Travel

Indian Standard Time

In the months since my return to India, I have spent a great deal of time just waiting. At home, I have waited for the plumber, the electrician, the phone and Internet connection guy. Outside the home I have waited in banks, post offices, restaurants, and doctors’...
Jumping Red Lights

Jumping Red Lights

We were enjoying the drive down the newly-resur-faced highway that runs south, along the Bay of Bengal, from Chennai to Pondicherry, when I saw an instance of unparalleled traffic stupidity. A car was stopped in the middle of the two-lane highway, along an unlit...
Abode of the Virgin Goddess

Abode of the Virgin Goddess

When I was a young girl I used to love listening to the tales my grand-mother would weave. Patti’s hands were never idle as she recounted the countless episodes of Hindu mythology that fired her with the true spirit and meaning of Indian womanhood. Clad in a...
Defining Family

Defining Family

On each of our trips to India, we would make the customary visits to the homes of various people, first relatives, then friends and finally, others who were linked to us through indeterminate bonds. The parents of our Indian-American friends belonged to this third...
A steep Stroll Down Memory Lane

A steep Stroll Down Memory Lane

My sister wanted to give me a special treat for my 50th birthday. The deal was that I could choose any destination in the world. My answer was prompt; I knew just where I wanted to go: Mussoorie. So she came down from San Francisco to Mussoorie with her husband Ed to...

At Work

If you take a black-and-red-striped Nataraj pencil and sharpen it manually with a cheap plastic sharpener, the shavings come out in curly pale brown strips with a scalloped edge, like an elegant sari with a colorful border. The genuine delight I experienced by this...