Protected: Glittering folds

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hide your cows, it’s a-pouring outside

Wet cattle

Cows herd around a traffic island in Noida beneath an overpass to avoid a November rain.

The guys on the motorbike nearly crashed because they wanted to look at me as they sped by.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

PaTake! (Fireworks!)

Boom

I attended my first Indian wedding at the end of October. I’ve wandered past and through a few wedding parties raging on the streets of Delhi, but this was a fancy shindig in a large open air ground with food galore, a DJ and hundreds of people.

And like any pukka Indian wedding, fireworks. Loads of fireworks.

Technically paTake refers to small firecrackers. The proper aerial fireworks have another name — atishbaji — though I’m not sure anyone would use it.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Random party breaks out on long train journey

Impromtu train carriage show

During a train ride from Delhi to Pune in November, the berth just opposite my bunk happened to be filled with random musicians. WIth encouragement from much of the rest of the carriage, they took to song for several hours in the middle of our overnight journey.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Actually sang me to sleep at one point. Click play above to listen.

Continue reading this entry » » »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Hello, mouse lemur, don’t run away

Cute but difficult to photograph

Forgive this random photo, but I realized that I had the shot and never posted it.

Meet the mouse lemur, the smallest of Madagascar’s native, if strange, primates.

I managed to photograph him in a small tree during a hike through the Reserve de Nahampoana near Ft. Dauphin. This nocturnal little guy hides dutifully during the day, but even at night he’s a bit shy.

My guide spent the better part of an hour scouring various trees and bushes before we spotted him by torch light. He jumped away almost as soon as my flash went off. A second chance for better focus was not an option.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sabji hei!

A little young for this job

A sabji (vegetable) wallah from Jodhpur’s old city. Much of the fresh produce in India is still sold from open-air stalls and carts. Shiny, air-conditioned supermarkets are still a relatively new phenomenon and usually only found in big cities.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Phoolwallahs of jodhpur

Garland

Early in the morning, the scent of flowers mixes with the reek of cow dung in Jodhpur’s old market lanes. Meet the phoolwallah, the flower salesman, stringing together garland of flower petals.

Continue reading this entry » » »

Tags: , , , , , ,

How’s that for a slice of fried gold?

Cardamom

I admit I’m not much on Indian sweets. The occasional gulab jamun is about all I can stand.

But this bit of heaven in Jodhpur — which I’ve never seen anywhere else in the country (maybe not looking enough) — was fantastic. A combination of soft and crunchy with a hint of cardamom. Some of them come covered in icing or butter or cheese-like substance.

The old market bylanes are filled with these cakewallahs.

See below for a better understanding of how it’s made. I don’t really know a whole lot else, as my Hindi failed that morning. All I could really gather was “elaichi” — Hindi for cardamom — before the guy simply broke me off a piece to try.

I wish I had bought so much more.

Continue reading this entry » » »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Grab the bull by the horns

Creepy

Or not, as I’m pretty much cattle-phobic. Still.

I’m better than I was, but yes, I’m not getting closer than I need to.

This was a bit of a challenge in Jodhpur (above), which I can say — without any exaggeration — smells like it has the most cows-per-capita of Indian city/town/village/hamlet I’ve visited. Seriously, that place is cow-patty central.

It’s really a wonderful place — with all the heart and chaos and color of India — just a little bovine-ridden.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mounds of mitai

Candied saunf and other sweet namkins

Sort of. Sweet snacks. Meethi paan masala, saunf, dried fruits and the like.

From the market lanes in Jodhpur’s old city.

Tags: , , , , , , ,