Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pottery Tour, part I pots and potters...

The other day, I went with a few ladies on a tour of a pottery village on the outskirts of Delhi. It's in an area called Vikas Nagar and took about 45 minutes to an hour to get there from central Delhi. In this neighborhood hundreds of families have settled, coming from Rajastan, and continue their craft of pottery-making. It was very impressive. Here are lots of photos I took:

The tour was organized by a group called Indomania cultural tours--check out the website: The tour itself helps support the potters and their families by giving the village a large portion of the tour fee. It was amazing to be able to walk into these families' homes and work spaces. They were warm and welcoming. More photos to come...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Friday night date night...

Every Friday evening, the boys and I have a night out on the town. Okay, we don't really. But, we do meet up with some good friends for a little play time and dinner. It's a great way to end the school week and for us mamas to enjoy a little wine.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More on Holi

While we so enjoyed Holi in our little garden in this part of the world, check out the link below to see some amazing photos of people from all over celebrating this fun festival:

Thanks to my brother for emailing the link. Seriously, click on it. Great stuff.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Color and Water...

Today was Holi, the festival of color. We were away last year and missed out on it so this was our first Holi. And, what fun!

Holi is a Hindu festival. Here are some things I have read about the origins of Holi:

According to legend, the name Holi comes from Holika, sister of the kind Hiranyakashipu. The king demanded people to worship him. His son, Prahlad, refused to worship him and worshipped Vishnu instead. The king asked Holika to kill his son. Possessing the power to walk through fire, she picked up Prahlad and took him to the fire. But, Prahlad's devotion to Vishnu saved him and Holika was killed by the fire.

Another related legend says that Holi is signifies the end of winter. There was a ritual of burning wood and leaves on the full moon night to celebrate the coming of spring. Old wood and leaves that had fallen were burnt to signify that it is time for new leaves and flowers. Later, people smeared their bodies with ash.

And, another legend says that Holi celebrates the immortal love of Lord Krishna and Radha. Young Krishna complained to his mother about Radha being fair while he was so dark. His mother told him to put color on Radha's face to change her complexion.

So, to celebrate Holi, people buy colored powder to throw and then spray with water. It's fun and enjoyed by everyone. In our neighborhood we heard, music, laughter and people shouting with joy. We stayed in our garden with some friends and threw color and water until we turned various shades of pinkish orange. The kids absolutely loved it and, as adults, we felt like kids again.

Some photos:
 The kids, dressed in white and oiled up (coconut oil so the color doesn't stain their hair or skin):
 Ready, set go!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just an ordinary day...

The weekend before last it was a gorgeous and sunny, warm day. Perfect for a mid-morning walk in the neighborhood, so that's exactly what we did. Dorian decorated his bike and we set out. Only to immediate notice the beautiful flowery decorations of our neighbors. Or, our soon-to-be neighbors. Yes, the construction on the house next to us has finally come to an end, after almost a year, and our neighbors arrived shortly after having been married. They are a high profile couple so four or five police had been standing outside all morning then about ten more joined them as the couple arrived. We were asked to move our car. Life is always interesting in Delhi and I have a feeling it will be more interesting still.

Dorian's fancy bike:
Fancy decorations next door (with all the police out front, had to be sneaky, so you can't see the mass amounts of flowers hanging in the front):

Friday, March 11, 2011

Parade of Colors...

Every year at Dorian's school they have a Carnival where the the kids dress up, a marching band plays and everyone parades around. This year the Carnival coincided with India Week at his school, which equaled lots of color and fun costumes.

All week there have been puppeteers from Rajasthan, weavers with beautiful fabrics, books for kids and pottery-makers that gave each child a clay, painted bracelet:

Here comes the band:

Dorian's class followed the peacock:

There he is:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Back in Delhi

We've been back in Delhi for about a week now, finally getting over jet lag and the weather is gorgeous. Flowers in bloom, blue sky and the warm sun shining. This photo I took from the car recently seems appropriate:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Some happy moments...

While our trip to California was for a very sad reason, we did have some happy moments while there. Being around family was such a solace and great for the kids to get to know their little cousins better. They also got to to some things they don't normally get to do. Some photos...

Watching sting rays and sharks from above:
 Having a bath AND being able to not worry about the water getting in Arthur's mouth:
 Dorian, the leaf blower:
 Seeing this poor, cold chimp at the zoo:
 Or, not...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

When something happens...

You want to be there, but living far from family and friends you can't. About three weeks ago we lost our Gramma Vi. I wasn't sure if we should make the big trip or not. My husband said go, my friends here said go, my mom said she'd understand if we couldn't go. So we went. The boys and I arrived just in time to say good-bye. It was so nice to be able to be there because as with all family gatherings, whether for happy or sad occasions, it was really great to be able to spend time with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, uncles, aunts and all the cousins. The boys absolutely loved playing with all their little cousins. And, that is one thing that I'm sure my Gramma would have loved--having all of us together.

The morning of the day we left for California, I went to my yoga class. The teacher, a wise and wonderful woman, asked us to define human wealth. After a few minutes of reflection, the responses included: love, compassion and awareness. She said that human wealth is satisfaction. Of course she had been on my mind, but I immediately thought of my Gramma. I thought of her always being upbeat and positive, in essence, satisfied. Through every conversation and communication, she was interested and excited in what we were doing, even if it meant moving further and further away. She gave confidence, compassion and love. She passed her satisfaction on and for that she she lived the wealthiest of lives. And, for those of us who knew her we are all the more richer.