Every year brings new challenges to our myths. This year, astronomers turn our attention to the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn low in the night sky, an event said to have occurred two thousand and twenty years ago at the birth of Jesus Christ. The three wise men, we are made to understand, found … Continue reading An Indian King from the East
We shook off the lingering Thanksgiving weekend with a sturdy hike today, climbing 1,100 feet to reach Karnala Fort. The climb passes through the Karnala Bird Sanctuary off highway 66 in Raigad, Maharashtra, home to some two hundred species of birds. We also spotted wood spiders, carpenter bees, termites, dragon flies, and cicadas, and saw … Continue reading Thanksgiving Hike
Nothing in 2020 was immune to the pandemic. Even my hard drive crashed by June, shelved for months before a fix could be found. Vista along the Mahuli Fort trek, Thane Well before my laptop's demise, the year had already presented its share of challenges. Travel to Bhopal in January to support American blues performers … Continue reading Lost
Rangoli beside our door means one thing. Diwali! Colored powders, various beans, and a few candles set around the entry welcome our visitors. Our virtual visitors. Welcome, virtual visitors! See who has already come? The purple-footed Lakshmi tip-toeing around the fern. A confession: I’m no fan of rangoli. They irk me so. Such beautiful creations, … Continue reading Diwali. Art. Humanity.
Here's a succulent dish: Biryani! Five layers of vegetable and rice pulao filling a casserole dish to the top. On the side, raita, a seasoned yogurt with diced tomato and shaved cucumber. I prepared the vegetables and rice separately, for the vegetables chopping eight cups of colorful peppers, broccoli, peas, carrots, and green beans into one-inch … Continue reading Very Biryani
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last night announced a nationwide lockdown, freezing 1.3 billion citizens in place starting at midnight tonight (coinciding with Ugadi, the first day of the New Year on the Hindu calendar). What a relief! For weeks I’ve been grappling with the lack of an end to coronavirus anxiety. Now we know. … Continue reading Lockdown Countdown
Covfefe is the sound of an old man choking on his attempt to say "COVID" While forced isolation has us looking for ways to pass the time at home, I look for something meaningful to read and settle on Poe. The meandering path of my literary pursuit began this morning with Book Fight!, a Podcast … Continue reading COVID, or Covfefe?
It's been 150 years since Gandhi's birth, initiating a circle that goes round today. This year Gandhi Jayanti falls on the fourth day of Navratri, and so we've made his iconic ashram part of our annual display. It's nearly finished, this replica of his simple home on the banks of the Sabarmati River in Gujarat. … Continue reading Gandhi at 150
It's that time of year! The lights are out and the home is warm. For the next weeks and months we'll enjoy the soft glow of string lights. Here in Western India Navratri begins tomorrow. It lasts nine nights. Throughout the period, in this part of the country, we'll recognize the victory of good over … Continue reading Holidays Upon Us
Tuesday I flew to Delhi, this kitchen knife concealed in my shoulder bag. Security missed the 5-½” blade. Wednesday my phone blew up during a seminar I was conducting with 90 colleagues, a deluge of messages from Mumbai, much of the city underwater, including the 5km stretch between my son’s elementary school and home. A … Continue reading It Rains, It Pours