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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fountain of Heavenly Bliss, King Humayun's tomb


The four streams of water, wine, milk and honey come together at the Fountain of Heavenly Bliss....

"Humayun's tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun's wife Hamida Banu Begum in 1562 AD, and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian architect. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and is located in Nizamuddin EastDelhiIndia. The tomb was declared a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site in 1993, and since then has undergone extensive restoration work, which is still underway."  ----from wikipedia 

Wedding Lane, Old Dehli

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our Lady of Ransom Church, Kanyakumari

The century old Our Lady of Ransom Church in Kanyakumari, the multicultural town at the very southernmost tip of India. In addition to the lights, accompanying music was blaring from loudspeakers all over town.  As we were walking away from celebration the entire town was suddenly plunged into darkness that lasted for about an hour.  The electrical load of the rocking Tamil Nadu Jesus was too much for the local grid!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A walk to work in Goa

Don hat and sunglasses against 90 degree heat....say good-bye to cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, and chickens at house....

 walk up hill...

pass daily dozens of supplicants standing outside wall of minister's house hoping for audience....withstand inevitable stares at two odd white people walking by....

acknowledge neighborhood street pig...commiserate about her piglet that was run over the day before....

walk by candy shack....

say hi to my hindi-speaking friend (my destination in the background)...

 avoid traffic!....

pass mysterious egg tree....

note "Fuller" brush man has set up in town today.....

 almost to last hill, the one where you finally break into an open sweat....

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Indian Kitchen

I've been thinking a lot about personal space and William Morris lately.  I painted many a rental apartment/house in my youth (cheap labor for the landlord) and have had a burning desire to hire painters since arriving here in Goa.  I forgot how soul-sapping it can be to live in an "ugly" environment, the sine qua non of William Morris's genius. So my drab apartment will do till late January when our time in India is up. I will appreciate all the more my lovely, personalized space when I return home, space that will be even more beautiful with the addition of Indian fabrics.

My son and I are living in a high-rent-district, an upper class neighborhood in the Indian equivalent of a mansion---in fact, it is called Peter's Mansion.  But this country is changing fast; it is seemingly in a time warp between the past and the future.  On tv, nearly all the commercials depict an India that seems to have no connection with our everyday experience here in Goa---the commercials look like people living lives in Europe or the US.  I can't even imagine how weird that must be for young Indians coming of age.  This country is making the leap from developing world to first world, seemingly in a generation.

The front of our house with my laundry (washed in bucket) hanging on line.  Could be art deco Miami, right?  We live on first floor.

 And here is our kitchen.  Note the green plastic two-stage water filter and super-charged Coleman stove for cooking.  The sink has two taps, only one of which works, with water that cannot be drunk without boiling.  I sterilize dishes in the bucket in sink.

Here is the bathroom that gives new meaning to the term indoor plumbing (note sink drain and drain in floor.  When you wash your hands your feet get wet!).  Below is "suicide shower" with a taped electrical element heating the water in the showerhead. 

So, it is probably obvious if you've been following the Indian posts that on weekends we often escape to beach "bubbles" of loveliness.  Next post, my daily walk to work.....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Goa Beach Mandala

 Last weekend, on an early morning beach walk at low tide, I came across this sand mandala.  It's kind of spooky as there are no obvious footprints, however, the sand was very hard.  How was it made?  Is this the tropic's answer to crop circles?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cannonball tree outside my office

I was not surprised to discover the common name of this wacky and beautiful tree --- and you don't want to be under it when one of these nuts lets loose.  They are larger than a coconut and much heavier.
Apparently the force of impact causes the fruit to burst open scattering the seeds inside.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Steve Jobs, the William Morris of our time

In Calcutta's The Telegraph, an article written by Mukul Kesavan argues that Steve Jobs was the William Morris of our time.  It is a fascinating would appear that the only thing that stood between WM and total world domination was his conscience with regards to worker's rights.  And if you want to know more about that, or are an Apple devotee of any sort, I highly recommend the play "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs".

"Comparisons across great spans of time and space are always absurd but if you are going to look for an earlier incarnation of Jobsness, you could do worse than William Morris. In this silly season for over-the-top obituaries, I’m saying that Jobs was a latter-day William Morris and that Apple is the lineal descendant of the Kelmscott Press."

read the rest...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Yab Yum Dome Home

A perfect color purple.  The bathroom floor is painted navy with "waves" up to white on sides.  A ceiling fan at top of dome keeps it cool.

A Visit to the Shire, Yab Yum


William Morris fans know that WM is credited with inventing the modern fantasy fiction genre and, further, that J.R.R. Tolkien credited Morris with the inspiration for The Lord of the Rings.  In Goa, I have found The Shire, also known as YabYum Resort, where creativity, fantasy, and DIY is the order of the day!   Below is our hobbit house, with pics of a few other of the domes scattered around the palm tree glade just off the beach.  From the outside it is hard to imagine these abodes being anything other than dark and confining --- instead, next post, they are too cute for school.

Yoga is big in Goa and twice daily classes are given in the Yoga "studio" near the beach.  Breakfast included and served to your door at time of your choice.  $50/night for this slice of goofy paradise.....

Thursday, November 24, 2011


thanks for sharing anne....happy thanksgiving all.....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

William Morris Unbound

The incredible Morris scholar Tony Pinkney, author of the blog William Morris Unbound, has recently released a book William Morris: The Blog which brings together many of his essays written over the last few years.  Unfailingly, Tony has shown us how William Morris remains relevant today, especially within the realms of politics and society.  Tony, if we were in an English pub (no doubt quaint) I would raise a pint to your success, then ask what you thought Morris would say about the Occupy Movement spreading around the globe.  I can't help but think he would be on the front lines.