|My first dosa, a delicious south Indian dish, in India|
26 August 2010
On Indian beds:
When I first came to India, it was after a few days at home snuggly on my Temper-Pedic mattress that sinks me in to a very cozy place that is tough to leave in the morning. At Durshet, we slept on the thinnest mattress I thought I’d ever felt. The experience is kinda like sleeping on the floor. Once I came to the hostel, my first night felt like sleeping on a metal prison bed. I might have bruises from shifting around! This kind of hard bed and thin-thin mattress IS supposed to be better for back and spine health, so I’ve giving it a try. Indians don’t lots of plush fabrics and layers like Americans typically advertise: you know, the down comforters, 500 thread count Egyptian cotton, extra fleece blanket. A typical bed has a fitted sheet and a folded thick blanket at the end of the bed. The pillow is 1/3 the thickness of any other pillow I’ve seen and feels like it’s filled with hardened polenta. I might try and pick up another one for this stiff neck!
After a week though, I kind of enjoy the hard mattress. I sleep like a baby anyway since I’m tired and my back feels great, so I can’t knock it!
|a card for Rakhi|
|celebrating Rakhi, a Hindu holiday on August 24th|
Rakhi is a special occasion to celebrate the chaste bond of love between a brother and a sister. According to Wikipedia, the festival is "marked by the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread, by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her as she presents sweets to her brother". I celebrated with Swapna's son, Satim, the skinniest 10-year old I have EVER seen. He is a gymnast and has a giant stuffed Bengal tiger. Anyway as noted above, Rakhi involves purchasing some beautiful string bracelets for your brother and presenting him with them in exchange for his vow to protect you eternally. In our case, Satim also gave us some pretty bindis and earrings. In the left photo, I am blessing Satim with some colored powder and giving him some Indian sweets. It was a lovely experience. People take Rakhi very seriously--just check out these cards!