New Glasses

Our rent payment includes a “maid”- she has cleaned our space every day, washed dishes, did laundry and ran errands. Jesse is likely a low caste woman, although I didn’t ask. She is paid about $20 per month for several hours of work six days a week. She is missing an eye; she had an…

Scofflaw

Indian police are notoriously corrupt.  It’s rather amazing to watch traffic and “law and order” police on the streets- they often don’t seem to be doing much.  Occasionally one sees a group of officers who have stopped several scooter riders – I’m told that the riders get tickets and the officers pocket the money. A…

Young Indian Lawyers- in preparation

Because I’ve been unable to get access to Indian police or police stations for interviews, I have decided to transform the protagonist in my novel from a police woman to a law student.  Law should be a lot more accessible for me to research.  Enjoyed meeting a group of Indian law students the other day-…

Absorbing the Beautiful, the Chaotic

 I didn’t know yesterday that I was running final errands during the Panguni Festival – a huge event that attracts thousands to the nearby neighborhood surrounding the huge Kapaleeswarar Temple. The ancient, 7 day Panguni Festival falls on a full moon and celebrates divine marriage and  human marriage.   My taxi driver and I ended up on…

Young Friends

It’s been such a delight to make friends with young 20 and 30-something educated Indians! My faculty training has tended to bring me together with somewhat older faculty- but I so much enjoy the energy, enthusiasm, and modern ideas of India’s educated youngsters.  Here are some of my new friends: Romila and Kannan Romila teaches…

India is the Land of Rituals, Celebrations, Holidays and Color!

One of India’s most charming features is the number of holidays, memorials and celebrations that are enjoyed with gusto, music, dance, and color!  Colleges have many holidays celebrating Hindu, Christian and Muslim traditions, as well as government holidays as well.  All institutions commemorate multiple milestones and historical events, as well as affirming and acknowledging successes…

Why I want to write a novel involving “honor killing”

Watch this chilling documentary about the 2016 murder of a young Dalit (low-caste) boy and attempted murder of his higher caste wife-  by her own family.  The murder was committed in broad daylight and captured on CCTV.  India’s caste system is still alive and well, and kept in place by prohibitions against inter-caste marriage.  The…

A SMALL WORLD

I was so surprised on my walk this morning to run into a female auto-taxi driver, the only one I have ever seen, AND the same woman who gave me a ride five years ago in another part of the city. “Autos” are open air chairs pulled by a motorcycle. We recognized each other immediately…

Found the Dalrymple documentary! – St. Thomas the Apostle in India

I found this documentary fascinating.  This well known British journalist, who has studied India and other countries and its religions, thinks that St. Thomas may very well have come to the west coast of India after Jesus died.  Perhaps St. Thomas bones are really buried just down the street from me at the Thomas Cathedral…