Sunday, October 20, 2013

A trip to Tbilisi - Part 1.

A last minute plan to escape Doha during the Eid break took us to gorgeous Georgia.
I loved everything about it- the weather, the architecture , the food and the people. The award for the warmest people I've encountered (so far) on my travels definitely goes to the Georgians.

Here are the highlights of our visit. But before I start, here's the view from the aircraft window just as we were approaching Tbilisi. My Dehradooni soul was ecstatic.
Drifting through Dry Bridge Market
Last Sunday, a dream of mine came true. My husband accompanied me to a flea market without ANY resistance.
 Miracles do happen.
I want to dedicate this post to Amma, who would have loved this market and I hope I can share some of the joy I felt (with her and others) that sunny Sunday morning through my twenty shots (camera not Vodka).

This is the famous Dry Bridge Market of Tbilisi.
We started off bright and early. The morning air was fresh and I had dreams of buying a new suitcase to accommodate all my purchases.

A vendor on her way to set up her wares.

The view from the Bridge.

Getting ready



All set and waiting...

The amazing visual feast of bric-a-brac was enhanced by the calls of 'India' every now and then. The old vendors would point to us and call out 'India'- we would nod 'yes' and then their wizened faces would break into broad smiles- almost like they were welcoming old friends. I loved it. I guess I have to thank Raj Kapoor and the Indian cinema for all the appreciative nods we got in the market from the vendors.

Here's what we saw...

from Soviet scales

to brass ware

and even surgical equipment. 

As I moved past these beautiful plates on display, I spotted a lady dropping some colour pencils on a mat. 
As usual, I was too slow to click and just as I fumbled the click, 
she had dropped the plastic toys, too. 
I love this instant art. Do you?

The picture says it all.

I asked this gentleman if I could take a picture and he not only gave me a warm smile and a nod, he strutted his strings, too.



Care for some art in the park?






I felt a tad sad for these puppets- mute witnesses to the ramblings around them.


No, I didn't have to buy another suitcase, but I did manage to buy a lamp (as usual) from a lady who promised me that it is a Russian antique. I don't know and I don't really care- I just love the green and gold. 
There is a dead fly inside the base, though. 
I wonder how it got in there and when? 

Watch out for more treats from gorgeous Georgia in my next post.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Free to forgive

A few months ago, I attended a writers'  workshop in Doha. Paula, our facilitator gave us a list of topics to choose from.

This poem was crafted at the workshop. Brigit was sitting to my left and we got chatting.

Here goes...



Free to forgive


Freedom?


Forgiveness?


Which one?


"Forgiveness is Freedom", said Brigit, "It frees your soul."


Aha! I like this idea. I'll use it.


Does forgiveness have a memory or is it amnesiac?


I forgive- you forget


I want my forgiveness back.


Do you even need my forgiveness?


"Forgive yourself first", said Brigit.


And I will.


Then I can be free.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Chicago for free

Walking Down Park

BY NIKKI GIOVANNI
  "walking down park 
amsterdam
or columbus do you ever stop
to think what it looked like
before it was an avenue
did you ever stop to think
what you walked 
before you rode 
subways to the stock 
exchange (we can’t be on
the stock exchange 
we are the stock 
exchanged)"


"did you ever maybe wonder
what grass was like before   
they rolled it
into a ball and called   
it central park"

"ever wonder why
so much asphalt was laid
in so little space"


I decided to start this post with extracts from this poem by Nikki Giovanni as it reflects exactly how I feel about built up spaces. Do read the rest of it, too.

Chlorophyll runs in my veins. I am a farmer's granddaughter. My inheritance is a hamper full of memories of my dear grandfather's love for his garden- the love with which he would sew little cloth bags to protect the grapes on the vine from the birds or the joy with which he used to pull out a tender radish from the ground, shake off the dirt and offer it to me to eat- washing vegetables was so overrated in his opinion. I ate organic food before I came across the word 'organic'.

My camera became chlorophyllous, too,  when I walked down Michigan Avenue in Chicago this summer. Here are some of the pictures I took of the avenue and some other well known Chicago spots.








Piggy in the middle...paavam.


Love these loos.


The Chicago River