Susan's Indian Adventure

Please enjoy

First Impressions
More Touristing
Random Ramblings
Taj Mahal
Transportation
Indian Cooking
Heavenly Bodies
Viru's Native Place
How To Build This
 
Shopping in New Sanghvi
This is in the market near our first apartment. These vegetable vendors set up everywhere. So no matter where you live, in a huge city like Bombay or the suburbs like New Sanghvi or Pashan you have 5-6 blocks at most to walk to buy fresh vegetables.

A note about language. All the vendors know...
   
Water buffalo running in downtown Pune
This was my first trip to downtown Pune. We got money exchanged and bought me some native clothing. While walking a group of four water buffalos came galloping down the middle of a major street. Digital cameras take a bit to get started so we just got a snap of them as they faded into the distance. I...
   
Susan shopping for her first salwar kameez
The modern Indian traditional clothing is a salwar kameez. They are great. I have six of them now and will buy a couple more I think. The salwar is a loose fitting pant and the kameez is a dress worn on top that has a slit up to the top of the hip. They come in all materials and color and decorations...
   
Susan poses in her first salwar kameez
It's not my best or favorite but it was great to go native. I think the people of New Sanghvi were much more comfortably with me in this clothing. I was still weird and something to be approached cautiously but not something as threatening.

It seems to me that Indians don't like the unusual...
   
Animals everywhere
These are a few of my favorite things, the sounds of animals, sleeping with family and friends in the middle of the day and food, of course. As I sit in the apartment writing this I hear the baying of donkey's.
   
Viru in his new kitchen
Viru in his new kitchen.
   
One of the many delicious dinners we cooked
I may be the only person to be in India for three months and not get 'tourista' and gain weight. A few weeks ago we made a pact that we would only cook three dishes per dinner. Shortly thereafter we learned to make chapati correctly and have streamline the whole process. Chapati and one dish is plenty....
   
Susan making chapati on our brand new chakla
Happy news, in the new kitchen a chakla is not needed so Susan can bring it home with her. A chakla is a small round hard surface for rolling out chapati. The cool ones are made of marble. White marble is the most prized but I like the green ones better.
   
Susan hunting for legumes
India has more kinds of legumes than .... 60% of every tree and bush I look at is a legume. I collected some unusual ones and made a mobile to decorate Viru's new apartment. It worked well and has received many compliments. When the wind or fan is blowing it works like chimes.
   
Susan studying in Ellora caves
Ellora and Ajanta are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are caves carved out of solid rock by Buddhists, Jains and Hindu's. I have many pics of the ornate carvings and the sites, each of which have 20-30 caves. This particular cave was unusual as it was specifically set up to be a place of study. Most...
   
Kailasa - the largest single monolithic structure in the world
This Hindu "cave" is the highlight of the Ellora caves. It is really several temples surrounded by a plaza and then rows of rooms for worship and living.
   
Aditi
This is Aditi, Viru's niece. She is quite an amazing person. An original and creative energy you have to be around to believe.

Also she called me her "sister who is a poet." Technically she should call me auntie, since I'm older than she. The poet part is about my English which she thinks of...
   
Susan eating with Viru's family
This is our first experience at entertaining and my first meeting of his family. We all enjoyed ourselves. Luckily Viru's mom brought extra plates, spoons and cups, Neetu, his sister, brought extra sheets and blankets and Indians don't seem to think anything of sleeping on the floor.
   
The Dogra/Devi girls and Susan
Clockwise starting with me: me, Neetu, Viru's sister, Aditi, Neetu's daughter and Krishna, Viru's mother.
   
Viru and his family
Across from Viru, Aditi. Aditi LOVES Viru. They are cut from the same cloth. Behind her, Viru's mother and father. And farthest away, Neetu, Viru's sister and Aditi's mother.
   
Instant liking
Neetu, Krishna and Susan enjoy each other's company from the beginning.
   
The glare
These are construction workers near our place in Pashan. This look, the glare, is what I get everywhere I meet uneducated people. It can be unnerving after awhile. In the beginning we lived with middle class people who fit in this category, sort of semi-educated. Now in Pashan it is mercifully much more...
   
Pashan skilled construction workers
Pashan is a new and developing section of Pune. Most of the buildings are apartment or condominiums containing 10-20 units. The occupancy is low but his doesn't stop development. Construction workers are nomadic, building homes wherever there is work. Viru and I assume these people have same special...
   
The old and the new
Every where you go you see these brahmin bulls and motorcycles. This picture was taken from our balcony. The wall is around the building in front of us.
   
A very clean scene
A pastoral view of a rural road. Notice there are very few plastic bags floating around. This is VERY unusual.
   
Abandoned temple on Lonar crater
Lonar crater is the 3rd largest crater in the world. In it is a saltwater lake. In the last few years the level of the lake has been rising and there are many temples under water. This is a survivor.
   
Weary traveler sleeping in temple
Mercifully the inner chamber has only a few bats. The smell of guano is faint.
   
Viru thinks he can train a goat in 30 minutes!
While waiting at the Lonar bus station Viru decides to share his raw channa (garbanzo beans) with a stray goat. The goat doesn't want to wait his turn. Viru and Susan bet that Viru can/can't train the goat to wait at the garbage can for the next tidbit. Hee, hee. A bet I couldn't loose...but another...
   
Minal weds Vishal
Viru's friend, Minal, generously invites the both of us to her wedding.
   
Wedding ritual - the walk around
During the ceremony, which not many people outside the wedding party watches, the bride and bridegroom walk around this fire container seven times. When they are done they are wedded. The guest are downstairs eating lunch. I struck up a conversation with one of Minals cousins and she thought it was wierd...
   
Susan with Neetu's in-laws
Left to right, Susan, Minakshi (visiting relative), Jagdishwari (mother-in-law), and Sanju (wife of brother-in-law). Neetu, Viru's sister, is at work teaching second graders everything but English.
   
Ahhh, a chess game I can handle
I am playing chess with Siddharth while his mother looks on. Mostly I play chess with Viru who always creams me. Call me a baby, but sometimes I like to win. Viru and I don't know how old Siddharth is. Somewhere around 7 or 8. Chess is very popular in India. Viru started when he was 9 or 10. Siddharth's...
   
Time to go. We had fun!
Rashesh, Manju, and Siddharth leave after a nice afternoon. Manju taught us a new dish to make that will be good for traveling. This is a fun family. They both like the original decorating Viru and I have done to his apartment and Rashesh was very impressed with Viru's photography. I am too, but it's...
   
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Created using Viru's program, with Susan's artistic assist