This is Rathnama. She takes care of the house and pretty good care of us as well. Every morning she brings a string of jasmine flowers to Pam and ties them into her hair. We thought she bought them at the market, but in fact she makes them herself – here’s how she does it:
. Needless to say, Pam is never going back to a non-jasmine lifestyle. Hopefully one of you, dear readers, will learn from this video, and, when we get back to SF, bring these to Pam every morning.
Video shot with Pam’s cute little FlipVideo recorder. The pink one.
These fragrant ropes will find their way to temples, and be draped around the necks of statues, strung across the front of smoky tuk-tuks (also known as “auto rickshaws”), and settle onto every available surface in our temporary apartment. They will last for only a couple of days; so the flower people are ensured work, since flower garlands are everywhere :
Our driver, Bhaskar, explained that the jasmine flowers women wear in their hair is a Bangalore tradition. I bought a string and he pinned them into to my braid. Immediately I was enveloped in a magical force field of jasmine that moved with me as I walked. It became clear that this was a tradition that had sprung from simple necessity: in a country that can sideswipe you at any moment with a powerful waft of, “What the hell is that…” it makes perfect sense to enlist sweet jasmine to go to battle against the elements, and remind you of the beauty of life :
It also occurred to me that the scarf women wear draped across their neck isn’t just an elegant statement of modesty, it provides a handy rag to hold over your mouth and nose on a moments notice. Accident? I don’t think so :