why is it so difficult to write these days?
there are moments of intense "indian experience" when i can see the stream of words before my eyes, but i am far away from computer or pen & paper. and otherwise i am too lazy or busy.
i was hardly in varanasi this past month. mostly i was in khajuraho with the family. first i went for a week during dehsara festival, end of september. on dehsara festival the hindus celebrate the death of demon ravana. so we made a big statue of ravana with paper and dried grass.
it was fun, the neighbouring kids packed up in the house courtyard watching vijay and ravi "a la tache". the mud pot filled with dried grass worked as the demon's head, and a boy covered it in calcium to make it white. i was given the task to draw the demon's face in... i can't remember what. then we filled in more paper and firecrackers, and after all the work, set our statue on fire. oh, and the following day, everyone eats PAAN, this weird betel leaf wrapped around a variety of ingredients which many men chew, sometimes all day, and then spit out in a digusting red paste.
i had never dared to try paan, i did now, but not for long. all this stuff in my mouth just made me want to vomit, and well, i know now why i never dared to try it. :P
it was lovely to see the family again. i can't remember exactly what happened now. i was happy to rest, oh, and i helped aman with his english homework. calm and quiet khajuraho is a lovely break from busy and noisy varanasi, actually.
i had a week off university, then another week at university, and then again an other week off university for diwali. diwali is big in india. if i remember right it is to celebrate the return from rama from a 14 year-exile in the forest, and the deliverance of his wife sita from demon ravana. i surprise myself remembering some mythology stories from my Hindi course, as i study some texts at university.
so after just 10 days again i returned to khajuraho to celebrate diwali with the family.
i was planning to stay only a few days, but then vijay developed a strong fever and i decided to stay. i just couldn't leave him in that state, i even developed an eye infection due to (i presume) anxiety. we went for a blood test and it turned out he had tiphoid - again. following day we went to chhatarpur (the bigger, neighouring town) to see a better doctor, as it's not the first time Vijay has tiphoid in too short a time. it turned out to be both tiphoid AND malaria. he was surprisingly well supporting the coming and going fevers, in between, most of the time he was kind of ok. still despite the medication his health didn't improve and again i lenghtened my stay. we returned to chhatarpur to the doctor's, who changed the medicines. on the following day he was better already, and he never developed another fever, the treatment is almost finished. i hope it is for good. i forced vijay to sleep under a mosquito net, and i bought a water filter for the family (despite the fact that i suspect that he caught the bacterias outside of khajuraho)... in the end i stayed in khajuraho for ten days. i got back to varanasi day before yesterday. vijay is a lot better now.
in the meantime in varanasi, there have been more new and lovely encounters or friendship, some great concerts, more violin played and more hindi classes and homework done. i am enjoying my bicycle, oh and my (miracle of all miracles!) new mobile phone and its Gayatri Mantra ringtone. and the wheather is cooling down for good. it is quite a lot cooler in khajuraho where it can be chilly at night. i had to wear socks on the night train, and buy a shawl/small blanket. sweating is on holiday. i can wear my corderoy trousers with great joy, and wear my sweater in the evening.
i am becoming good at travelling alone. my hindi vocabulary is growing and so i am becoming pretty good at replying to annoying or dodgy men. they get really surprised from seeing a foreign woman with a small bag and very well used to the "indian ways" it seems. and they get REALLY surprised when i answer or speak hindi, because when it's not complicated sentences, i sound quite fluent. usually people don't bother me long, they get the message straight away and leave me.
i am home. i feel home.
and i am healthy, i am in love, and i am happy.
A note on my three blogs
A note on my blogs
(1) vio; in love with india - this one is the main blog about my Indian adventures, which started in 2005. I don't write much on this blog these days because I prefer to write privately in the confidential blog. But check out the categories and the index to figure out your way. I have kept some older posts not about India but which I still find interesting or relevant in Old words. Also check out my new, fun category Only in India in which I post photos of funny, unique, Indian situations...
(2) vio; sounds of india - this is my blog of sounds, because India wouldn't be as incredible if it was not so vibrant and just so full of incredible sounds!
(3) vio; confidential - this an extension of my main blog in which I post entries I do not want to reveal to the entire webspace for privacy or sensitivity reasons. You must receive an invitation from me and then accept the invitation to be able to read it. You may email me if you are interested in receiving an invitation.