Oct 20, 2012

A Week in Maharashtra

Week 1's in the bag, the bioclock finally adjusted to the sun and moon trading spots.  More difficult to acquiesce is a daily schedule that's three hours behind what I'm used to.  Punch the clock at 10:00 am, work past 7:30 pm, bob-and-juke through traffic to dinner @9, then weave home and pretend to sleep at one in the morning with a quart of hot curry pooling in my gut.  



The people of India are kind.  Not just a smile and "Hello, have a nice day" like we do in America, but this:  

You don't know me, but I heard you like Indian food and I'd like to take you out.  I'll drive, okay if we do dinner Monday night? 

There is a lack of distraction here, a desire to commune and willingness to listen that I crave back home. 


Not much response from folks at home on the blog posts I write at work for fun, but it's different here in Pune.  10 people walked up to my desk this week, complete strangers living 10,000 miles away, bumping knuckles and requesting a fresh mix of Indian Adventure.  So I'll push out another next week.

Coworkers and several people I've never met offered to help me prune the Pune list:

    Hork north and south Indian platters
    Burn bryani with the Pune Running Club
    Popcorn and a Bollywood
    Sari and cashmere sales for Pigtails
    Traditional hand-plucked music and a night walk on the street
    Travel on foot, cab, rick' and a two wheeler

The first day in the office, an employee got wind I drink curry weekly, so she brought to the cafeteria a special lunch of roasted lamb over basmati her mother made for me.  Delicious, I folded wedges of naan into a shovel and scooped it.  Amit sat beside as I ate the lamb, he asked for a sample.  I nodded, he picked bites off my plate with fingers and together we wolfed it.

Friends are family here, and family is tight.  Many of the topics this blog rails on are not issues in this country.  Yes, there are problems in India.  But prioritization of family and living out love through action are covered.

I'll finish with a few photos, they're raw since I don't have editing software with me.  Today we toured a castle built in 1720 and played a couple rounds of cricket in the courtyard. 

More snaps and clips taped to the FB page.





















































-Beard


22 comments:

  1. Margaret10/22/2012

    So interesting! Glad you're getting to meet local people and experience the culture. I hope I get to go to India someday.

    So what's Pigtails up to while you're gone?

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    1. I hope you can visit here, I haven't left yet but already want to come back.

      Who knows what Pigtails is up to, probably smoking cigars and stuff...and I wouldn't be surprised if she adopted a kitten without my consent.

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  2. Amazing adventure for you!!

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    1. Yes! Somehow I feel like I've been preparing for this experience my whole life, without even knowing it.

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  3. I've been following your posts and living vicariously through your adventures. I'd love to be experiencing the cuisine of India with you. Your photos as always are incredible. I'll bet you're missing Pigtails something fierce. Loved the story about your nose picking seat mate on the flight over.

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    1. Captain Crusty Booger was annoying.

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  4. I'm living vicariously through you and imagining that naan! Got my Graziano's spices from the giveaway last week - THANKS AGAIN!

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    1. Yeah, Graziano's is the best, glad you enjoy the spices!

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  5. Martha L10/22/2012

    I enjoy your picture stories and commentary....you should pick up a part time freelance gig! looking forward to hearing more.

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    1. That would be the bomb getting paid to write about traveling. Please send a letter backing me up to Nat' Geo'.

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  6. Loving the post as always but... you played a couple of 'overs' of cricket. Don't play to much, you'll get hooked and wonder what Baseball was all about.

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    1. "Overs", 10-4. Once I got the hang of it, I didn't want to drop the bat. After all these years confused on how the game works, it now makes sense.

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  7. Rachael10/23/2012

    I'm most impressed with how kind and generous the Indian people are. Lots of countries have magnificent scenery, impressive historical sites and a fascinating culture. But if the people aren't warm and friendly, the rest can become quite forgetable.

    I have recently discovered the scrumptiousness that is Indian butter chicken. I don't know if that's considered to be Indian Indian or Indian-American but it is fabulous.

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    1. You are a wise woman and exactly right. India is about the people.

      Butter chicken is a popular dish here in most eateries I've stopped at, you're good to go.

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    2. Rachael10/24/2012

      I suppose it shouldn't, but it really bothers me that I misspelled "forgettable." So much for that "wise woman" stuff. :)

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  8. Love, love, love it!! Tell CC hello. Keep up the great photos & videos!

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    1. CC's back in your court, he did great being open to trying new dishes for the first time. I think he wished he could stay longer.

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  9. Anonymous10/26/2012

    Next time I return to India, I'll try to remember and look through your "eyes" (camera lens)...as a native now living overseas I guess I fail to enjoy the little adventures that you are; I guess I am jaded :( Eating Bhel from a street vendor, that was brave!! Love the pictures...am so glad that you have had positive experience.

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    1. Yeah, I take the exotica that is Iowa for granted, go figure.

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  10. Anonymous10/29/2012

    I am so glad that you are enjoying India. I was born and raised there and have been living in US for a very long time now. I love how US has infrastructure, civic sense and personal space all figured out. People from India compare it to a beautiful park :-)

    At the same time India values spirituality (not to be confused with religion), importance of family, love that all can learn and benefit from. The problem I find here is that after people get married (that too after years of dating and getting to know each other), they don't let go of the "I/Me" and become "Us/We".

    As an Indian-American I must say I am enjoying best of both :-)

    Keep havina good time. Love to Pigtails.

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  11. Nice-looking landscape you photographed there! No wonder my cousin insisted on moving to india; that looks like a really beautiful place to go to.

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Thanks for the note, check back for my response!