Posts Tagged 'Puducherry'

Cutting Grass

Puru Kothari

When he was in school, Puru Kothari’s Hindi teacher once excoriated the class for failing to study hard enough, telling them that they were “only fit for jobs like cutting grass.” More than a decade latter, Puru ran into his old teacher, who inquired about Puru’s life. “I cut grass,” said Puru with a smile.
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Getting in Touch with My Feminine Side


I’m glad to have grown up the lone male in a house of amazing women – my mother, sister and, for a short-but-significant while, two sister-like close friends. As a consequence, I am able to easily reject traditional notions of gender and have developed a strong sense of myself without leaning too heavily on the easy crutch of normative male privilege. More importantly, I am one of the few men who reflexively returns the toilet seat to the down position. No one has ever accused me of failing to “get in touch with my feminine side.”

Until last week, that is.
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Monsoon in Tamil Nadu

A number of factors kept us in the states beyond our scheduled departure date in early October, and we didn’t land in India until early December. November is the heart of monsoon in Pondicherry, where we live, though it is common for the rains to linger a bit after the calender page has been turned. When we arrived to day-after-day of clear blue skies, it seemed plain that we missed monsoon this year.
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Fauna, update


Within minutes of posting about the many creatures who reside with us in our room-on-the-roof, we were visited by a family of nine monkeys. They love to sit on the parapet and eat leaves from our banyon tree.



Several years ago, when my friends Bindi Gandhi and Anjali Sardeshmukh were IndiCorps fellows, working on public health initiatives in Ahmedabad’s Ramapir no Tekro slum, they lived in a wonderful house on the campus of the Gandhi Ashram. I called it “The Zoo,” in appreciation of its diverse and plentiful fauna. They had mice, rats, lizards, geckos, bats, cockroaches, ants, centipedes, roaches, and pretty much every other manner of creepy-crawly. Despite working to exhaustion to improve sanitation and hygiene conditions in the slum, they permitted the drainage ditches around the house to become blocked, creating a mosquito breeding regime so potent that one could hardly breathe without committing mosquito mass murder. (The surviving hordes of mosquitos exacted their own revenge.) The water tank was infested with millions of tiny worms. There was even a peacock who lived on the roof – how auspicious is that!

I could continue the roster, but you get the idea. I left them a notebook to record the comings and goings of all the different species in the place.
Continue reading ‘Fauna’

Dawn and Dusk on the ECR

We met friends today in Mahabalipuram, a two hour ride north toward Chennai up the East Coast Road. We left home before sunrise and returned after dark. Here are two small glimpses of the journey, from just after sunrise and just before sunset.

Checking the nets at dawn

Planting rice at dusk

Blasts from the Past

Man Up!
Man up you pussy!

... because the Miami Dolphins NFL bullying episode brings the evergreen topic of the idiocy of manliness back into focus.


Talking Turkey
how to cook a perfect turkey in half the time

... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.


Filial Piety Awareness Day
Kaki Tusler, Mother's Day Celebrant

... because everyday is Mother's Day.


America Dreaming Small
American Dream

... because the re-election of President Barak Obama has done nothing to turn America away from its recent ethos of small-mindedness.


Serenity and Gratitude to Bring in the New Year
New Year's Eve at Tibetan Pavillion

... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.


Incredible Vision
Infinite Vision

... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.


Expelliarmus! Harry Potter and the Path to Gandhian Nonviolence
Expelliarmus, Potter, Gandhi, Nonviolence

... reprinted in frustration that a dumbass nonevent brought down David Petraeus, the most brilliant, influential, deeply flawed military strategist since Harry Potter.


India Going Nowhere Fast
Nano in Flames

... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?


Understanding the Gift Economy
Gift Economy Explained

... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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