Thursday, June 16, 2011

new friends

Just occasionally I feel I live a long way away.....I miss my boys and I miss my best friend Dawn but mostly I am quite content here. I have always been happy with my own company, the telephone gets a good workout and Praveen is my man...what more do I need?
A pleasure of living a long way away is that people will just drop in on you. Louise was a student of mine a few years ago in New Zealand, and she did quiely mention she might like to visit India one day so of course I said pop in....well last January she did, spending a few weeks hanging out in Pushkar and we spent quite a lot of time together, a little sight seeing, a lot of  tagging along with my Stitching work -patient lady some of that was a bit of a soap opera at the time, trying to extract work from the tailor I had already paid to deliver,  she said better than TV.
If I had lived in Australia we would not have had the same every so often I get little gems of friendships served up by the Gods and really appreciate them, and modern world of the internet you can still easily keep in touch, which is very nice.
Here is Louise at a textile event in NZ somehwere, she took a whole heap of saris and other textile things home with her and has been very popular at various textile events trading.

OH a plug!! Drum roll please
 her next Textile Trading day in NZ is "Treasures from India" at the Creative Fibre Cambridge Exhibition.

Trades Day is on Thursday 23 June at Trinity St Paul's Union Parish in Cambridge.
hours 10 am - 4pm.

She has taken a little India home with her and shares little anecdotes of NZ with me- they have cool misty mornings now....sometimes tortuous to try and imagine, other days remarkable fantasies depending how the weather here is hitting me.
When you live in the late 30s to mid 40's for weeks on end [well over 100 F old scale] you go a little loopy sometimes.

 And this week I have met Jasna, a lovely yound woman from Slovenia, initially she contacted me for a cooking class, which went very well; I took some of the left over dal to the workshop the next day to share at lunchtime and the comment was "only problem was not enough!" I took that as a real compliment as here in India no one has a problem pointing out your deficits if the cooking is notup to scratch.
 She was staying for a few days and so I suggested we visit Ajmer togther, I have been hanging out to visit the Dargah again...I like the energy there, the smell of rose petals and wanted to sort out where you put your bag. No cameras or mobile phones allowed and I knew there was a locker room somewhere but never located it before....wanted to see how it all worked so I could recomend it to visitors.
The heart of the teachings associated with this order are  interpreted  in terms of human service and  disciples are exhorted  "to develop river-like generosity, sun-like affection and earth-like hospitality." The highest form of devotion, according to this order, was "to redress the misery of those in distress – to fulfill the needs of the helpless and to feed the hungry." have a look for more info here

The Dargah is a very special Sufi Muslim shrine, a great place for people to appreciate a spiritual aspect of Islam in a nice setting, like any religion the heart of the religion is good people forming an understanding of how to live their lives. Like the heart of any religion there are many, many people who follow its creeds simply and it makes the world a good place to live. Do we associate Christianity with a hanfdul of fundamentalist nutters? no why do we do that with Islam- not fair to many good people.....yes soap box time.
Anyway a woman needs a scarf to cover their head [a man also] as Jasna did not have one they thoughtfully provided her with a hankie to tie on her head.....being India no one took a second glance at the lady with the funny hat! and we had a few laughs about it.
A wonderful place full of Muslim and Hindu people, the scent of roses, the excitment of an outing, the peace of contemplation- well worth a visit.
Yes many Hindu people visit the shine each year, for Hindu people anyone doing good in the world is an aspect of Vishnu the Preserver at work and so worthy of veneration...labels are not important. The Shrine is decicated to Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti born in 1142 who taught a belief in God was more important than agreeing on the name of him and all people are equal and looking after others [any others less fortunate] the most important thing of all....good news for anyone to hear and so a place of pilgramige for Hindus and Muslims....oh India, that is what I love about you, for a place that can be so divided there are magic momets of inclusion.... you also get quite a few Sikh people visiting here as well.

 wandering through Ajmer, the entrance to an old trader's house, can you see the succession of courtyards inside?
First shower of rain has hit, temps dropped to late 30's and first bugs to arrive....this guy was like a velvet dot...can't remeber his Hindi name but it reflects he is the first to arrive with the rains.
Lovely days when the weather drops from the stinking hot by a few degrees and and promisesof rain for the parched earth......

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