Posts Tagged ‘baby’

Cobra Baby

Yesterday, some cute little neighbor kids and their parents were playing in the backyard and came across this little terror – and they immediately came to get us, so we could admire their prize.

After taking photos and poking it with sticks, we asked them: What now?

They grabbed a long branch, hooked the little guy, and tossed it into the empty field next door. Problem solved.

There’s a Place in Hell for People Like Us

It is Saturday morning, and the baby at the construction site next to our house won’t shut up. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration: he’s not baby, he’s a toddler.

They’re building a three-story shopping center in our quiet, by Indian standards, neighborhood. The site has been a riot of chaos for a month now. Overlords in mirrored glasses overseeing a sari-clad chain gang. On most days the hideous grind of the cement mixer drowns out the crying children. Toddlers. Whatever.

At night, most of the workers go home, but dozens stay and crowd into the pair of cinder-block shacks that were built when the construction first started. I’ve heard that these builders are nomadic families who travel from one project to the next for six months or a year at a time. The children play in the sand piles until they are old enough to carry cement on their heads; apparently around age four. The ten-year-olds cook for the families on open fires, inside the shacks, breathing in black smoke… while my husband and I lay in our canopied bed, in our air-conditioned bedroom, complaining about the crying baby, and trying to forget that it looks like a UNICEF commercial is being filmed next door.

We Like The Baby

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Our maid’s 12-year old son Harish grabbed my Canon 5D and started shooting, but only after he thrust his 6-month-old baby nephew-with-no-name into our arms. The baby is like catnip; whatever you ought to be paying attention to (like the whereabouts of your camera or whether you left the stove on) goes right out the window when that baby is in your face. This is no accident; we believe that this is a deliberate maneuver. And one of these times soon we will see it coming. These are some cute kids man.

Harish, Baby-No-Name, and Sai Baba.

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Harish is the 12-year old son of our 30-year old maid; baby-no-name is her 6-month old grandson, the son of her adult daughter (not seen in these pix).

Harish is on summer vacation, visiting his mother here from his school-and-village-and-ashram at Puttaparthi. He is being educated (programmed ?) by Sai Baba‘s system there, and is full af wondrous tales of Sai Baba’s miracles: “Sooo many miracles, Uncle! He pulled 3 tons of lingam from his mouth! And if you dance really, really nice, Uncle, he will put his hand to his chest, and a golden chain will appear for you!”

Sai Baba has undoubtedly done well by his followers here in India, numbering 6 million or more: hospitals, infrastructure, water, food, and schools like the very one that Harish attends (worldwide numbers are hard to verify but have been stated to be between 5 and 50 million). However, he is also under the shadow of many scandalous accusations involving murder, sexual abuse of children, and plain old trickery. We can’t help but wonder if Harish’s innocent and enthusiastic good looks may lead him somewhere bad; and we also wonder where else he might otherwise be. It’s a tough problem. Despite the persistent accusations, Sai Baba is fairly untouchable here politically, due at very least to his tremendous number of followers in India and around the world.

As for baby-no-name, it is apparently not uncommon for the Hindu people to wait from 12 days to up to a year to name a newborn child here; at some auspicious date during that time, there will be a naming ceremony . I kind of like that idea: give the child some time to make his essence known, and learn what his name wants to be, rather than immediately impose a name that is more arbitrarily determined.

The BBC has done a thorough exposé of Sai Baba, check it out here.