Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Taken from Sachin's balcony.

I'm losing steam! Yesterday was a great day and again today, but I think I need to take vitamins. Man, I'm knackered.
My horizons yearning to explore more more more ('cause that's how I like it).
But I love my life! I have an awesome life! Why are my ambitions so worldly? What's better in the Dark Continent? What's better in China?
I have a rug, I have the best kids, I am learning so much at work, I never wake up dreading to teach, I get to eat samosas whenever I want. My life is pretty perfect, safe for the lack of disco night life and someone to cuddle. Maybe I should get that dog after all.....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This photo taken by Sachin Pillai

Today ruled! I understood that you must act with good will and creativity, and the rest will follow!
And if it's not how you envisioned it to turn out...
ah well,
So be it!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rickshaw in Bombay


Mumbai was a whirlwind. Now back to life: teaching and photocopying and planning and listening to my kids.
Yoga class
facebook, gmail, ffffound: you know the drill.

I am nowreading the Bhagavad Gita.
"You have choice over your action but not over the results at any time. Do not (take yourself to) be the author of the results of action; neither be attached to inaction."
 Plan and act indeed, but if your results weren't as you had hoped, it's not your fault! You're not a failure! These are the laws of nature.
So, let it be.
Cool beans.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Friday

I woke up and went to yoga. I took this photo at 6:05 a.m. A coconut kiosk.
In a couple hours I will be in Mumbai and I am PUUUUMPED! So, indeed I am dedicated to a photo-a-day, but Saturday I will not post.

I must have a think, too. Something exciting has presented itself to me, and I need to see if I will grab the opportunity, or not.
See you Sunday.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Meet x. My creative, off-with-the-fairies, class clown. He is sweet, comical, naughty, bright, and dreamy. And he is rowdy. Oh! rowdy! He was making us all laugh (even me, depite my better judgement) by singing and dancing to the tune of 'Move it' but instead of singing 'I like to move it move it' he was singing 'I like to sing it sing it' with this pointer finger in the air, his hips gyrating about. He was killing himself with laughter too. Indeed, it was hilarious. Then I had an idea: Eureka! Bargaining power.

Me: x, let's make a deal. I'll give you five minutes of clown time, every day, where you get the attention of the class to be your comical genius. But- with this you must focus for the rest of the day. Whaddaya say?

x: OUI Miss B!

Nice. Let's see how he fares. In truth, I'm looking forward to it. He is a fascinating (if not overwhelming) child with zany humour and original thoughts.

It's all how you see it, isn't it? Instead of getting angry and growing tired of his antics, I am trying to harness his unquenchable energy and hilarity.

To be continued....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Yeah.  Bring it on.

I took half a day sick leave this afternoon. I'm working my samosa ass off with planning and report card commenting. I'm knackered, man! I got all the right signatures, explained the lesson to the teacher that was taking over, spoke to my kids before I left, made sure they understood what they had to do, and walked home. I opened my door and smiled, seeing the sun shine on my new wall hangings, on a school day! And so I sat on my dining room table and worked some more, despite wanting to nap my afternoon away.

I then get a passive aggressive email about unplanned absences and following procedure, about appropriate signatures and blablabla. This is communist China or what? I don't feel well, geeez! I have a lot of work to do- dayum! I have paid sick days and I plan to take them. So there!

Hmphf! (my kids love when I do that, hmphf, bringing my shoulders up then jerk them back down, lips persed, eyebrows furrowed- hmpf!)

I will not be intimidated.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On the way to school

See the kids huddled in uniforms on the right? They're waiting for the bus. I take the bus too, even though its a 10 minute walk to school. Every minute counts in the morning, am I right?

Monday, November 21, 2011


That's a tough one, itsn't it? Head bob.
Just getting on your mat is an accomplishment in itself, and there's no turning back.

Discipline of getting up at 6 a.m and not hurling my alarm across the room. Discipline to do some breathing exercises instead of sleeping some extra minutes. Discipline of creating an awesome lesson instead of taking one from the internet. Discipline of getting my kids to read and to write; to use their words instead of their hands; to respect each other and themselves, instead of letting it all happen; shrug and think: 'well, they're just kiiiiiids'.

Discipline to stop bitching and remember that everyone is fighting a battle, that everyone needs love. I'm alive, and so are you!

Discipline is honoring yourself.

Now the discipline of (fill in the blank).

Sunday, November 20, 2011


If you haven't tried salty toothpaste, you must.
I bought three toothpastes, and salt is the winner by a landslide.
The third one was to win gold.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tell me. What happened.

