Bright blue sari

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My Mom is a rockstar. She not only spent part of the summer with me in India, but she also looks stunning in a sari. The other night, I wore a sari and it had been a long time. As always, remembering exactly how it works was a challenge, but thankfully I had help.

While visiting Bapatla this past summer, I brought out the sari Niti gave me in Kathmandu. The girls had a field day playing dress-up with Mom and got on my case for not having nicer clothes. They kept wanting to brush out Mom’s hair (and against her better judgment, she let them) and paint on a lot of makeup. The outfit wasn’t complete without fresh jasmine in her hair and a handful of bright blue bangles around her wrists.

When they were finished with her, they couldn’t stop saying how lovely and Indian she looked. And I agree. My Mom can rock a sari.

The first of the month

Happy first of November! It looks like this month will be:

Big book of contemporary poetry | hot tea | plans for next semester | work | other kind of work | one-hour-of-sleep-kind-of-days | celebrations | fending off the cold rain | confused by the weather all around | making connections | rediscovering what health looks like in winter | learning to love through distance and how to talk on skype and a phone | setting aside time for leisure|

Today’s rain makes me feel more exhausted than ever. Last night, I celebrated Halloween the best way I know how (by dressing up as a man *which turned out to be a very empowering, and fascinating couple of hours) and dancing with the good ones. This morning, after only a few heavy hours of sleep, I was back at it -> writing and editing an essay before a class where we learned how to make a decent souffle.

If the rest of November is  anything like today, it will be filled with exciting times (*Phantogram tonight with brother Sam, Danny and Immy) and a lot of hard work. The rest of this weekend involves a few good meals, some projects, some essay-writing, and trying to remember how to correctly wear a sari.

moreof india2

moreof india

The only thing one can give an artist is leisure in which to work. To give an artist leisure is actually to take part in his creation. -Ezra Pound

lessons learned: how to wear a sari

– – –

“dear God,” she prayed, “let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. let me be gay; let me be sad. let me be cold; let me be warm. let me be hungry. . . have too much to eat. let me be ragged or well dressed. let me be sincere – be deceitful. let me be truthful; let me be a liar. let me be honorable and let me sin. only let me be something every blessed minute. and when i sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.”

– betty smith, a tree grows in brooklyn

– – –

one lazy afternoon in bapatla, i had the urge to find material to make a sari {* or saree, depending on how you like to spell it}. after a long hunt through town and the neighboring town, i finally came across this lovely black, gold, and orange material. i found help from one of the women {pictured in the second image} at the children’s home and she helped fit and sew the top to my size. by the next day, i had a brand new and beautifully fitted sari.

it turns out when you’re bored in india one of the best ways to occupy your time is to play dress up. the women at the children’s home got so excited and all of them helped get me ready for the day. all together, the process took maybe three hours. they put on and took off the sari dozens of times – to make it look perfect – they gave me heaps of bangles, necklaces, and even put fresh jasmine in my hair.

i loved learning all that it takes to wear a sari, but i also learned just how difficult it is to go about your normal routine while wearing that much material. i am unfortunately not the best at keeping it on, and it didn’t help that i ended up going for a swim in the bay of bengal with it on. . . not only is a sari difficult to wear by itself, try wearing one in the ocean!

it now smells a good bit like india and saltwater.

i cannot wait to go back to that place one of these days. . .