Tagged with family

Father: A rock ban.
Little boy: A whot?
Father: A rock band-d iza grup zat plays toge-ther.
Little boy: Ah, ah, yes, I know.

— Overheard in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont
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Have you heard of Santa Claus?

Patti, my grandmother, is now living with my parents. Her sight and hearing are going, but otherwise she's sharp and in really good health. She makes us smile every day.

In the past, she wasn't much exposed to all this Christmas stuff. There's been a flurry of wrapping recently. The other day she came up to me and said, "I want to see one present. I want to know what you are packaging, what you are giving." To which my mother replied, "You'll have to wait for Christmas!" She was surprised we were unwrapping them here, so I realized she thought the presents were all meant to be given away. There's also been a bustle in the kitchen, which has been confusing as well. It's really fun to try to see this lavish holiday through her eyes. This morning we tried to explain the whole Santa ... View Post »

Don't throw those away. They are very auspicious.

— Dad, in response to us wanting to toss a fried food offering we weren't going to eat
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GalleryMystery ride

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GalleryGoing back to green

Our asparagus yield for the year

We are back in this incredible world of green, enjoying the month of May in Connecticut. So hello, US of A. The natural world is just exploding here, and it's almost like I've never noticed it before. I don't think that can be possible, but I also don't think we could have found a more complete polar opposite to the India we left (for the moment). We are here for about a month, just long enough to take a first icy dip in the pool and watch the buds blossom and give way to produce. View Gallery »

Patti laughing hysterically because we took a photo of the cut mango (see last post).

A labor of love: cutting an unripe mango into thousands of little bits that Mohana will make into a sour pickle.

EssayMystery ride

This weekend was about surprises. Matt grew up going on mystery rides with his family and this weekend he returned the favor. He said I could tag along too. Surprises? New England summer attractions before tourist season? Hells yes. It's good to be a kid again. 

We all climbed into the car early Friday morning from Dighton, Mass. Three hours later we arrived in the western White Mountains of ... View Essay »

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Finding the past and the future in the present

While my folks were here, we went to visit family friends of my dad's, Lata and Parag, in Dadar. On their porch overlooking the quiet area of Dadar, with cars on the expressway whizzing by to our right, we considered the hubbub of the day. If order comes out of chaos, what will India's new order look like? Lata mentioned that the highway had actually made her neighborhood more pleasant. She said the traffic noise had subsided because people could now travel expressly (on the highway) to their destination and were not stuck in a glut of horns and diesel exhaust in front of her home.

Lata and I went on to talk about what Matt and I were doing in India. Taking off from a job, traveling, and not having 100% quantifiable goals is very strange for most Indians (and parents, sometimes). ... View Post »

Daily ritual: chopping veggies.

I've been thinking about cutting - and cutting - a lot lately with my grandmother, Patti. Every morning I rise at six, do my meditation, some yoga, and drink my coffee. Then I set up two pillows as a seat to get myself to "cutting" level at the table. Out come the cutting boards, kitchen knives - for Patti, a well-worn one - and for myself, a small, disposable purple ceramic blade. She assembles the proper stainless bowls, all miraculously fitting the ingredient perfectly once it's cut and placed inside. Then she peels squash, removes the strings on peas, chops the ends of okra, and takes the skin off potatoes. She instructs me on how to cut - this way for rasam, that way for dal; this way for subji, that way for topping upma. Everything has a cut. 

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