Saturday, May 31, 2008


^ Yet another departure of nice friends we have made. Roy, Mary, Dennis, Davis and Debbie are going to Delhi from here. We had connections at various levels of the family, and we held the family close to our hearts. They will be missed.

It was Mary's birthday, as well as a going away party.

They are Singaporeans to whom India is as much a second country as it is for us, even though they are Tamils by ancestry. Asia is not so simple as it looks from the outside.

As always, thanks go to Krishnan and Indu for putting on a rocking party. They invited a Bollywood coregrapher to their home for some group instructions.

Also, you can see Jasmine flowers wound around sticks. Very nice. And you know how good jasmine smells...

You'll see the obligatory cricket match depicted, as well. In India, some men gradually gravitate to "the game", albeit it cricket and not football or baseball.

Friday, May 30, 2008


^ Meri Hindi teacher ka naam Abdula hai. Wo Karnataka se hai, laikin wo Hyderabad mein rahte hai. Abdul mera ghar ko tin din har hafte aate hai. Mujhko Abdul bahut pasand hai. Hum ek saathe Hindi baat karte hain.

Abdul bhi Kannada, Farsi, Arabic aur Urdu (paheli bar jab mai Urdu sunna, mai socha ki Hindi aur Urdu barabar language hain) baat kar sakthe hai. Mai - sirf Hindi. Mai French aur English bhi baat kar saktha hun, laikin Bharat mein - sirf Hindi. Aur meri Hindi aachi nahi hai. Laikin agley sal - meri Hindi bahut pure hogi. Do sal ke baad, bahut clear hogi.....

Thursday, May 29, 2008


^ Many of the products that we use here are for multiple nations. It is common to have shampoo with Cyrillic and Roman letters, shaving cream with Thai and Roman letters, and Snapple - in Roman and Arabic letters.

What is a hassle in Hyderabad is that there is no consistent second alphabet other than Telugu. And here is what Telugu looks like, below.... you can see why I am not interested in learning it. These are only the "a" sound letters.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

India Quote

“So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.”
:: Mark Twain

and another quote that gives me reason to pause in relation to my role here....

“God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the west... keeping the world in chains. If [our nation] took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts.”
:: Ghandi

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


^ OK, a little more unrest here in India. Thankfully, it is nowhere near Hyderabad. The Gujjars of northern India are looking to get Scheduled Tribe status, which would afford them a certain percentage of set-asides from the Indian government. Jobs and the like.

To make sure they are heard, they are blocking traffic, burning things in effigy and generally disrupting life in Rajasthan, Haryana and the capital region around Delhi.

Now, chances are that you are reading this blog from outside of India. Chances are more likely than not that you are in fact in the US. Which would add up to the high likelihood that you have neither heard about this nor care all that much, either.

But - as we have noticed, in the event something negative *does* happen here in India, people often fear that we may be in harm's way and would reach out to us.

So, if you see footage of Gujjars burning things and raising a general lot of hell, please rest assured that the five of us are totally fine.

I just love writing sentences like that. What an experience this is......

Monday, May 26, 2008

Visit to the Old City

Tara and I spent some time in the Old City today.

^ This little guy was in charge of opening the coconuts at a stand. He could not have been more than seven. You don't see child labor like this all that much in Hyderabad, but it is there still (even after a nationwide ban in the past few years) and you do see it in the Old City.

^ Street scene.

^ Something clearly left by the British, or, as the Indians say, the "Britishers".

^ The ubiquitous mango cart. They are awesome.

^ A street cleaner. It just kicked dust out of the back of the vehicle. This little guy has a huge job.....

^ All of the colorful garments are what the local woman wear - underneath their black burqas.

^ Small flags declare it Islamic territory. A young boy tries to get Tara to come into his family's store.

^ Street scene.

^ Street scene.

^ A curio shop that had some upscale dolls - and accoutrements with swastikas on them.

^ Tara in the scene that could have been 400 years ago.

Amazing day down at the Old City.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Deccan Chargers - We Lost Again

^ The cricket match.

^ The folks with whom I attended this match. Good blokes.

^ At one point, there was a crowd that gathered near our seats. I was curious to see what it was that they were looking at.

^ It was the wives of the South African and Australian players from the opposing team. They must have been uncomfortable, but they didn't look it....

^ The cheerleaders were given permission to take off their black tights.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


^ We did not anticipate that living here we would be saying good bye so often. It's the part of this life that is not very enjoyable. Our friends from Norway are leaving after the husband worked for the last year in designing the airport here in Hyderabad. The party was nice and the departure was untimely. It's hard to say when we will all see each other again.

Farewell Holtmans!

Friday, May 23, 2008

New House

Well, I really enjoyed the new house. It was nice, and had a more ample yard offering than what we have now - plus it is close to a pool, club house and the neighborhood has its own restaurant.

Should be fun, we're still trying to make it happen. But there is no barrier that I can foresee. We will be moving into a smaller place, which is the inverse of the expected impulse for a young, American family of five. But it felt nice to be in there, so we will look to move into this place in Whisper Valley.

Above is a picture from that neighborhood, found on the web. Our friends live there. We won't be living in a place of that scale, but this house is of the same "look".

Thursday, May 22, 2008


OK, back in Hyd.

We appear to be aligned to move to a new house - details pending!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008


^ Back to Mumbai this week. It has a skyline. Here is a nice shot.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


^ We had a great time at Narnia. Good movie, really recommend it. More of an edge than The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. As such, it perhaps wandered a bit from a "Lewis" feel. But good nonetheless.

It was nice for the boys to have company. One picture is Jonah holding his little friend's hand. Very cute.

As you can tell, Aidan was inspired by the battle scenes.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Devi and Manikanta

.... wearing my shades. I think they are largely unaware of Narnia. We love them.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Narnia comes to Hyderabad

^ Note the name "Caspian" in Telugu script.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


^ It is gearing up to be a Narnia weekend here in Hyderabad with the worldwide launch of Prince Caspian. Aidan and Jonah are beside themselves with excitement - and, truth be told, I am pretty psyched too.

We'll keep you abreast of the events as they unfold.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cricket Match

I went to a cricket match on Sunday afternoon. Liam and I went with friends here in Hyderabad - all of them Brit expats who know the game well.

I can tell you that after the game I was entirely clear on the rules of cricket and how to watch and evaluate it. And I now know that it's a great game.

^ First thing that happened when we got to the Farrand's house was that a group of young Indian guys ran up asked if they could take their picture with me. You may remember this phenomenon from earlier blog posts. Well, I had the foresight to ask them to take a picture with my camera, as well. Above is the snap.

^ Then when we got to the cricket field, I noticed that an ice cream vendor had decided to use the Hindu myth of Kali beheading his father, or whatever that story is about. Interesting choice of motifs.

^ This is the walk up to the gate. Thankfully, not our gate. Look at the crowd that was assembled around getting through that two-person-at-a-time entrance. It gives you some sense of what standing in line is like in India.

^ Our compatriots. Good folks.

^ At the end of the match, the cheerleaders had a hard time getting off the field. Various people were throwing empty mango juice bottles at them. They hung around for a bit and then made it off the field. No alcohol at these events, so the enthusiasm for throwing bottles is not what you may think.

Most of these cheerleaders are Americans on loan from the NFL. They have names like Amber, Bambi and Ashley. They are way out of their element, and many people actually
resent them. Until the last few games, they were wearing skimpy outfits and had bare tummies, just like in the US. But there was such an outcry from this traditional nation that they now wear sweat suits or black tights.

Clash of cultures.

Great game. And, for the record, our boys lost. Kolkata won.