Stranger in a Strange Land
Tales of a Year Abroad

Happy Diwali!

Ah... Diwali. The festival of lights...and the sharp ratta-tat-tat of "bombs" exploding. 

All kidding aside, Diwali is my favorite Indian holiday. It's like the 4th of July and Christmas had a baby... a big, fireworks and sweet laden baby. 

This particular holiday marks the return of Rama and Sita after fourteen years of exile and the defeat of Ravana (as in Evil Demon King Ravana). Lights, particularly these little clay pots called "diyas," play a big part in the celebrations. In mythology, Rama's people were so happy for his return that they lit Rama's way with these little diyas and set off firecrackers in celebration. Nowadays, people set off firecrackers and fireworks of all calibers, buy new clothes, and go visiting with sweets in hand. 

It's fabulous.

Here's proof. 




More fountain action!


The roof-top crew... we set off BIIIIG fireworks!

And... for your entertainment... a video. (I'm sorry it's sideways...)


Looks like a great time!

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Visions of India

For more pictures, visit my Photobucket album!

Lights! Camera! Action!


Hodgepodge and Miscellany

The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendour and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Alladin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of traditions, whose yesterday's bear date with the modering antiquities for the rest of nations-the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined.
- Mark Twain

In India, I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth, but not adhering to it, inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything, but possessed by nothing.
- Appolonius Tyanaeus

If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.
-Romain Rolland