Delhi in August

A couple of weeks ago, I went sari shopping in Babu market, Sarojini Nagar, with some colleagues. The market was teeming with stalls, people, and products. The point of our visit was to pick out a fancy sari for the ball in October hosted by the High Commission to raise funds for CANASSIST, an organization that funds a number of local charities. I went thinking I would purchase a sari of greens or blues, my default comfort colours, but left having picked one turquoise and burgundy. I don’t usually wear bling, but this bling I liked! I am looking forward to wearing it and feeling elegant and grown-up.

The kids love the life on the compound. “Can we just stay here and not go anywhere today?” they say with frequency. It’s a miniature Canada-land-Club-Med-bubble-wrap-smurfland. It’s where I work, workout, socialize and go to sleep. The kids, when not in school, play with their friends, strut around in their scooters or enjoy a dip in the pool. It’s a comfortable existence here, so when I need a little personal challenge or reminder of India beyond these walls, I leave and venture out by tuk tuk, taxi or metro to broaden my horizons.

Last week, we visited the Maitreya Home, an orphanange for Tibetan children and one of the organization supported by CANASSIST and sponsored by the Canadian-based Child Haven International. Richard volunteered with Child Haven in Nepal back in 1997. We decided as a family before embarking on this India adventure that we would volunteer at the Maitreya Home a couple of times per month. We’ll bring books, soccer balls, and board games to share and play with the kids. I see this as a deal of reciprocity with both my kids and the home kids sharing in a bit of common humanity. Hopefully my kids get to realize that we aren’t all that different after all, we just stem from different circumstances, and varying luck.

Facebook facilitated the reunion with 2 classmates who I had not seen since the end of my master’s program in 2002. That’s 13 years ago. Time flies and soars. Kate was here visiting her in-laws in Delhi and Ruzina who works for the British government was here on training. To celebrate this, as Kate poignantly described “global coincidence,” we meet up at Raas in Hauz Khaus for a meal. Kate’s husband Nilesh joined us, as did mine. We caught up efficiently as these spontaneous gatherings often do, and covered the basis of our lives, a summary of the last decade. The conversations zipped from where we worked, work, live, our kids’ personalities, travel we had done, projects we’d undertaken past and present, and dreams of the future. It was lovely to see them again, and hope it won’t be another decade before I see them next. It’s the good side of Facebook, keeping the global village close and accessible.

I’ve been walking up at 6AM most weekday mornings to venture out to Nehru Park with a friend and colleague before the workday begins for a walk, to oxygenize and to appreciate the greenery and beautiful sites. The park is a mere 5 minutes from where we live and teems with runners, walkers, yoga enthusiasts and chipmunks! It’s the early morning but you would think it was mid-day in another cooler city. People beat the heat, which explains the busyness of the park at this early hour.

It’s been over one full month into our new lives in Delhi. We are getting into a groove and establishing a routine, and while the kids still express their sadness of not being home in Ottawa from time to time, everyday I sense their increasing acceptance of their new reality, making new friends and keeping an open mind. Namaste!

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2 Responses to “Delhi in August”

  1. Martin Zucker Says:

    You are definitely not blingish.
    Bling (or bling-bling) is a slang term popularized in hip hop culture, referring to flashy, ostentatious, or elaborate jewelry and ornamented accessories that are carried, worn, or installed, such as cell phones or tooth caps. The term was first used in rap by Jay z and Jermaine Dupri on “money ain’t a thing” in 1998, but made popular by Cash Money Millionaires in the song “bling bling” in 1999.

  2. carolesauve Says:

    I didn’t realize the term “bling” was that old! Ok, so the sari is not blingy but has some shine to it, and you know me, I prefer the darker and more neutral shades to the colours and shine!

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