'Tell me' I say to the boy in the photo. This is VERY Indian to say, 'Tell me'. So direct, succinct. I don't have a clue why this little guy,  playing at a building site, is imploring me to look at a torn wrapper with Animals on it.

'What happened.' I try. 'Tell me' and 'What happened' (no inflection at the end, it's not expressed as a question, more like a statement) are interchangeable greetings I've come to notice. In my world it means all this: 'Whats up? How are you? What's wrong? Are you okay?  I'm listening! I'm caring!'

I don't understand, let alone speak Kannada, the local language in Bangalore, so we were at a loss. But I took the picture, and he was pleased.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Some kids from my 'hood.

 Yeah, that's it for tonight, friends. I'm on an "OHM" high and working lots.


Thursday, November 17, 2011


I usually practice in the evenings, but I have a dinner to go to tonight so I attended the morning class. I am committed to yoga! I told myself: "B, you're going every day this week." but "Oh no I have a dinner, yeah I can't go! shucks..." There's a morning class at 6:10. So I went. Commitment feels good.

I'm more flexible, I'm more aware, I'm hurting in places I didn't know could hurt. My teacher says "You are so alive! You can do so many things! One day it will come. " Some poses are only for circus freaks; I want to be that circus freak!

I'm sleeping better and in a better mood. For all the hype and fanfare yoga endures, it truly does the body good.

Now if I could only commit to stop gorging on samosas and butter naan.....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Promoting dustbins.

Garbage can. Garbage bin. Trash can. Rubbish bin.  Dustbin. I've started referring to it as a dustbin, actually. Such a British term, isn't it?

There are not enough dustbins in the city. There is no vehicle to recycle cans, bottles, plastics, or paper either.

And look how thought out and good looking the art is on this said object! Does rendering something beautiful make it more worthwhile? Indeed! I took a photo of it! That and the sad fact that they are a rarity in the city.  It was a thing to behold, to document.

But this dustbin is empty. Has anyone else noticed how arty it looks?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


This is a garbage man's foot. Three men posed for me and were oh-so-happy to do so. Yet it was the single foot, a little outside all the trucks' rubbish, that inspired me.  Rugged. Stately. Present. Grounded. Filthy. Hard.

I'd like to be aspects of this foot, safe for filthy, and rugged, and hard. Hmmm just stately and present. and the big one: Grounded.


Monday, November 14, 2011


It's pink and frilly and sheer. But it's an umbrella. No, rather, it's a parasol, a sunshade, isn't it?
And it's broken, lying sadly and curiously on the side of the road. Deformed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Making space: In your closet, in your cupboards, in your body, in your mind.

Decorating space: On your walls, in your rooms, on a blank canvas.

Needing space: From negative people, from debilitating thoughts, for positive feelings, for beautiful objects.

Having (a) space: Calling it your own. coming to it, leaving it, shutting off the lights.

Creating space:  Conscious breathing,  conscious 'letting go', AND bringing it all together with a sumptuous rug. (!)

Find your space.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Joy (in religion)

Today was an odd day. I was stifled by disappointing information in the morning. Despite going for a walk and taking a photo, I didn't download it. Not all that inspired visually today, so here's one from Dussara, a holiday here in India, in September.

I met a guy tonight who kept telling me to feel the music and let it take over your body. "Music is my religion" he said. He exercises this religion. His every pore feels music. He is truly high on music! An African brother, a beautiful spec clad black boy. And I felt stiff, self conscious, embarrassed. why- I don't know. It bothered me to know I was stiff; to feel my legs heavy; my knees rigid; my hips hard because my mind was caged with too many thoughts. A battlefied.

Coming home I thought 'oh nooo I havent kept my photo a day ritual', even though I took a photo today. This was the first picture that came to mind to post. The movement, the flouncy hair and fabric. The unadulterated joy colouring her face, highlighting her body.

Joy. Joy is mindless.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rememberance Day

This is a cheat. I took it last night but cropped it tonight.

Spoke to my students about Rememberance Day and wowie am I a pacifist! I was saying how atrocious war is. One boy was like, 'but war is normal miss B. Fighting for land! Fighting for your Country! If it wasn't then we wouldn't be doing it!'

'Not so little man! It's (here I am doing some air quotes) 'normal' to lie and to cheat and to steal, but it's still wrong, right?' There's always other ways to handle things, right?

He shrugs and smiles ruefully.

Sometimes we do things even though we know they're wrong. Even when we know they're wrong; we tell ourselves it's okay to be wrong sometimes.

