Sunday, May 11, 2008

Confusion and Conundrums Pictures

The henna- decorated hands (from last weeks' post). We were told the henna would come off in about two days. It's been two weeks, and it's still faintly visible. We surmise that perhaps on fairer skin, it's more visible for longer. Since our henna experience, we've learned that brides sometimes get their faces done, as well as their arms and hands. I even read in The Hindu newspaper about a man who has become the leading henna expert (he trained to be a surgeon, but makes quite a good living doing henna decorating), and he does weddings where he makes the henna designs match the lace design of the bride's wedding dress. How cool!

I've been wanting to get a photo of this clever way to carry a load for a long time, but usually we're speeding down the road in a car when I see this. I want to learn how to carry something on my head this way! Watch out for me on laundry day. . . .

Some of the incredible stone carvings on the centuries-old temples at Mamallapurum.
Touching the oldest carving we saw during the day (I think!)at Mamallapurm. This is at Krishna Mandapa Temple (4th century). Krishna here is depicted as lifting up a mountain to protect his people from a flood sent by another god.

Krishna's Butter Ball. Can you see the trails in the sand coming down from the butter ball to the bottom of the hill? We saw some kids having so much fun sliding down those trails.
In front of the two of the Five Rathas (five brothers) temples, which are each one huge stone carved from the top down. Though the top of each looks elaborate, the bottom of each is unfinished.

The high point of the day for our girls was when a shopkeeper asked us if we wanted to see some baby goats (after we'd spent some money in his shop). He took us behind his shop where he had about 7 very, very young baby goats in a shed. They were just a few days old!

Heidi in her chudy-da
Lily in her sari
The girls all dressed for church in their chudy-das with Sahjee. We lined the girls up against the wall, and Sahjee said, "Wait, wait!" and dragged a decorative vase and flowers from around the apartment to "dress up" the scene. He also does a good job at making food appear pretty and appealing. I think he's an artist at heart.

Mama with her girls, decked out in a chudy-da herself. Mine doesn't have the sleeves sewn in yet, and I never felt so self-conscious going to church with my arms exposed. That scarf around my neck drove me stark raving mad by the end of the church service. It's a lovely flowing scarf, but the question remains: Why, in this sweltering weather, would the ladies include the obligatory scarf in their outfits? They ALL wear the scarf, too--no matter how hot the day is.

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