Tag Archives: mela

Come to my window………

One of the fabulous things about living in Delhi is that you just never know what you are going to find where. Surprises lurk around every corner – some not so great – some spectacular.

I recently went to a Winter Wonderland Celebration for the kids. And there was a mela (craft fair).  And there was a guy selling these windows…

And you might be wondering if your computer monitor is crooked – probably not – I took the picture, so it might be slightly angled (we call that operator error) – and the window might just be a little off too. It’s old (at least I was told it was old) so we will give it a break. I was also told that it is from Kashmir – is it? – I will never really know. But it is all full of awesomeness. And if you ask me where it’s from, I will say – it’s really old and it’s from Kashmir. 😉

Another wonderful thing about living in India is that you rarely have to do too much for yourself. Included in the price of the window was the charge for delivery and installation. So three men came to deliver/install…

You don’t see all three of the men here because the other two were trying to figure out where to plug in the power drill that they brought. Now, I was impressed that had a power drill (a lot of work in India is done the old fashioned way – manually) and that they actually brought it with them. But I was a wee bit concerned that this is what the “plug” looked like.

I take full credit for the blur in this photo. You can bet your boots this made me a little shaky. Two exposed wires jammed into the outlet. It rocked to the core one of my basic parenting principles – you don’t stick metal into an outlet – especially live wires with a power tool attached to them. But all is well and the window is hung.

Some of my nosier readers will want to know how much this window was – about $200. That includes finding it, restoring it, delivering it, and risking life and limb to install it.  And please don’t bother telling me if I overpaid for it (I am sure I paid too much, although the shop owner would surely adamantly argue otherwise) – I think you only over pay if you don’t think what you got was worth the price you paid – I love this window and am so happy to have it.

Just a Reminder……….If you are in Delhi this weekend…..

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Save the Date…………

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AWA

Holiday Mela

Sunday, November 15th
10:00am to 3:30p
at the
American Embassy School
New Delhi
Entrance fee: rs. 200
(children under 13 free)

Over 100 vendors
food court
used book sale
kids activity center

It’s in the cards………

When I was in college, I went to a fortune teller. Okay, it was in a bar and I was not exactly “un”intoxicated. Not so much a good mix. Lesson learned – go to fortune teller completely sober. And maybe pick one that isn’t seated in the back of a bar. In the dark corner.

She told me that someone I cared about with dark hair who was involved in finance was going to die. What? That simply can not be.

My dad is an accountant – my then fiance (now number one hubby) was an accounting major – they both have dark hair. I had had a little bit a lot too much to drink and I momentarily forgot that everyone is going to die – at some point. So, I will take this opportunity to apologize to my friends who were with me that night. I cried for the remainder of the night. Yeah, I am sure that was a lot of fun.

Note to number one hubby – if you ever think I don’t care about you – please remember that I cried all night when I heard that you were going to die – at some point. 😎

Many years later, when my husband won a trip to Jamaica, I went to another fortune teller. She was a little more accurate. She told me that she knew I had had a miscarriage. She told me about someone in my life – she couldn’t pull out the name – maybe it was Georgia – yeah, my mom lives in Georgia.

I had not had too much anything to drink. I do realize that she spoke mostly in generalizations – but some things were dead on.

So, now I am intrigued by all this mystical stuff. I don’t really want predictions – they might drive me mad – but I am curious about the now and when. So, when I went to a craft show a few days ago and there was a tarot card reader there – I sat down. Five hundred rupees, please. You got it.

She also spoke somewhat in generalizations – but some of it was surprising.

She said that I am still mourning a loss and cannot completely focus on what I have gained. She said my glass is half empty (rather than half-full). This surprised me. I am normally a glass half-full person. Actually I am more of a “who cares” whether it’s full or empty – it is what it is – I am lucky there is a glass. But coming to India was a sudden change and not one I was looking for. I think I am doing a pretty good job of embracing this adventure – and on many, many levels, enjoying it. But, dang it, I miss home. I have not put both feet down yet.

She went on to say that there is a big opportunity waiting for me but I need to be more open to it. And that I need to not be so introspective. That way I will be able to see it when it comes. She even went so far as to say that I will get published and it will be big. So, remember, you knew me when. She also said there is a big celebration in my near future. A wedding or a new house – it’s probably not going to be one of those – but bring on the celebration.

Mrs. Tarot also said that I need to be careful about the money side of things in this new adventure. Okay. I can do that. If there is money involved, I can pay attention to it.

Apparently great things are in store for me. Isn’t that exciting? 😎

Some updates……….

Just a few random updates in case you are wondering…….

We now have Laxmi cooking for us. Monday she made chicken enchilladas and last night roast beef. She is a very good cook and has a sweet disposition. I think she might be a keeper. She made homemade bread yesterday and has promised to make cookies today. YAHOOO!

