Archive for January 12th, 2014

Our Life in the Hills

At the moment my wife and I are in a state of denial. The frosty conditions of Europe sent us packing to India. Not that climate is in question but man must be able to retreat to his inner resources whenever he has a chance. So we come to deny some comforts for the silence of the soul among growing fields of tea as far as eye could take in. We simply idle in our domestic bliss, but it is not enough to keep from putting our foot in mouth when we go to local grocery store. Needs of the body would need a certain finesse whether in supermarket or in a pokey little hole in the wall sort of store. In the latter we are stymied because we cannot convert our exuberance into local vernacular.Image


Language is bit of a problem and today my wife wanted to bake bread so we went to the local store for yeast. I was the scout to scour the wares in the shop. Items were thrown pell-mell in the cool confines where one can only hazard pot luck. So I ask this owner braving the gantlet of local color supplied by a motley garb and attitudes (and they are also in a state of denial). “Have you yeast?” A stony stare in reply. I tried their lingo and all words that approximated the article in question. After much head scratching the shopkeeper says, ‘Do you mean yeast?”
“But it is an English word?” I blurted incredulously. I have been scrapping the bottom of Tamil vocabulary and the man was letting me run out of steam. Meanwhile my wife from behind whispers,”What does he say?”
I say,” Yeast is yeast and waste is waste”Paraphrase of Kipling to convey my inability.
My wife murmurs back, “But will my dough rise with it?”
No Kipling had better stay pickled where he belongs and we decided to do something else.

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A Winter Landscape-1988

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