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Articles Categorized India

DIWALI – A FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

  Diwali is a Hindu festival occurring between mid-October and mid-November. This year the celebration takes place from October 29 until November 1. Although there are variations in how the festival is celebrated, its purpose commemorates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It’s a time of family and friends dedicated to

Rama’s Labyrinth

This past week has been exceptionally exciting. Rama’s Labyrinth, the book I’ve been working on for over five years, is now available on Amazon.com (some readers will find it on Amazon.co.uk). The ebook is US$2.99 and the softcover print volume is US$19.99. Rama’s Labyrinth is a biographical historical novel. We meet Rama in India when

TAJ MAHAL GARDENS & LORD CURZON

This is a story about gardens at the Taj Mahal, and the man who made them uniquely British. This photograph taken in 1874 shows something you don’t see in contemporary pictures. Very tall trees. The Taj Mahal wasn’t just a mausoleum for Mumtaz Mahal. It was a Mausoleum and Gardens, equally important parts of a

“GIVE MORE THAN YOU TAKE”

(Quotation by B. K. S. Iyengar, 2002)   Approximately 20.4 million Americans, 8.7 percent of the adult population, practice yoga. I’m one of them. Without the work of B. K. S. Iyengar, it’s unlikely most practitioners would even know yoga exists, let alone be able to do the poses. He was the teacher who introduced

LEARNED A NEW LANGUAGE LATELY?

Are you old enough to remember foreign language laboratories where students strained to hear a question in, for example, German, and answer it correctly in the microphone, all the while desperately hoping the instructor wasn’t listening to you? Yeah, me too. When I was fourteen, my mother decided I would take Latin. It wasn’t a

GODDESS GANGA

There I was, trying to write a scene in my fictionalized biography of the Pandita Ramabai, and failing.  At this point in the story, Rama is nine years old. It’s hard to write from a child’s perspective. The family is in Varanasi, the holiest city in India. Pilgrims and tourists daily arrive in great numbers.

PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORIES

Once upon a time, people went on vacations and took something called “slides.” Shortly after they returned home, these now knowledgeable former tourists rushed to develop the slides so they could invite friends, acquaintances, and the occasional unlucky stranger to join them for light refreshments and a “slide show.” The host loaded slides into a

FLIGHT TO ANOTHER WORLD

After 3 weeks in Agra, it was time to leave on Saturday. So I took a few last pictures of my host’s upscale, professional neighborhood. Gated homes for doctors and lawyers, a temple, the occasional cow in the common area, and, first seen on the day of departure, donkeys near the improvisational housing across the

ROAD TO YAMUNA RIVER

My Agra host lives in a very nice neighborhood on the western side of Agra. Usually, when we get to the main road, we turn right. This takes us into the town and its traffic. The other day we turned left. In moments we were in a countryside of wheat fields, cattle, and goats, driving

GETTING SETTLED IN AGRA

Time is strange here in Agra — that feeling that you just got here but have always been here. We are especially fortunate on this visit, because we are staying with friends. this allows us to experience patterns of regular life in a professional Indian household. The first thing I’ve learned is that the home