Our allergies are really bothering all of us. It does not rain here much at all – yeah, I know, just wait until June.

You hear a lot about malaria when you are coming to India – but Denge fever seems to be at least as big of a worry. Yeah, that’s great.

I have two blog friends who are moving here this summer – one from Ohio and one from France. Yes, I think that is very cool. I have encouraged them both to bring bug spray.

Some of my college friends in the U.S. got together for dinner the other night and ate spinach dip in my honor. I miss them! They also drank wine. Damn them.

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I offered to write for a magazine here that caters to expats – wasn’t that nice of me – yes, I will definitely let you know how that goes.

It is time for me to give up caffeine again. Yes, my blogs might become a little cranky. Bear with me.

Today at school is earth day. No classes for the middle schoolers – just a whole lot of eco-friendly things like:

Making puppets out of (clean) trash
I think they also made a game
A swim/walk/yoga/or dance-a-thon
A eco-friendly mela (craft Fair) with mostly products made from recycled materials
(one of the vendors makes paper out of elephant poop – no, I am not clear on why that is necessary, but yes, I am going to check it out – maybe from a distance)
Several presentations re: the environment
Trash free lunch day – everyone has to bring a lunch that leaves no trash behind

Yes, it is all very cool. My children are really becoming more global thinkers.

That’s all I have right now. See you tomorrow.

Mela Mela Mela……………

You might remember the post about the Amber Fort, when I asked you if you liked my shirt. Here’s the picture… just in case you haven’t time to memorize all the little details of my blog yet.

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I got it at the SurajKund Crafts Mela in Delhi. It is open from Feb. 1 – 15th every year. Holy crafts, Batman! It is awesome! I bought dolls, tablecloths, boxes, kurtas (Indian-style) shirts, marble elephants, and even a Taj Mahal snow globe. And, yes, the snow globe has already been broken. And, yes, glitter looks very pretty on a marble floor.

They also had pottery, jewelry, saris, shoes, purses, furniture, kites, umbrellas, lanterns, yard decorations (oh, if I only had a yard), and booth after booth of authentic craft items from all over India and several other Asian countries.

We were told not to bring our camera because it gets crowded and it’s just one more thing to keep track of – humpf – I blog to differ on that one. It does get very crowded – but I am not sure what is so unusual about that – India is mega crowded – why would a Mela be any different? But we listened. Bummer.

Note to self – bring camera and video camera. We got there at about 10:30am – it opens at 9:30am – next year we will get there when it opens. Nothing really starts that early in India as compared to the United States. So at 10:30am, it was not crowded and you can park pretty close to the entrance. That means you can walk around and take lots of pictures – then return your camera to the car and shop away unencumbered. Next year, we’ll do just that.

There were amazing performances from around India. The performers were dressed in gorgeous outfits doing unbelievable things like dancing with five bowls on their heads. The musicians were magical. It was culture overload and it was fabulous!

Many of the crafters were making their crafts right at their booths.

And, yes we bargained. And we got deals. This shirt was $5. And yes, I put the decimal in the right place. Not everyone gave us the deal we were hoping for – but our new haggling philosophy is “no harm, no foul.” The worst they can say is no. And this particular Mela only takes place once a year and a billion people live in this country – there is no way they will remember us next year!

We learned a new phrase at the Mela – skin tax. Are you confused – fear not – I am here to ‘splain it. It seems that we, being lighter skinned than most people here, will be charged a skin tax. Translation – the prices are higher for us. Interesting. Sure. Unfair. Sure. Good to know. You bet your arse!

So at one point, Number One Hubby found some shirts he liked. He was standing next to an Indian woman who just happened to want to know prices too.

Hubby: Go ahead, tell her the price.
Crafter: Dumbfounded. And Silent.
Hubby: Go ahead, really, go ahead
Indian Woman: Smirking and looking away
Hubby: I’ll pay what she pays
Me: smirking – that’s my man

The crafter wanted to wait until Hubby was done shopping before he would discuss prices with the Indian woman. Hubby called his bluff and it worked. I really am not saying that we are always charged more – but skin tax happens.

What are the bathrooms like you ask – horrible – but worth it. What did we have for lunch, you wonder – are you really a fan, I wonder – we had pizza – Dominoes Pizza with a Coke. And for dessert? Cotton Candy. Some fair foods are clearly universal. Act II popcorn also had a booth. Of course, there was a lot of authentic Indian food if you are braver than we are.

If you want to know a really, really good time to visit us – that would be the first two weeks of Febraury – it’s not hot – and there is the SurajKund Mela. I am going twice next year – once with my family – and once by myself. It is one of my favorite experiences so far! And, yes, next year, I will have pictures.