March 27, 2010

I woke up this morning around 5:30 in order to catch a bus around 5:40 to the city. The sky, dark purple, showing first glimpses of daylight. The streets, quiet, empty, except for the dogs who patrol through the night. I sat at the bust stop, waiting for the massive green vehicle to turn the corner. Settling in, I dozed off and got off at Mehkri circle. Here, I met Gounder and we went for breakfast- a huge breakfast of Idli, Rice, and vada (?). This idli was better than any I have had this whole trip! It was soaking in sombra(?).

Originally, it took me some time to get used to breakfast consisting of lunch and dinner. It seemed that most food could be eaten for any of the three meals without someone-eyebrow raised-questioning, “your eating CEREAL for dinner?”

This was a small but very busy place, with tall metal tables for people to stand at while enjoying their breakfast before hurrying off some place.

Before entering the park, we stopped at the fruit market. Conveniently, this was located directly outside of the gardens. Again, Jackfruit confronted me, large and round in shape, with a spikey, sharp exterior. The inside consisted of yellow fruit that came out in separate pieces, each containing a large seed. Finally, I got to try a piece, and having really enjoyed it, took some along.

Gounder said goodbye, and I entered the gardens at the West Entrance. I took a left, and began exploring. Startled by the number of others visiting the park, and by the enormous trees I passed, I walked. People were jogging, walking, sitting on the benches that were scattered around the grassy fields, playing games, and just enjoying the morning air and the beautiful scenery.

I walked all over, amazed by the size of these trees. I would stop and just stare at the sky. There was a rose garden, a tree fossil, an enormous glass house, a magnolia garden, a bonsai garden, and on and on and on.

Bonsai Garden

Glass house.

The place was incredible, and upon completing the loop, a lake jumped out in front of me. A huge lake, which apparently attracted the monkeys, too.

These guys are great, I love monkeys, I have been seeing a lot more of them lately and everyone seems to have monkey stories.

Around 10:30 I sat outside the garden, and was approached by an old couple from Tennessee, who came to chat about the garden, and then about where I should travel while in Europe. We decided upon a lot of places my dad will hate, but Corey being in Ohio, I really have to pick up the slack in providing two daughter’s worth of anxiety-corey you owe me :).

The gardens were incredible, I sat and drew for awhile under a jackfruit tree. A tree that literally looks like fruits are oozing from the bark. I passed women meditating, and many runners and walkers. Lots of families strolled the paths together, and others sat in the shade reading or writing.

After the gardens, and my short chat with the couple about Europe, I found Gounder and we stopped at Java City. We visited the church because I wanted to see it, and then made way for the temple. The colors constantly impress me, and I find myself completely distracted by my surroundings. I watch every face that passes, the expressions, the age, the conversation, the relationships. I observe every sound, the drums, chants, bells, cracking of the fire. I am persuaded by an older man to move to the front so I can see.

An old and a young man sit side by side in front of a fire. Behind them, the deity- dressed and decorated in flowers and bright color. Two blankets outstretched on the floor, welcome the men to one side, the women to another to sit while others stand in the back. The colors and the sounds are constant and can put one into a sort of trance. A woman holding a coach purse in one arm and a child in the other, sits near to me. Distracted from the flames and chanting, I lock eyes with the baby. Just for a little while.

Food is served again, on banana leaves, and a little trading occurs in order for us to finish the generous amount of food provided for us.

Another incredible day, I return to Yelahanka to finish up some work.

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March 29, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Feb 14 2010

Valentines day in Bangalore, India, and I have not even stepped outside this apartment. I have been at Swati’s for the last 24 hours mostly doing work, attempting to take a break from work, and drinking orange juice. The apartment is incredible, compared to our  purple home. Each girl has her own room, windows, and bathroom and they share a big living space and kitchen. There are two balconies, a pool, a small grocery store from which you can order things to your door, and independence. I think I will be spending a lot of time over here… as long as the welcome remains open.

The last two days have been low key. There has been lots of talk over the state bandh and valentine’s day. I was told a lot of stories about last year and how the faculty and students went out to the city dressed up in celebration of the day to protest…the protest… of sorts.

I have been staring at a computer now, for more than 12 hours, and have many more to go. It is nice to work around other visual communication students, however, because they have just as much work as I do. We woke up to chai with lemon grass-which was incredible. Swati made eggs-which were up to the chai standard, and we continued to work. I spent a long time just trying to preview the changes I had made. We watched the time speed up, and looked at each other at 4 wondering what had happened. The sky, showcasing the sun, was soon enveloped with darkness, and everyone in the apartment suffered a tremendous increase in levels of stress.

We ate and worked through the night, and fell directly to sleep.

February 15, 2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.