Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Thursday, 24 September 2009
I happened to come to Madras during Navaratri, a festival celebrated throughout India, but celebrated rather differently in each region. In South India, it is known as the festival of dolls, because all the women and children spend time making dolls, then dressing them up, so that they can be displayed during the festival. In North India, I am told the festival revolves around the worship of the mother goddess Durga - it is sometimes known as Durga Puja up there.
Saturday, 19 September 2009
My collaborator (whom, as you notice, remains unnamed and unphotographed), has a beautiful house. In our breaks, I have been enjoying the roof garden - it is a nice place to dry my clothes.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Saturday, 12 September 2009
I finally made it to Madras (now officially, Chennai). The terrible Jet Airways strike complicated my trip significantly and I was stranded in Bombay for 36 hours. Fortunately, Indians are amazingly hospitable people. Several of my father’s colleagues stepped in and sorted me out. One of his friends took me out for a delicious Chinese dinner before I spent the night at her house – then, the next day, she took me to the airport where I caught my flight to Madras.
His mother is possibly the sweetest person on earth. She has been feeling poorly, of late, so her close friend has come to look after her. Today, I found her friend combing, then braiding her hair. This is the kind of thing I read about in old Tamil stories.
For about five hours a day, Muthu and I will translate eight poems about love and a river. We have been sitting on the floor, like pundits, with our books open on little bookstands. The only things that are incongruent about the picture are our shiny new MacBooks. Oh well. To the best of my knowledge, editors no longer take manuscripts written on palm leaves.
Saturday, 5 September 2009
(I'm beginning to see a theme here with my eating habits...)