire and ice
Warm glow and rising smoke
Families cackle around games
A milky moon in the inky sky
Caresses me as I give myself up
Every reason to do it all again
The next morning.

"Convention comes from love and emotion Uday. And somehow we all are willing to pay more for more natural things right - organic tomatos, volcano vacations, and a balance of creature comforts with primitive explorations. Mother Nature challenges us with her forces, all of which present risks. Arguably, to enjoy her, you have to pick up the gauntlet that she throws."

But meanwhile a what-could-have-been-very nasty accident happened to her, as a snowboarder rammed into her, and she was taken to the emergency room after losing her memory for a brief while. (Apart from a sore head and some neck pain, she's OK now.)

So, my niece Monica (who, with her husband Ashwin Datt, hosted 17 of them at Minden, Nevada, where they live) said,

"In response to your lovely poem, I respond with a song...

"(To the tune of "Grandma got run over by a reindeer")

"Anjana got run over by a snow-boarder,
Skiing at Heavenly New Years Eve,
She may not believe in helmets,
But as for the Datt family, we believe.

"She was wearing an owl hat
To protect her head from cold,
But she forgot that a helmet
will protect her head from getting rolled.

"After Anjana was all wrapped up,
All protected in her sled,
Her husband Derek did the right thing,
And lectured the boy instead of hitting him in the head.

"Anjana got run over by a snow-boarder,
Skiing at Heavenly New Years Eve,
She may not believe in helmets,
But as for the Datt family, we believe.

"After some x-rays and a CT scan
We found she has a brain,
Luckily no long-term damage affected it
So the fears of her family were in vain.

"Now that Anjana's feeling better,
We all hope that we will hear,
That wearing a helmet is better,
Than a few days of headache and ringing in her ears.

"Anjana got run over by a snow-boarder,
Skiing at Heavenly New Years Eve,
She may not believe in helmets,
But as for the Datt family, we believe."

Lots of talent in our family, and not only for skiing! Here's everyone, including a cousin-technically-the-brothers'-niece, Krittika, and her family, too (the photo was taken by Krithu's husband Paddy):

family minden 311211

Only five of us...KM's elder brother Natarajan and his wife Bhuvana, Narayan's wife Bhavadharini, and KM and I...are missing.