Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dalhousie Part 2

June 6, 2010
I ate so much food yesterday! The parties continue, the people, the socializing, the formalities. We had lunch at Guru’s. He runs the Dalhousie Public School, a very prestigious boarding school and his lunches and dinners are populated by the upper crust of the area. Yesterday, the guest of honor was an Air Force General or something equivalent. There were also a number of other military officials, Guru being an ex-military officer. Guru and his wife own three Mercedes benze’s. I found the lunch, which was held on his very green front lawn, to be scrumptious. He had this kind of a French bread, so fresh, and as soon as I ate it, I identified the loaf as something that I missed in the US. The rest of the food was equally tasty, capped off by a trifle, ice cream and cream dessert which I mixed together. Once the chief guest left everyone else vacated the premises.

While doing some work at “home”, a number of guests came over to visit the Kakars and therefore, although unplanned, more food. We followed this up by going out to the home of the principal of another school in Dalhousie. All meals begin with starters, which is more than enough food for a meal, but this is followed by the entrees and finally dessert. Needless to say, I am not eating much today as I totally gorged myself yesterday. Enough! Bas!

June 7, 2010
I watched the Lakers lose game of the finals today and boy did that bring me down. At least there are more games to play!

Today is Mohan’s 78th birthday and every year he holds a huge luncheon for his friends, gives away blankets to many and also holds a luncheon for others on the grass of the rental cottage. My role is that of barman and photographer. I get to interact with everyone so really look forward to both roles. I feel in my own small way that I’m serving. The thing that I like the best though is serving the people on the rental cottage grass.

This year there were upwards of 75 people who I served, took pictures of and somehow helped people to laugh. There is a pillar of the “Fish Philosophy” about “making their day” and I think that I do this a lot just by being me, by wearing a courta, an Indian hat, the way that I serve food or water. I heard people laughing when I sat down on the ground with my pot of food and served it. I watched another guy serving and he held the pot in one hand and served the food with a spoon in the other, never quite stopping.

I make people laugh by showing them pictures that I took of them. One little girl who didn’t look quite right, brightened up after I showed her a picture of herself. Something awakened in her and she was immediately happy pointing at the picture, showing it to her mother. People laugh because children make funny faces when they see that I’m taking a picture of them. It is quite remarkable what a camera can do, it somehow enlivens people and brings them out of their shells.

But it’s also about my vain attempts at speaking a few words of Hindi, and my asking if others speak English. I’m finding that many people do speak English, but one has to ask about this. I spoke with two young women on the lawn and they, in very good English, told me about their computer schooling in Dalhousie. I told them that they must tell their husbands, after they eventually get married, that they want to continue working. This, of course, brought a smile to their faces.

The people on the lower lawn seemed to have few “airs”, they were happy to be together with one another, they didn’t interact, i.e. walk around, like the people in the upper area, but seemed to enjoy the meal just as much. It is something that I look forward to, and feel good about helping to make someone’s day, even if I’m only being me.

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