Thursday, June 27, 2019

Processing thoughts and knowledge

I haven't finished all the posts I had intended to write for this, and I might yet.

The photos I took in India, I uploaded every night to Photobucket, which at the time was a good and stable platform. Now it is shaky, and expensive. But I'm glad I put the photos there, because on the way home, in the Phoenix airport, my computer died. All my India photos were safe.

Photobucket has lost some of the videos, but not all. Now that I have a computer with lots of space, I hope to download those from Photobucket and share some that I never had shared yet, but I don't promise when or if that will happen.

I never go a day without thinking of India, because I'm surrounded by things I brought back, and use them regularly. Bedding, bags, books, art, clothes. I bought a bedspread (a sheet, they say) for 100 rupees, and it's hanging in the front window as a curtain. It was already sunfaded, which is why it was sold for so little. A local might have talked him down from 100. As sunfade was its flaw, I didn't mind letting New Mexico's sun shine on it some more.

I hope I will come and tell more stories that people might find, from time to time, by some accident of google search, or that Raghu might find someday when he's thinking about Plants vs. Zombies and living in Pune, or Zoya if she thinks about playing Barbies with me, if she can even remember those days.

Chaotic? Patterns.

Saved here, from facebook, because I like it and it will be lost in the river there. First, my comments, then the one from Hema from March 2019, and then the video she had found, and which is below.


Sandra Dodd, June 26, 2019:

Hema tagged me in on this while Keith was in the hospital, but I didn't get back to it until today. :-)

The TED talk is super interesting, and though Hema A Bharadwaj tagged me for rangoli reasons (she knows how to do that, and I'm mesmerized when I get to see her do it), I wanted to use two other examples that I noticed during my visit. One is traffic flow, and the other is patterns on clothing.

When I was in traffic, it was exciting. Hema's driving never made me nervous. I was always with people who had automobiles, but I started to want to ride in one of the auto rickshaws, and a couple of days people indulged me, and we did—one day in Bangalore, and another day (with several pick-ups and drop-offs) in Pune.

Along in there, those days, conversationally, I was learning that people pay full price for autos, trucks, auto rickshaws, rather than financing. And they don't have insurance. Though I saw hundreds of thousands of vehicles in motion, I never saw a fender bender or a scratch. So I started thinking about that. And riding in the auto rickshaw, you are down low, without a door, and it seems that it would be scarier, but it wasn't.

Then an image came to me, of how it was all working. It was a stream. The "traffic flow" was more like a natural river, than like American "traffic flow"—and these rickshaws were like fish in that stream. Fish can swim without running into each other. :-) Those rickshaws had not been anywhere that was NOT those Indian streets. They lived there.

The other thing was patterns on women's clothing—embroidered, printed, woven, sometimes two of those together, matched with another piece of clothing that also had a pattern. In terms of my own culture, "too busy" or "clashing," but those outfits did NOT clash, and in the context of that culture, it's nearly impossible for something to be too busy. :-) I didn't understand how different patterns were matched, but I did trust that there were people who DID understand. It was a different artistic world. It was a different pattern stream, which is what this video is about.

Thank you again, Hema, for making it possible for me to see all of that—and to hear the traffic, and to go to markets from malls to street stalls.


Hema Bharadwaj, March 27, 2019
Loved this! So many metaphors for life in general, understanding India and even the rest of the world. I have lived only 1/4 of my life in India and yet it’s the place my heart feels most at home in, chaos-patterns and all. But this video can speak to the new conversations here in the US about diversity, in ethnicity, language, political views, everything. Inclusion and acceptance of endless variety.