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
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
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
The Internet can solve a lot of problems, but not this one. Spotted this sign in heavy traffic on the stretch between Navi Mumbai and Mumbai proper. Never did spot the facility itself as promised, 100 meters on. Or was that the place where all the cyborgs were lined up, that most human of all … Continue reading Swipe-N-Wipe?
Today marks the birthday of Lord Ganesh. Witness his creation! Part man, part elephant, Lord Ganesh is made of plaster from the inside out. Finally he's painted and draped in finery. Behold his glory! For the next ten days, he'll be paraded through the streets of Mumbai to be immersed into the Arabian Sea. Happy Ganesh … Continue reading Ganesh Chaturthi
The monsoon retains a grip on Mumbai. Heavy storms blow in today, sideways, slashing bellows of water from the sky. Socked in on the 14th floor, we overlook only mist and cloud, the teeming city obscured. Twenty-five million people hunker beneath this umbrella of rain. Some of my pleasantest hours were during the long rain storms … Continue reading Rain