@ the banyan
Thu, 22 Sep 2005
Friday Morning Sandalwood Scented Greetings,
India has a unique ability to assault and caress all of the senses simultaneously. In one moment you'll be inhaling a heady brew of rose, sandalwood and thick floral mystery and the next moment you'll be gasping for anything that even remotely resembles oxygen as you pass by the fish stall/trash heap/outdoor latrine/charnel ground...a land of drastic contrasts hosing you down with gale force intensity.
I've so been enjoying the 4ft x 4ft corner temples into which the hurried people dodge for their 20 second puja fix..."Yes! I'm late for work but there's always time for (one more) God!"...When divinity is the drug that gets you through your day, I'm all for it!
So often the sagas, which people tell of their travels through India, involve trying to "get what you want". One asks for something rather specific, say...a napkin and invariably something else arrives, perhaps day glow pink "high quality" ice cream and then a heavily gesticulated conversation ensues involving a lot of head bobbling and punctuation marks. "Do you have any peanut butter?", "What!? are you asking for madam!?", "peanut butter...", "What?!!!” "peeeaaa....nnnnnuut buuuttterrrr..." No! We don't have anything like that here madam!!!” "What do you mean!! I bought it here 2 days back! For the love of Vishnu -This is a grocery store! And you don't have any peanut butter!!!?” "Oh! PEANUT BUTTER!!!..Of course we have...yes yes, aisle 3, bottom shelf, 4 varieties..." Unless one approaches communication as a full-on pranayama exercise, utilizing a maximum number of mudras, nothing can be conveyed.
Yesterday's saga involved much of this sort of pranayamic communication. As I've accepted the mission of having several items of clothing stitched for students trapped in the colorless, tailorless wasteland of Boulder, I've been spending A LOT of time with my new friend -- The Tailor who has No Buttons. How can this man who has probably spent his entire life and his 14 previous lives stitching, always be out of buttons!? I go to pick up my order (unfinished for the 3rd time), which is very finely stitched, stacked and ironed but lacking the vital component of buttons?! He then runs (more like- siesta ambles) to a shop down the dirt lane to, what I can only assume is, The Keeper of the Buttons and so begins the button process...which I'm not privy to the nuances of...but I'm sure its extremely involved and will take some undisclosed amount of time. He shows up at our door 11 hours later (that would be 10pm) to deliver the goods...whoa..."Nice Buttons!!" I exclaim but nobody seems to get the comedy here besides the crows, who retell the story amongst themselves till 3am.
Lila's Thursday behest:
"Today we search for monkeys!".... And monkeys we did find!
Banyan trees full of um and so terribly cute they are!
Culinary note from the last 3 weeks:
Would you like some coconut with that coconut...or perhaps you'd prefer some coconut?
Spotted from the road:
Apsara Electrical. This might require some background to appreciate--Apsaras are "Celestial Nymphs", they dance in the heavens, always slightly beyond comprehension and always female. I imagine they are sparkly, very giddy and leave a trail of glitter where ever their feet touch down...that clarified; imagine a flock of apsaras showing up at your door (pink tool pelts for sure!) to remedy any and all electrical problems! What fun!!!!
Dance class update:
Finished Daneke Varnam last night and started on a lovely padam (short gestural dance) called Natrandi Neratilay.... its more delightful than I could have conjured in a dream.... lots of riverbank dalliance, birds fluttering, moonbeams dancing, lotuses blossoming...on and on it goes…too much grace for words! And so we dance....