January 17, 2011 – What’s Happening?

January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011 – What’s Happening?

waiting for my lunch on the way home from Puja

Actually nothing much, which is why I haven’t written the last couple of days.  Today of course was the lovely puja at Laxmis’s new home, but other than that not much to write about.  The weather has gone back to normal winter cold, which is fine with me.  I don’t need my heater at all in the evening and just for a short time in the morning.  Although there is still no sun to speak of, the outdoor temperature is much nicer, and perfect for comfortable walking with only a normal amount of clothing on rather than tons of layers.  I am quite content to do my walk abouts leisurely when I feel like it, or just sit around near my room, visit my friend Seema, etc.  Cooking about 50% of my meals these days and that’s just about right for me.

Getting back to restaurants I haven’t been to yet, like the Pyramid Cafe…long walk up but fabulous, fresh, health food and wonderful view and they even have WIFI if you need it…also very quiet (since it is way off the beaten path)…pics below:

on the way up to pyramid cafe

view from pyramid cafe

also from pyramid cafe

I am including a few photos just to make this a little more interesting, but this is the way I like it.

I do my morning stuff each day, without having to worry about the time, take my time with breakfast, a few hours out each day and back to relax late afternoon.  I will not have the same freedom in a couple of weeks when I begin panchakarma, so for now, am just enjoying the blessings of each day.  Having the internet connection in my room has been wonderful as I can choose when to post, when to upload while doing other stuff (like now, I am in bed, nice and comfy and warm with hot water bottle, music relaxing me in the background, and while I upload photos etc., and am reading).  It was a good decision and I am happy I did it.

Enjoy the photos

a couple here from Laxman Jhula bridge which is always busy

Bridge Traffic...people, motorcycles and monkeys

 

Namaste

Jane


January 17, 2011 – Puja Ceremony Before Moving into a New House

January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011 – Puja Ceremony Before Moving into a New House

I was invited today as a special guest at this ceremony .  My friend, Laxmi, has been in the process of building a house for the past 2 years.  It has been an uphill struggle the entire time and only through the good will and assistance of many wonderful people (making sure she would not have to take any bank loans), she was finally able to finish building this house and arriving at this auspicious day chosen by a priest.

New House from the Front

This is a family that has been through very difficult times.  Her’s was a love marriage, highly advised against, and with terrible results.  Her husband turned out to be a drug addict and after two children, she finally left him.  She has been supporting the family as a massage lady at Dr. Arora’s clinic all these years and works very hard at what she does.  Her mother-in-law is a great help to her, living much of the time with her and her children.

Up until now they were living in a one room house where they all slept, ate, did homework, played etc.  No bathroom, a kitchen out in the yard…no running water.  They now have a two story house which must seem like a mansion to them.  Upstairs there are three rooms.  One for Laxmi,

Her OWN room. This is about the size of the room she used t live in all together with her children and mother-in-law

one for her children and mother-in-law

 

This room was used for the puja but it is actually the kids room as well as the mother-in-laws when she is there

and the third a living room.  Off the living room

 

Living Room

is one of THREE toilets/showers!! Remember, this is after living in a house with NO toilet or shower!

 

"Guest" toilet/shower

This, so that the room can be used for guests easily, or even rented out to earn money.  Downstairs is another large room and another toilet/shower built to be rented out. SEE THIS LINK FOR FULL ALBUM ON FACEBOOK

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=262923&id=547896544&l=45d9aeab3a

And upstairs is also a full kitchen and another family toilet/shower.

The house is very plain and simple but will be a wonderful new home for this lovely family.

Built in Indian fashion, sort of “figure it out as you go along” style, there are things that no westerner would put up with…just one example.  The shelves in the kitchen are so high that the only way to reach them (for EVERYTHING needed for working in the kitchen) is to climb up on the countertop!!

Kitchen shelves

standing on counter top to reach LOWEST kitchen shelf!

I imagine in time shelves will be added at a normal height but for now, Laxmi seems to feel the kitchen design is fine!

Anyway, I was at the puja (religious ceremony) to sanctify the house and guaranteed it would be blessed with all good things and it was an interesting morning for me.

I’ve taken photographs but due to the cramped quarters, not sure if you can get a real feel for the place…what you can see, is the definite cramping of the entire neighborhood with others also building homes, with no zoning laws or permits needed…just do whatever you want, wherever you want, as big as you want and as close to your neighbor as you feel like.  A shame, but people here just seem to regard it as a positive sign of development and upward mobility.

 

views of the neighborhood from the roof

 


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