Saturday, February 16, 2008

fire at the wedding

no indian ritual is complete without fire: AGNI blesses and purifies....

wedding continues

later on the groom places the bride's feet on a little carpet of rice and spice and flowers to welcome her into the new realm of her responsibilities. their new home is now THEIR new home (but the cooking and cleaning is all HER responsibility). shortly after this, they walked to the hotel room of the groom's parents to formalize the fact that she now belongs to HIS family, rather than to her former family.

indian wedding

a colleague invited us to her wedding. there were hardly any foreigners there, and the locals were nice enough to explain the rites we were seeing. the wedding invitation said the event would start at 7:56 in the morning, supposedly because the astrologers specified that this would be the best time to enact these events. this photo shows the parents washing the feet of the new groom (son-in-law) as a sign of humility and welcoming.

after this and a few other rituals were done, we had breakfast, then moved on to the next round of rituals....

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

i made a poem: based on local observations

Fading paint

At first it was full and complete- a finely painted picture:
The dearly loved doctor, the champion—all the down-trampled untouchables
Hailed him as hero, as savior, as saint, this high-minded speaker
Whose face has now faded—only red lips remain of famous Ambedkar.

And what can we say of Sandino? His revolution still strong
In his homeland and hither and yon. His heart a hardy beacon
For peasants and poets and people all over the planet
Who hate oppression. But where is HE? Thank God we have his hat!

See where even God in his grandeur—Lord Govinda with his gopis—
Must suffer the same slow fading. Even Krishna’s sweet self
Is not what once it was. Where are his wisps of hair?
Nought but nipples of his lovers and mellifluous notes remain.

As time and tides conspire, eroding and erasing tinting paint,
Still spirit will survive, even if its symbols must grow faint.