Susan's Indian Adventure

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First Impressions
More Touristing
Random Ramblings
Taj Mahal
Indian Cooking
Heavenly Bodies
Viru's Native Place
How To Build This
Construction workers move dirt by filling plates with dirt (one is on top of the woman's head) and walking 10 meters and spreading it around. This is at a site close to home so I'll be watching progress. Rumor has it that the main road is getting widened. That doesn't explain what the goal is here to...
Crazy American amateur botanist
On the wet side of the lake in Lonar Crater there is a lush and varied forest. I found this gigantic leaf. It is from a tree with many more of the same :)
Eerie view of Lonar Crater lake
Lonar Crater is filled with a salt lake. Not much grows. There is a green belt around it that is quite eerie. Apparently five or so years back the level of the water started rising, putting many temples and trees under water. The locals are not happy because when the level was lower the lake was saltier...
Walk around Lonar Crater
You can easily walk around Lonar Crater. There is a trail all the way. Even though it is a salt lake much of it is covered with green algae. We saw monkeys, temples, poachers, a banana farm and peacocks at sunset because we were very quiet.
Lonar Crater at sunset
At sunset there was a large flock of birds that returned to stay the night on a little island in the lake. We watched as thousands of birds returned home, many groups of a hundred of more swooping over the rim of the crater, then diving down to what looked like an island backed with birds. There was...
Puja and Aditi performing classical dance
Puja has graduated from classical dance school executes with precision and concentration. Aditi has seen her cousins and people on TV perform classical dance and this is enough for her creative brain. She performs with abandon and pleasure.
Susan on a commuter train in Mumbai
Just like us, during mid-week and mid-day the trains are empty. I am told at other times they are an experience in mass movement. Mumbai was originally a series of islands, now one. Apparently they have their own Army Corp of Engineers. In between the island and the main land there is water and swamp...
Viru and Aditi
Viru and his niece Aditi sharing a bite to eat on our outing to Colaba. I'm not sure who is more attached to the other. When Aditi is around you hear "Mamu, Mamu" every ten seconds. Mamu is Hindi for uncle.
Deluxe worker accommodations
This is just down the road from us. They drilled for water one day, put up a corrugated aluminum shed the next and in a couple of days this row of houses/huts for the construction workers appeared. Their water source is pretty much on the street so if you go by in the morning you can watch everyone taking...
Washing cooking utensils
This village woman lives about a mile or two from our "high rise" apartment. India fascinates and amazes me in how its people of all levels of modernization and economic classes live together.
Bus driver helping the passenger unload their stuff
This is an inside view of a local bus. I dreaded these buses for most of my trip as they have no shock absorbers and the roads were less than smooth. Also at the beginning I was afraid of the germs I would pick up from the people, as many rather poor people road the buses. This went away with time and...
Fancy temple at Rautwadi
Rautwadi is a small village not to far from out place. Temple are everywhere in India. Literally everywhere, every few blocks in the cities, every so often in the fields and several per small village. Many are very simple. This is a quite elaborate one.
Rooster down town
Animals are everywhere. I like this portrait of a rooster because it shows the broken concrete that is everywhere and my friend/enemy the Indian bus.
Pune Station vendors
This is the scene outside Pune Station. Both the bus and the train stations are pretty close together, uncharacteristically convenient. And most vendors, but not these fruit vendors, are there way into the night so when you get back from a trip, say at 11pm you can go shopping right there before catching...
Government bus
Well they aren't all this bad, but I had to include this because my physical downfall was the government buses, not the water. (I did my best to not give the water a chance on me.)

The Indian bus system has much to say for itself. You can get anywhere in India on a bus. Most routes are pretty...
Pashan and Lake Pashan
This is a view of the new part of Pashan where we lived and the lake. Also the hills in the distance tell me that it was has high quality air day. We are lucky, sometimes the wind blew our pollution down on the rest of Pune, leaving use with pretty good air.
Indians love pizza
"The stove-top baking expert who doesn't shy away from creating messes." That's me. Instant expert via a little web research and I made pizza crust on a stove top. I'm impressed with myself!

Viru liked the results. I think the mozzarella cheese saved the day. The crust needed work.
Susan at art college
There was an art college right down the road from us. It took as a while to visit. It was modest.
The burning tradition continues
Here they are burning at the college, presumably to clean up. It drove Viru and me crazy. There was plenty of pollution from the motorized vehicles, we didn't need this smoke. At least this burning didn't seem to include plastic bags.
Luxury home makers, for the king in you
It's the irony of the sign juxtaposed to the construction workers homes.
Pashan decked out for a festival
Traveling with a modern atheist had its disadvantages. He had no idea what festival this was, so I don't either. Nothing major or we would have known.
Earth poachers
Early one morning we took a walk, well okay, not all that early. We came to the top of the hill behind our apartment and look down. We were shocked to see the hill being carted away. We looked at truck loads of dirt differently after this.

Viru took a picture of the truck and it license plates...
Beautiful flower
Never did find a book on the indigenous flower of India. There are a lot of beautiful ones.
More evidence of earth poaching
The tree in the back was actually killed. Mostly along this road we saw trees like the one in the front with three feet of soil missing but still alive.

And the next question is what do they do with this dirt? Export it? All the dirt I saw in India was wonderfully rich like this. It was a mystery...
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Created using Viru's program, with Susan's artistic assist