Monday, June 29, 2009

Attacked Again!

I'm sorry to go so long without a post. After our site was attacked and my blog along with it (in fact, it seems it may be the blog which is the source of the problem), my computer crashed! Is there a connection or is this just awful luck?
I am using Ravi's laptop until I can get mine sorted when I go to Delhi next week, but I can't download my photographs because I've lost the camera software. Hell and Damn. So my posts will be picture-less, which feels a bit like going to a party without makeup.
So expect terse bits of observation, unflavored, no local color (think black coffee instead of hazelnut). In'sh'allah, all should be well by this time next week.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I seem to specialize in rushing. There is always so much to do - what with Moy Moy's care, the biddies, the house, the full-time job, the facebook (ha ha) - it seems I never find a moment to just sit in one place and be.

My friend Nicola told me how she had made a resolution to spend half an hour each morning reading something which made her want to stop and ponder. It could be anything at all - the point was to stop. To pause, to let somebody's thoughts sink in and then play with them in her own life. The other day we talked on the phone and she said she had been doing it successfully for some weeks now and the difference in her life was remarkable. It made me want to give it a try myself.

My jet lag is, amazingly, still continuing. By which I mean I am still getting up very early. So three mornings ago, I tried Nicola's recipe: cup of tea (in the pretty flower cup above) and a book. I chose Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris.

Nicola was right. What a good way to begin the day. The house is quiet and the air is still and a tiny bit cool (just waiting for the furnace to really get going - by midday it will be over 105) and everything seems poised on the brink of renewal, discovery, delight - a new day: anything could happen!

I'm going to keep doing it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ice Lady

Yesterday my mother-in-law told me how much she and the rest of the family had worried about me when I first arrived in India (28 years ago now!). I have totally forgotten this, but she said in those early weeks and months, I hardly ate anything, but used to sit eating ice cubes all day long.
I do remember loving ice. I also remember the ancient fridge my in-laws had, always in dire need of defrosting, and how the ice cube trays were just as old-fashioned: they were metal, with a lever you had to pull to release the cubes. Often, my skin would stick to the metal and I would have to run the tray under water to free it.
When we got our first apartment in Delhi we bought a second-hand fridge from a friend. It was small (just a little bigger than the ones our children had in their college dorms!) and it lasted us for over 13 years.
A few months ago, we bought a beautiful new one. It is tall and sleek and charcoal grey. It is frost free and has a separate freezer and I still cannot believe it belongs to us. The freezer is virtually empty, except for ice. I specialize in it. I want to be the neighbor you call if you are having a party and you need more ice for drinks.
Or in case you have a homesick American in your house who is looking for a little comfort food.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


There is this little girl who has been disturbing our Core Group meetings for the past six months or so and I want to just say a few words about babies in general and how they distract and confuse and beguile us.

Meet Angel. She is Nirmala's adorable daughter and since she returned with her mom after the maternity leave she organized for her, she's been a regular at our weekly CG meetings. I've never seen anything like it. We all start out serious and purposeful, notebooks in hand and agenda fixed firmly in our minds.

Angel sits across the table in Nirmala's lap and grins at whoever is speaking. That person falters a little, loses the thread, tries bravely to get back to the point but then gives in - you cannot resist. You HAVE to smile back.

Finally, it gets to the point where you can't go on with life until you actually have her in your arms.

And then the now-ness of a baby takes over. The agenda becomes meaningless. The minutes? Later! All that matters is that smile and we will all do anything to get one.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jet Lag

Does everyone enjoy jet lag? I love it. It's a parallel universe you are allowed to inhabit for at least a week after a holiday! Everyone is sympathetic as you fall helplessly asleep in the middle of a meeting or while having dinner, amazed and impressed when you rise alert and full of energy at 4:30 AM and indulgent about promises made and not kept (I know I said I'd come at six, but I fell asleep and I just couldn't wake up).

And the sleep! Ah! It wraps itself around you like a velvet glove, sinking you deep into a world of peace and tranquility. You struggle feebly to resist and it pushes you back down into the pillow, murmuring things like "Later." "In just ten more minutes." "Not possible."

Right now I am in the Jet Lag Grace Period. I know it's really over, but since I am still waking at 5 AM, I feel I still have enough of a Moral High Ground to throw my weight around a bit. It won't last. But oh, I do love it while it does!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Shelter From The Storm

I've been blogging for over a year and a half via the Latika Roy Foundation website and I have, I like to think, a devoted audience.

But on Thursday, both the site and my blog were put on a Google "ATTACK SITE" list. Visitors were warned, in a scary, lurid, red screen that going any further could expose their computers to terrifying things which Google could only hint at. There were two options below the warning

  1. Ignore this warning
  2. Get me out of here!
We are working on it. Unfortunately, Edmund, our tech wiz, lives in Norway and he has the keys. We don't even know the name of our server. But until we figure it out, I decided I would take up residence here so I can continue to send my little thoughts out into the universe. I have so many. It gets too crowded in my head if I don't share.

So you can find me here until further notice.

And there's a photo because I always have a photo.