Times past and happy endings – India

DSC_1157India challenges and rewards all senses – riots of colour and sound sensual, poetic, assaulting, rhythmic, soothing, entrancing.  Bright lights and sunlight,   earth dappled with the suns rays tumbling through leaves, reflections on water, single light-bulbs that barely cast a shadow and blue lights in butchers’ spaces. And fire. Air so still and dense and water pregnant that as you move you feel that  you are being caressed by invisible hands. Tastes of ripe, moist mango, fresh ginger, cold lassi, fresh young coconut liquor,  coconut oil and vegetables, and fresh, fresh mint, hot dosas, sharp, pungent chutney, coriander and more, so much more, coconut, tamarind sauce and mustard seeds and the smells of markets, and of fish, of flesh and fruits, and vegetables, of people. Smells full of so much life and so much death. A place where life and health and death, growth and expansion, illness and old age and decay are still very much  part of the same tableau.  The contrasts, the light and darkness and all that shading in between a better reflection of reality, albeit merciless, that shows us more of our existence than our sanitized Western portrayals of life.

And as I work and seek excel files and documents I find these pictures, and remember this trip and this couple and their child, driving down the road away from my camera lens  towards their  happy ending.

Happy Monday all!

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16 thoughts on “Times past and happy endings – India

  1. Interesting reflections indeed. Yes that’s India for you – definitely a land of contrasts but you will never a dull moment there! How nice that you visited India! Which places did you go to? I was born and raised in Mumbai with my ancestral family hailing from Kerala…

    • Never a dull moment is so true, it is a fascinating place. I want to go back again, it is like being thrown into a movie, full of technicolour moments :). We did a 12 day trip starting in Bangalore, then on to Mysore, Bandipur, Coorg, 2 evenings in homestay where we learned to cook a little bit in Tellicherry, with a visit of the market, then on to Cochin, Ovalipe, Alleppey and finished up in Marrari beach, all our stays were in homestays, which I much prefer to the hotels. I still dream of the fresh coconut chutney with mint, and beautiful breakfast dosas with potato filling, I even brought back an idli pan which is sitting in my basement. I wrote a travel diary too, but never organised the photos of the trip must do that soon and maybe post some pictures of the market which might offend people of a sensitive disposition though.

      • oh that’s so wonderful that you visited Kerala too! That’s what I hope to popularize more through my blog – kerala cuisine which not many people know about. Yes home stays are really a good way to enjoy authentic cuisine as well as to get to know the locals. Btw I have posted my recipes for coconut chutney as well as idli and dosas if you would want to try them! 🙂

      • Hello there, thanks so much for writing back, I will check out your recipes – especially the coconut chutney which is divine. Kerala is beautiful, but I guess the northern Indian curries are better known abroad?

  2. I guess that’s usual unless one has been somewhere, or unless one is really interested in cuisines and the rest of the world – once you look at a map of a country as vast as India or China or Russia and you visit a part of it, you realize that it spans multiple climate zones, produces very different foods and has very different food traditions. This is true even for a “small” place like Italy of course. Happy advertising of Kerala cuisine. We visited a beautiful homestay http://www.ayishamanzil.com/gallery-cookingclass.html – recommended by US gourmet magazine – and learned some cooking techniques, it has taken me ages to find coconut oil, that actually tastes of coconut, most of the stuff I can find here has been “sanitized” of all flavour.

    • Hello, thanks so much for popping by, and for your much appreciated compliment, I loved the small corner of India that I saw and want to go back again to explore further affield – I would love to go back for mango season, but that is also very hot very rainy season and therefore not so good for those who are not acclimatised.

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