Sunday, November 28, 2010

A long and bumpy road...

We recently set off for a Thanksgiving weekend road trip. A mere 300km trip from point A to point B that took a good seven hours because of bumpy roads and traffic in all shapes and sizes. The journey was not dull, here are some scenes:

Ready, set, go!!

Stuck behind a truck load of cows:

Stuck behind a horse and carriage:

Another truck load of cows:
Crossing the Ganges:

A wedding celebrations begins:

This looks like trash but it's actually a massive area where plastics are pulled for recycling, by hand:

A woman carrying a pile of cow patties:

And our reward...a beautiful sunset among eucalyptus, teak and banyan trees at our hotel near the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve in the state of Uttarakhand.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A happy...

So I took a visiting friend to Dilli Haat. I really like Dilli Haat. It's an outdoor handicrafts market that rotates its vendors every two weeks or so. It often has a special theme revolving around a specific state's handicrafts or, as we discovered on Friday, to promote awareness for a social cause. The cause was for the welfare of children and women. There were the usual vendors of scarves, shoes, beautiful embroidered tops, jackets and linens. What was new were the woolens--sweaters, hats, scarves, the cutest little slippers--and the conference area where there were tons of teenagers discussing and listening to lectures. But, the thing that caught my eye and stopped me in my tracks was

It was positioned just next to the exit and when we walked by a young woman was sitting in front of the sign taking notes. I wonder how many other people stopped to read the sign before leaving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Peacock family

On the lawn surrounding X's office, there are many old tennis court that nobody uses, a huge pile of leaves with an old bicycle or two thrown in, wide open grass, flowers and big shady trees. There is also a peacock family that I spied briefly the other day.

I was so excited to see the papa with his beautiful blue neck:

Than a little further away, I saw this mama with her two babies:
Such a nice surprise. Can you imagine such beautiful creatures at your place of work?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

'Tis the season...

Around this time of year in Delhi the melas begin. Melas usually have handicrafts of all shapes, sizes and varieties from clothes to art to decorations to carpets to jewelry. At the end of October I went to the Dastkar Mela. It was amazing. It was overwhelming. It was....well, I'm just planning on saving all my pennies for next year. In addition to all the beautiful clothes and crafts, there was food to eat, music and dance to watch and even some art activities for the kids. This is one mela that should not be missed (and, if I understood correctly, I think all proceeds benefit charitable organizations and/or the workers themselves). I arrived not in the mood to shop and left because I ran out of money...
 This was just one small part:

 Kids doing some crafts:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday outing

We have been in Delhi for 15 months now and I still feel like we're setting up house. We have the basics, but we need to make it feel like home--a few personal touches, a few photos and a few more pieces of furniture. I was intrigued by a friend who told me about a place she went just outside Delhi where there were huge rooms filled with all kinds of furniture and decoration. I convinced X to go, so we left Saturday morning for a furniture hunting adventure. Our driver knew exactly where it was so it didn't take too long to get there. There were at least three huge, warehouse size rooms like this:
 and these are just a tiny view...
Then there were these light fixtures:
And cool decorations:
Dorian found something for his room...
And, Arthur found a doggie to love:

We did not buy the chair for Dorian or the doggie for Arthur, but I think we found some nice and unique pieces of furniture for our house-soon-to-be home.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A few moments...

For me as a mother, there are a few moments that are so important and precious that not only define my experience as a mother but are also the hightlights of this whole journey in motherhood. The day my sons were born and when each of them first said "mama" or walked for the first time are the obvious landmark moments, but sometimes it's the little unexpected things that make just as big an impression. The other day I was carrying Arthur down the hall to his room when he wrapped his little arms around my neck and gave me the biggest squeeze and a wet sloppery kiss. And, then there's yesterday when Dorian, who has been busy these past weeks writing his name over and over again on paper, showed me this:
He wrote me name for the first time! I know it's not really a big deal but I thought it was just so sweet...then he decorated it:

And, nothing warms my heart more than seeing them doing an activity peace:

I think after over a year of being here, the boys are in a good place--enjoying school, enjoying the neighborhood and sometimes enjoying each other. Things take time!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Diwali walk...

As the booms and cracks exploded around us, we set our diyas out and lit them.The boys could hardly contain their excitement. 

 So, we decided to go for a walk to look at the lights:

 The workers of this building put candles out making a construction site look quite nice:


 Visiting our friend's house, rangoli and sparklers:

 And a spinning sparkler:

 Back home, finishing off the evening with the guards and a spinning sparkler of our own:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Diwali prep...

If you could here the firecrackers exploding throughout the neighborhood, and no doubt all of Delhi, you would know it's Diwali, the festival of lights. It's one of the most important holidays in India. Yesterday the neighbor was out in the morning decorating the entry and walkway with paint in colors of red, green, white and yellow. Dorian even recognized the painted diyas, the candles lit at night to represent the triumph of good over evil. Then, later the same day, the boys and I were outside playing but they were quickly distracted and stood watching as more decorations were being laid out -- this time rangoli.

I asked what they used to put in the stensil and the man told me it was ground wood chips that were dyed different colors.
 The boys were fascinated.
 I love this, the footprint of Lakshmi, to bring wealth and prosperity into the house.
 The finished rangoli.
 Happy Diwali!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Having fond memories of Halloween when I was young, I always wanted my children to have the opportunity to dress up in costume and eat loads of candy. But, living in France, or rather in overseas France, these past few years we never really had an opportunity. Last year, our first Halloween in Delhi, we were very lucky to be invited to a friend's neighborhood for some trick or treating, which was great fun once Dorian understood the whole concept. He didn't even really want to dress up but he did like getting the goods. This year, however, was very different. We had a plethora of activity and mulitple costume changes for Dorian. As you may have noticed with my previous post, we bought 30 pumpkins for a Halloween costume and crafts party. It was great fun--lots of kids in costumes, lots of pumpkin painting,ghost and bat-making and pumpkin mask-making and Dorian went as a policeman.

Ghost scaring ghost with his friend:

Then there was the trick or treating with Arthur's school. Dorian was lucky to be invited along since his school was on holiday.

Black cat and astronaut:

Finally, Saturday evening Dorian and I went to a huge Halloween bash at hosted by one of the schools. There were games, music and food to be had but his favorite was the bouncy castle.

Or was it the elephant:
He's not squinting, but winking. He's been practicing all week and has it down!