This hot cockeyed mess of a yappety mongrel is Kali’s wannabe boyfriend. His name is Teddy, he lives across the street, and he will BITE your ass.
“Auntie, what is the use of educating people if they cannot properly throw their garbage?”
He’s a fun kid, very bright, and he shows up a lot in our neighborhood, or at the cricket park; he likes to play with Kali and talk with us.
We’re gonna miss all the kids in our neighborhood when we go.
This is an iconic statue, outside a home in our neighborhood, of Shirdi Sai Baba. He is a beloved swami/guru/holy figure who died in 1918 but who is well remembered and revered to this day by people all over India. He is not to be confused with the Sathya Sai Baba, who is still among the living, and who has been discussed in these pages before.
For the benefit of our Western readers, it is worth noting that as we move through India, we see Shirdi Sai Baba’s images everywhere: bumper stickers, car windows, commercial enterprises, houses, ashrams, anywhere. He is woven through the fabric of this society, even through the various religions (he was famous for working to bring the Muslims and the Hindus closer together), and is a far more tangible presence than is, say, Jesus Christ.
Recently there was a fire where Rathnama and her husband live. Rathnama has worked for us since we arrived. She is good and kind and someone I trust completely.
When I heard what happened, I went to the house to check the damages and see what I could do. Rathnama was beside herself and sobbing. Some newspapers caught fire from a pooja candle, and half the house went up in flames. Charred cloth and rice were spilled across the room. The metal skeletons of a suitcase and an umbrella lay on the floor. They lost their entire supply of rice, their cooking appliances and all of Rathnama’s sarees. She was heartbroken. I sat with her in her tiny room and we drank tea. Then I took her shopping for new sarees.
To help with the replacement of her clothing and the household goods, I’m having a Fire Sale at my http://xmasshoppinginindia.blogspot.com/ website.
For the next month I’ll give 20% of all my proceeds to Rathnama.
If you’re interested in contributing, feel free to pull up a chair and go shopping. Or, you can also make a donation of a few dollars through my paypal account and I will see that it gets to her.