Friday, May 25, 2007


the other night, we were having a lovely dinner with sujit when suddenly there was an incredible crackling sound. kind of like the sound of rice krispies but so loud that you think the building you're in might be crumbling. we looked out the window, and a giant gulmohar tree was snapping at its base until it fell onto cunningham road, a road that is full of traffic all the time. a road that i travel on, either by foot or by rickshaw, all the time. the sound it made coming down was just as harrowing as the sight of it. hundreds of people immediately rushed to rescue those who were trapped. amazingly, no one was killed.

i realize that i carry around a huge amount of fear. i think i did even before i moved here, but it seems like there's so much more to be scared about in cities like this one. most of my fear has revolved around traffic (being struck by a car/truck/bus), but now includes being crushed by a tree. this is an old feeling. i have imagined worse case scenarios, gruesome deaths of loved ones, etc., ever since i was a young child.

workin' on it, people!

the last few days have been that kind of day where everything goes wrong. yesterday, thanks be to god, there was something that cheered me up. i was in a rick, stopped at one of those crazy, seven-pronged intersections when i noticed two young boys leading a family of camels across the intersection. it was pretty sweet.

what i'm looking forward to:
* seeing my peeps very soon
* getting a massage with my sweetie
* more visitors in the fall
* a walk in the park with nora

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

bom bahia

bombay. now that's a cool city. we really only had two days to enjoy it, and the rest of the time was spent at shumona's grandmother-in-law's beach cottage in janjira. omg, it was lovely. living in such a loud city (and for the record, new york is not loud) really makes one appreciate the quiet spaces. and surprisingly, no crows! but the best part was spending time with shumona.

i think i saw a good chunk of bombay in two days. we were shifting apartments a lot, which meant i got to see much of the city by taxi. meeting surabhi's friends was wonderful, and she was a very thorough and patient tour guide. we walked around bandra, strolled on marine drive at night, had yummy maharashtran food (sabudhana kichidi = my new favorite dish!), shopped in colaba, and took a very nauseating ferry ride across the bay to get to janjira. here are things i loved about bombay:

* sabudhana kichidi
* the vibrant street life (reminiscent of new york city)
* the no rickshaw rule
* organization of traffic (i.e. wide, nicely-paved streets, traffic signals, etc.)
* sidewalks that people can walk on
* old, beautiful buildings
* museums, art galleries (will have to hit those next time)
* the bay/ocean
* great public transportation

and probably more that i'm not thinking of right now. i'd like to go back and soon. there's a conference happening in november called birth india (very excited about that). the woman who is organizing it is from bombay, so i'm hoping it will happen there.

i don't really understand what people mean when they say things like, "bombay is craaaaazy," or "i'm scared to go to bombay." i mean, i guess i haven't read maximum city, which might have made me nervous to go, but it actually seemed a lot more chilled out in some ways than bangalore.

every time i saw tailors, i remembered ishvar and omprakash from a fine balance. and of course many of shantaram's descriptions of bombay appeared in my memory when passing places like the thieves' market or leopold's. and every time we got in a cab, i thought of prabhakar, el pobrecito. am i too attached to fictional characters?

in other news, i had a funny experience yesterday auditioning for voiceover work. i had to read high school text book entries for an interactive curriculum which requires american accents for the audio component. i read two scripts: the inner ear and the reflex action. it was actually pretty difficult. after being told by the sound engineer that i had a "sleepy voice," i tried my hardest to channel russ leatherman (the moviefone guy), raising my eybrows and bobbing my head and talking with my hands, looking absoulutely ridiculous but hoping to sound as animated as humanly possible. blake, you would have been on the ground...

the bummer is that the studio is over an hour by rickshaw each way, and i think that alone would make me miserable. if anyone knows of other voiceover work opportunities closer to the center of town, please let me know.

click here for bombay pics.

Friday, May 4, 2007

water birth in delhi

the most exciting news i've read in the last couple of days is that the first water birth took place in a delhi hospital! this is a big deal given that the cesarean rate in most delhi hospitals is 70-80%. check out more here.

in other news, we have added new photos to our flickr account. for photos of laura's and scott's going away party (including one of surabhi twirling a four-foot sparkler), click here; for photos of our going away gathering for jasmeen, click here; and for photos of our may day on asha's farm (and an ant hill to rival all ant hills), click here.