I'm talking about two different things here, can you tell?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I want a dog

Yeah. I remember Freska, Loufka and Lola, I remember Obelix and Doudou, Ninja, Bruce Wayne and Cassie. And even though the shedding and the guilt were sometimes overwhelming, that wagging tail and smile won me over time and time again.
Over and over.
What would I do with a dog in India? Come home to it! How can I travel to lands not yet discovered by me? Trusty dog loving friends!? How can I go back to Salone for a visit with a dog in tow? Again be at the mercy of my animal loving mother!?
Gah! I don't know, it's so irrational, and yet so visceral.
So indeed I am looking to adopt a doggie in need....
......maybe this too shall pass.
All that hair on my new rug love? Yeah, bring it on!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My neighbourhood

"Byyyyyyyyyye" she chants, as she waves to me. "Byyyyyyyyyye auntie!" ( I assume she thinks Bye is Hi, regardless..)

A few people of all ages are building this building. No machinery, just people carrying and lifting and smiling and chatting and smoking. Women and men, boys and girls. All day.

And every morning it's BYYYYYYYYYE and every afternoon it's BYYYYYYYYYE as I pass by. so much joy!

Today as I walked to yoga I brought my camera and took a few shots. The smiles extended, the joy palpable.  As a rule I find that Indians like getting their picture taken.

A portrait photographer's heaven.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Late night stroll

hmm sweets. Indian sweets are heavenly.  Such extreme tastes in India, extreme palette. Wicked sweet or wicked spicey...

Not much to report, apart from having a lovely day, loving my little ones so much, and enjoying my rug. Taught yoga to older kids which was a welcomed change.   Took a yoga class this eve and vowed to get back into it on a regular basis. It's all about making space in your body.


The stroll was calm. The streets empty, safe for some rickies (rickshaw drivers) chatting together and smoking butts, stray dogs lounging about, vendors closing shop.
Good night y'all.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rug Love. As ridiculous as that sounds.

Not sure how it's possible to meet and fall in love with a carpet, but it happened to me last night. My mother has a bit of a fetish, and I grew up lying on rugs and admiring their mystery and originality. India (my new home, let's be honest) is most definitely the place to purchase a rug. My mum kept asking me, "Have you fallen in love yet?" and I was like, "Uh, What? Non maman, I'm not like you!"

And then it happened.  I was looking for my friends who told me they were in a crafts shop. I ented the shop and didn't see them, but thought, ah why not, lets look at some rugs. He pulled out one. Dusty rose. not me. He pulled out another one, had helicoptes and tanks on it. So not me. And then he unrolled this beauty and I literally went down and touched it and sat on it. No hesitation. I knew.
So here it is. A new love. yeah; rolling around on her is just as amazing as I had envisioned. Practicing yoga on her is somehow magical.

The nest egg is forming. Backwards. Now I want a dog.

Exit Comis Sans

Everywhere, quite literally everywhere, isn't it? Ugh! I hate you comic sans. Begone! Sayonara! EXIT!

On a completely different note: I bought a carpet today and it's a stunner Happy Birthday Sweet Sister and happy early birthday present to meeeee. yipeeeee!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bless him, the man that made my first ever fresh grape juice.

My taste buds will never be the same. My girlfriends keep urging me to go to the juice shop in our neighbourhood, and oddly enough it's taken me this long and a wicked sore throat to finally get my fat samosa ass there.

Heaven. If heaven was a colour and a taste it would be purple and taste like grapes. Gorgeous. After that juice I smiled a little wider, I giggled a little girlier and I walked with more swagger. What sore throat? Thank you juice man.

P.S. Is it only me, or to Indians have the most beautiful eyes?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Biker, on Library Road, in the rain.

Adhering to self imposed integrity, this was the first shot I took tonight, and so I post. Forcing myself to get up of my after school nap ( I never nap, well hardly ever) to get a beer to accompany the  picnic-in-bed noodle dinner, I saw this smiling guy talking to someone from his bike. Fished around for the camera in my bag,  found it, grabbed it,  pointed, and shot. Not a masterpiece, as you can see. But look closer, look at his expression.
Happy Friday y'all

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Meet Avinash, one of the boys in my class. A precocious and  lively boy with sparkling eyes and a cheeky smile. He is one of the only students that thinks of the class as a whole instead of himself only. Today he showed me his break dancing moves (wow! he's 6!)...He is a fabulous illustrator and has great math strategies.  His favourite word is awesome and he gives great hugs.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Photo a day, starting tonight.

 Inspired by Jonathan Harris, I am following suit and taking one photo a day, editing it, and posting it. I have become complacent, I blame work and slow internet and tired macbook 2006 machine, but it's me. I'm losing the desire to express myself visually, and that scares me. So----

Meet Ganesh, he works at the corner store. He is timid, giggles a lot, and has a melting killer smile. Sweet way to begin my photo-a-day.