Friday, October 29, 2010

Mariama and Gopalsami came to visit 29 October 2010

Our friends, Mariama and Gopalsami came to stay at Govindharajan's, Gopalsami's brother.  We ate dinner with them there last evening and they came over for lunch today.  Here's Mariama in the kitchen.  It was sooooooo nice to see them!
AND, they brought Govindharajan's cook, Rukumani, whom I adore.  (It is my dream that Rukumani will someday be my cook.  And Govindharajan is moving away soon, so.......  But Gopal doesn't want to hire a cook!  Whaaaaa!)
Mariama, Gopalsami and Gopal
Rukumani wouldn't join us because servants don't eat with the masters, as Gopal explained it to me.  Very frustrating to me, because I like her so much.
Here's is Gopalsami horsing around at the table.  Fortunately, Mariama has a great sense of humor.  That's one of the reasons why we miss them.  They're leaving tomorrow to return to their village.  Hopefully, we can see them tomorrow morning before they leave.  :-(

Monday, October 18, 2010

Car puja on Vijaya Dashami

A shot before we started our puja
On Saturday, 16 October, we did car puja for Hindu holy day Vijaya Dashami.  To bless various implements, tools, and vehicles, special pujas are performed.

We decorated the cars with flowers
Sheila putting sandal paste and cumcum on her steering wheel
Putting lemons in front of the tires and rolling over them, to symbolically demolish the evil eye, is part of the ritual.

In the end the ritual foods (prasadam) that were included in the blessing, are enjoyed by all.
It was fun doing this puja as a household, with Sheila.  And our guests Krishna and Raju also took part.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yasmin comes for a visit, 9-12 October 2010 and dinner and Sheila and Chandran's

Yasmin is a friend of Krishna's who came for a visit in October.  We had never met Yasmin, but she came into our home and cooked and cooked for us.  It was a true delight.  We got to know her during her visit and said farewell a few days later.  We were all a little fatter and content.  It was a nice visit.

While she was here, we had dinner downstairs at Sheila and Chandran's.  Sheila is the doctor at The Clinic for the Poor and Chandran is a Coonoor attorney.  Our dinner at Sheila's was yet another fabulous meal.  She served masala dosa and idli sambhar.  It was truly delicious.

Raju, Krishna, Sheila, Yasmin, Gopal
Chandran, Yasmin, and Gopal as they admire Sheila's Ganesh collection

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pictures of home Tilak took while he was there

Sheila's flowers downstairs

Tilak and Nandani - Dolphin's Nose

En route to the viewpoint at Dolphin's Nose (named for the way the rock formations look at a distance), we stopped at Singara Tea Estate where we like to go walking.

We saw a very large bison.

 We stopped along the way, in the tea estates

 This shows a rock formation the tea grows around, as well as a water drainage track

Here's a view from Dolphin's Nose

 Besides the waterfall, the clouds were sitting on a bank of air or something making the clouds flat on the bottom, cutting off the tops of the mountains.  It was spectacular.

Here's that flat bottom of the clouds and one on top to the left!

 The steam would rise from the land and join the clouds.

This is the commercial side of Dolphin's Nose.  We were very lucky that there was hardly anyone else there.
 In the middle is Suresh, the pujari at the little temple in the base of a tree in the Singara Tea Plantation forest temple.  This day he was working in this tea stall at Dolphin's Nose.  Nice surprise.

We had taken guests to Dolphin's Nose many times.  It was always socked in by fog.  I tried very hard not to go, thinking it was a waste of time.  I'm so glad I went that day.  It was really magnificent.  Spectacular.