April 2005 in Bangalore through the eyes of an Englishman -  Contact  Current Month  Previous  Next  Index  Software


Sherin & Sharmilla - helping me to come to terms with being 63
Sherin & Sharmilla.

An alterations tailor - there's always one within striking distance of anywhere you can buy clothes.
An alterations tailor.

The contents of the Palm Fruit - don't say I didn't war you!
The contents of the Palm Fruit.
30/4/2005 - Another Year

It's my birthday today. Terry has spent the day telling everybody that I'm 73. This would have been a mildly amusing joke had it not been for the fact that most of them clearly believed her. Ah well, it is what it is, and although it's tempting to say that I'm giving them up, the alternative isn't exactly welcome either.

So, what's been up? Well I'm still busy with the project at work. I detect signs that it creeping toward finality - but no more about that. My clothes looking last weekend was moderately successful. I found some pants I like. Kind of a dull green, and fairly lightweight, and made from some material with a really nice feel. Feel is almost more important than colour to me. In India, when you buy pants, they are always of indeterminate length. Manpower is cheap, so they reckon you can just get them adjusted to length within the hour. It's not a bad theory, and you've no choice anyway, but I do miss being able to see how a pair of pants will hang. Often enough, the fact that I can't just buy them and wear them will make me walk out of a shop empty handed if I'm not really smitten.

As promised, I bought a Palm Fruit and investigated its interior. I'd hesitate to say it was exciting. There are three cavities within the body of the thing that contain a gel-like substance reminiscent of a large piece of snot. It tastes vaguely sweet, and I won't comment further on its consistency. Put it this way, I don't think it's going to be a big hit in the Teale household.

Last Sunday at brunch, we met Sherin. She's married to a German guy, and lives in Germany, but is over here for a month or so to see her mother and whatever. We've seen her a couple of times since. Of course being a respectable married woman, she has to come out with a chaperone, so she brings her sister Sharmila. This system works for me.

I've found another interesting book. It's called "Mason & Dixon" - that's the pair of Engishmen who were responsible for the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland, across which the America Civil War was fought. It's by an American author, Thomas Pynchon, though you'd be pushed to tell. It's written in the English of the 18th century, and Dixon, who was a Geordie, is given a fairly convincing accent. Typically of brits at the time, and possibly still, the pair were apt to drink like fish, and take any other substances that were offered, including, but not limited to, opiates, hashish, and caffeine in excess. As a result the book often has the qualities of a dream or a drunken haze.

In between the drunken haze parts, where it's easy to get lost, rather like the narrator, there are some wonderful descriptions. There's a powerful description of an encounter with a larger French naval vessel from the point of view of two shit-scared scientists trying to help the dead and dying on one of the lower decks. There are hangings at Tyburn, a description of the transit of Venus they measured in Cape Town, and a conversation with a marijuana growing/smoking Colonel George Washington and his stand-up-comedian slave, and lots more. I'm about half way through.

It's the season for Palm Fruits
It's the season for Palm Fruits.
23/4/2005 - Endgame

Hopefully I'm coming to the end of the project that I've been embroiled in since last August. Then maybe I'll get chance to have couple of weeks off work, maybe go to Mysore for a couple of days. Hopefully after that there'll be something new to work on.

It's the palm fruit season so you can buy the things from numerous street vendors. I haven't eaten one yet, perhaps I'll try this weekend then I can report.

I'm in a kind of dull mood today, it's the weekend, but I've no idea what I want to do. In any case it looks like it's going to rain. I should take the time to find some interesting things to take pictures of, but in fact, I'll probably go and look at clothes.

Petals in the pond at Taika
Petals in the pond at Taika.
10/4/2005 - Rain

There's not a lot to talk about. I've been pretty head-down at work, and outside work there's been nothing much to report.

The rains have arrived. It was overcast and wet most days for at least part of the day, but I got away with it. I managed to remain dry on my bike rides to and from work.

Yesterday I went into work in the morning, so it was a short Saturday. India played Pakistan in the third ODI match of the tour, and got thrashed. Terry cooked the last piece of a tenderloin that she'd taken out of the freezer two or three days ago. She was distressed to find it had turned black, and Lavanya's friend Fred and I had to restrain her from throwing it in the garbage. As it turned out, it was just nicely aged, and it was a pity it was used for a stir-fry. It would have been great as fillet mignon pieces.

Suitably fed, we went of to Taika later. It was something of a let-down in the sense that there were few people there that we knew. But I do have to say that there was an impressive selection of good looking women. A cat may look at a king.


Best before 4 to 6 days - the man's own judgement
Best before 4 to 6 days.
3/4/2005 - Death of a Hero

I'm perfectly sure that John Paul II was a very well intentioned, honest, brave, intellectual, and passionate (in the platonic sense) man. But as another 20th century man, and a protestant by early religious education, I remain baffled by his right-wing, traditional catholic views.

The objection to contraception seems to me to be a pivotal issue. Some early pope, or one of his staffers, invented the idea of tithes - the faithful should pay a proportion of their income to the church. From that of course it followed immediately that the more catholic babies there were, the greater would be the future income of the organization. So babies were politically good, and the church possessed the means to enforce good, anything that was not good was a sin, and would send you to hell.

But now the planet is infested with human beings. There are so many of us that we seem doomed to destroy its fragile ecosystems, and with them ourselves. But apparently the bean-counting policies designed 15 centuries ago had to be upheld.

The recent events also seem to me to be the ultimate illustration of the futility of prayer. Hundreds of millions of catholics prayed for his recovery, surely by far the largest historical total of humans who prayed for any single thing, simply because of 21st century communications. So he died. Isn't there a message here somewhere?


Taking care of business
Taking care of business.
1/4/2005 - April

April is a significant birthday month in my family. Two of Terry's sisters and her mother have birthdays in April. All my children were born in April, as was I, and my first daughter Rachel's birthday is today. Happy Birthday Rachel!

In England, April may see the first hints of spring, and then again it might not. England tends to have weather rather than climate, so it's always difficult to say. There used to be a flower show held in Harrogate during the last week in April - I think maybe they've changed the date now. It was almost a tradition that it would manage to snow during those two or three days. Here in India, it can be the hottest month, because the rains can come at any time after that, and cool things down.

My photographic subjects were intently removing petals from the roses, and putting them in the bag, before I distracted them. I have no idea why.
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