Friday, September 12, 2008

K's Grandparent's farm

Kausik's mother took us to her parents farm.
We were so at-ease there. Phoning from train.

Green jute stems standing
beside the low growing rice.

Kausik picking from trellised vines.
These vegetables are individually
hand pollinated at 5 am. Male flowers
are picked, female flowers fertilized.
See cauliflower and rice in background.

The trees are bananas, coconuts and other palms,
mangos, grapefruit, papayas.

Monkeys were stealing the citrus from the trees
at the right.

sorting bitter gourds for home, sale
House is woven, sitting on clay foundation.
Center area swept clean, very nice space.

From the roof of two uncles' house,
I look down at the house and cooking area of another.
Jute stems feed fire under cooking pots.

Rooftop "woodpile" of soft fuels.
Jute stems, palm leaves, coconut hulls,
nothing wasted. Fuels are fed into
earthen pits, for cooking.
To right of cousins see tv dish.
Grandpa has a flatscreen!

Architecture, ancient (Agra), Delhi, to modern (Kolkata)

Kausik, cousin brother Raja

Concrete building, bamboo scaffold, taxi.

Kausik's sister and her children


Trisha and Kakoli (Kausik's sister)

new shirt/ tailor made

Getting measured for a shirt. Uma, Kausik's friend, gave fabric to get a shirt made at a tailor's shop. It looks and feels great-- 80 cents well spent.

Kausik in Botanical Garden

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

semi abstract favorites

A huge sundial/planetary sculpture used for astrology॥all stone is hand cut and marked to the millimeter or so, for accurate planetary measurements (Delhi)।

Orange palm fruit which grows in Kausik's yard, called betelnut, drying for use in ceremonies and with leaf are held in mouth ॥ (I don't quite know what I'm talking about here), but they're on the roof, where K's room is and looked nice against the blue house. (in Kolkata--I'd write Calcutta, but that's not the name of the city.)

The X-shaped images are jute stems, standing like corn shocks after the outer layers are removed to make rope (near Kolkata)। The stems will be fuel

Around town

This is a street, with only inches between buses, trucks, taxis, autorickshaws, and manpowered rickshaws, people intermingling by bike, motorbike, workmen with carts, sellers with pushcarts, and feral dogs.

The train is overfull, with riders hanging on in the doorways. This is a car reserved for women.

Tuneer is being picked up by dad Partha from school, by rickshaw.

A railway crossing.

The street shops are small from American dining table sized to room sized, see the lumber store (they make boards to choose the tree).



Each morning, Kausik's father walks to the market for the days food. Kausik is in front of his home, following his father to the market. This is their street.

At the market, one fishmonger.

All are freshly picked, caught, etc that day.

How fast can you butcher a chicken?

Chicken and fish are prepared immediately on order...I timed one man who averaged processing chicken, from standing live, to butchered, skinned, cut to suit the customer, bagged and sold--all in 80 seconds.

When the heart is still beating after the sale is complete and the exact change is returned, that's FRESH!

Same with choose the fish you want, and it's prepared for you, as you please. I thought customer service was stunning.

Potatoes cost one quarter cent per pound. Yes, 4 lb/ 1 cent.

the kids and Kausik, at his home, Kolkata

The kids are glued to a tv show about Indian epics. Imitating one hero, Tuneer is especially happy when he puts a small rope "tail" in his waistband and turns into the Monkey God, Hanuman (A god was angry at Hanuman, so ordered that Hanuman's tail be lighted. Hanuman lengthened his tail, then escaped and set fire to large parts of Lanka.)

Tuneer, as Hanuman, can be very wild around the house, like any monkey would, with his tail on fire.

But sometimes, he wears a straw hat, straddles the foot of the bed, puts the rope around the bedpost and rides this "horse".

Trisha is quieter, watching the very dramatic regular tv show. Also likes Indian Idol.

Trisha and Tuneer (neice, nephew) at Das home

Tuneer (nephew) helps hang clothes

Train: Delhi to Kolkata

Train took 17 hours to Kolkata from Delhi. Don't take this one. It was far below the standard of the Indian Railways normal service. Everywhere else we went, the service was great. Not here.


Airport Chicago O'Hare


Kausik and Joel go to India. Aug 22, '08

Abby is Molly's dog.

The day we parted ways. Mixed feelings.

This is the day we split. Mary went to Lincoln for relatively new job. Molly flew to Switzerland for foreign exhange year. Liesel moved back to Kansas City, for work/school.

Empty house.

Two weeks ago, Liesel moved to Kansas City again. Molly moved to Switzerland for a year of school. Abby the Dog moved to Mary's.

Kausik and I went to India.

Then, I came home.

So, for now, it's just me and the flour beetles.