Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tales of Summer in the Hills, in the Coast

In Other News: Mother called this evening and told me that a squirrel had occupied my room back home. We discussed how one of these days, the animals that live in the house will throw us out in a coup. This squirrel is perhaps the one that last summer, in the hot afternoons, would lose its grip on the wooden bars on the roof, after a heavy lunch I am sure, and fall down on my bed and scamper around unable to find its way out. You should never hold a squirrel in your hands, the rest of its clan will not take it back into their fold once they smell a human touch. Or so the story goes, I don’t know how true that is.

With all three pairs of windows open, when I would last summer try to sleep after a heavy lunch myself, a squirrel would slip under the roof and hurry across the room. A baby would follow and several times lose its balance. If it was not the squirrel itself, it would drop bits of leaves or wire or some such thing on the bed. Or squeak to say the lunch was great that day, very loudly at that. If it was not the squirrel, it would be a snake. One year they decided the kitchen was the right place for them to mate. And once they choose a place, they come back there to..err..complete the procedure. Or so we have heard. So no amount of chasing them away helped for three days. We did get to see how beautiful they can be from close quarters though. I have several snake stories for another day.

In other news, the squirrels are inside and the little brown birds have invaded the tree by the garden, mother told me. They chirp softly, but they chirp all day. With some hundred of them around, there is considerable sound too. In the corner of the terrace where we hang clothes to dry, a bird has started to build a nest. Now it will create a ruckus every time we step on to the terrace. Mother grumbled about not having a place to hang clothes now. The house turns 50 this year. There are many gaps and corners for nests and snakes. It is an old house with comforting sounds.
In the other news: The reason I disappeared from these pages for several weeks now was a festival we at IFA organized in Mumbai this last weekend to announce the launch of the organization in that city. It was a great deal of work in disgustingly hot weather. A week in Mumbai saw dehydration, rice cravings, sleep deprivation and dogged tiredness, some little shopping, some great experiences, much fun and madness, though hardly a glimpse of the sea, and no Chowpatty kulfi or Vada-pav either.

Here are some pictures.

My feet were there, at Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai. We had this gorgeous red light and red ribbons at the entrance of the space. Made for lovely lighting for several mad pictures.

Reminded me of Christmas lights in Chicago, memories of a long time ago.

The most adorable Varun Narain, one of India’s few professional puppeteers. IFA Grantee. Mad as madness can be. Full moon and the noon sun seemed to increase his insanity! One of the funniest, most energetic people I know.
Hundreds of origami birds in different colours were hung at different levels. The place looked so beautiful. Birds, for the IFA logo. Also for freedom and flight.

Many birds decided to stay closer to the earth.

I don’t care much for cats. But I like the colours that seeped into this frame.

What became popular as the ‘red light area.’

This reminded me of detective series on television.
Weeks of stress, work, anxiety and excitement ended with a rather successful festival. Bangalore weather was heavenly when I stepped off the flight.