25 October 2005

Diwali Day

Yes, I know it's not till Nov 1. But here, down under, we are always ahead. If we are ahead by 7 1/2 hours to IST, we are a week ahead with Diwali. Yesterday, we had the single biggest annaul event of the Kiwi-Indian calender here - the Festival of Lights celebrations. I don't think that is the official name (if anyone knows what it is, pls let me know), but that's what it was.
And what happened there? Stall after stall of Indian food (all vegetarian this time, I guess with due respect to Diwali being a Hindu festival). All sorts of cultural activities. It's the original mela, Kiwi-ised though....

20 October 2005


Why, you ask?
Summer is almost here!
What's so bad about that?
My hayfever!

17 October 2005

Navarathri & Fudge

Just recovering from the excesses of Navarathri. A veritable whirlwind of social visits to all houses that boasted of a 'golu' and invited us for vethalai paaku or haldi kumum or manjal kungumam. Of course, the vethalai bit is only imaginary or wishful thinking, for you don't get it here (at least not in windy Wlg).

But what is really nice is that you get to meet people at least once a year by virtue of being invited to their house or inviting them to yours. You get to see people using their imagination and putting up a desi/kiwi version of the golu padis. You get the satisfaction (even if you think that by the end of it all, you will be well and truly round the bend) of knowing that you are exposing the children to the best and nicest things in Indian culture.

And the pleasure you get in seeing your kids setting up the vethalai paaku trays or giving manjal kumkumam to the ladies or the man of the house putting up the decorations and adding his own touches to the golu. And the thought of all the punyam you are accumulating on the long journey into the unknown (or the sins you are wiping out) by dishing out tamboolam to 50-odd ladies!

On a slightly lower but equally satisfying level, the sundals you get to eat and the 'oc' dinners you get to go out to. And the chance to fish out your silk saris from hibernation and flaunt them. And of course, the `loot' the you collect (I enjoy that, pakki (el cheapo) that I am) which is a source of delight to me and the kids alike.


This year though, I must confess that we got one extra gift that we didn't anticipate or expect. The neighbour rang the door bell, two days into Navarathri. And she brought us a gift. Someone had found it near her office, and she remembered that we had lost our pet recently, so she she asked, "Would you like to have it?" Would we ever!!

So the decision was made (not by us:) and we took that little ball of grey and black fur (a lot of it, actually) into our home. So, Navarathri Fudge is our new rabbit. East meets West.

6 October 2005

Desi blogs

The best thing about desi blogs (all those written by Indians, wherever in the world they may be) is that I forget where I am when I am reading them.
So much so that when I hear the person next to me on the phone, for a split second, I am disoriented by the Kiwi acccent!!