Posts Tagged ‘living’

The bubble seller, 160619

June 16, 2019


He sells ephemeral pleasures
Gently float the bubbles.


Perhaps, in their rainbow colours
He, too, forgets his troubles.


Banjaran, and name-bracelets, India Gate, Delhi, 260314

March 27, 2014

First my daughter had two Banjara girls, whom she asked to thread together various name beads for all of KTB’s friends at Urban Sprouts, the daycare back home:


The threads they used were so colourful:


As were the ornaments on the girls’ hands:




The beads cost Rs.2 each, and though the girls were illiterate, they asked for our help in stringing them together the right way:




You can see “ABIGAIL” being spelt out here:



While they did their work, corn-on-the-cob was shared:



Soon, word seemed to spread that here was a person who would pay well, and she seemed to be running an ethnic cottage industry on the lawns of India Gate!


My daughter finally had to walk away with others pestering her, but she was happy that she’d given them employment, at least for a while.


These Banjarans were so colourful…I wish their lives were as colourful, too!

Colour on our footpaths…

January 4, 2012

Our pavements and footpaths are full of people who are trying to eke a living in a city that they have moved into. Amongst these are the immigrants from Rajasthan, who make these ceramic artefacts:

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Several of these patterns seem to be the most popular, including square containers for Tulsi plants, vases, and Shirdi Sai Baba statuettes. They certainly add colour to our footpaths, even as they block them for pedestrians!

Livelihoods…and pavements…

May 5, 2011

Our pavements (or footpaths or sidewalks) are very interesting places. No bland stretch of tiles or cement for us; we have a rich variety of life teeming on our footpaths (indeed, I often think they are called footpaths because the local Government makes them a foot higher than the road…so they are not meant for the easy use of pedestrians, but for people to earn their livelihoods on space-without-rent!)

I walked to Jayangar 9th Block a few days ago, and got…

The “alteration” tailors.

They set up shop with their treadle (note, no electricity..very green!)machines, and for a pittance, will mend tears and do all sorts of stitching and alterations. Here are two of them, right outside a shop selling cloth:

tlr 020511

The silver polisher.

These people, too, set up their wares just outside jewellers’ shops, and are willing to polish your silver, do small repairs to your jewellery, and assay any pieces you bring to them (they, too, use no electricity, but the age-old tools of the trade.)

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The vegetable seller:

Clad in yellow-and-red, this vegetable seller sits nonchalantly on a chair in the middle of the road. His dress proclaims that he is soon going on a pilgrimage.

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Oh, well, this one is not really ON the pavement…but I couldn’t resist a shop that has licence to kill…dirt!

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Of course, very often, our pavements do not encourage living or making a living, but may help you into death:

pavement gap 9th blk 020511

I love my city, warts (holes) and all!

Christmas Trees

December 19, 2006

After reading asakiyume‘s post, I realized that I have never been comfortable with the idea of cutting down a tree just to use it as a decoration for a few days or weeks…when my sambandhis came over to India in 2000, I hunted and found a sparse, somewhat sad-looking conifer in a pot and decorated that….I knew they didn’t like having an artificial one, and I didn’t like a dead one, so that was the way I dealt with it….they were too polite to make the comparisons with the lush tree they would have had at home, and accepted the spirit of my having a Christmas tree and decorations for them.

I still hate the idea of cutting down trees, especially when the tree is supposed to represent life continuing in the winter. And last time I saw all those discarded, dead trees when I returned to St Louis…not many becasue I left by Dec 30 or so…but enough to sadden me…

Whey can’t it become a custom to have live trees in planters, which can be planted later on?

Similarly, I would like to change the custom of blowing out candles on a birthday cake to lighting a lamp somewhere and then just cutting and distributing a cake…I am somehow not comfortable with putting out a light as a mark of celebration. How did this custom come about?