Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bye bye October

Dear Dan,

Today I reflected on the stories my mummy shared with me yesterday and the memories we made today. They were filled with laughter, naps, yummy food, yummy drinks, and moments I will cherish. Mummy always says,  "That's life." When good things happen and when not so good things happen. Yup, this is life. And I'm loving it.

Today I cuddled with Coco.

And I missed you.

Happy last day in October! I love you,
Suparna

Friday, October 30, 2015

So Much Depends Upon

A heart beating
Far
In two places
But
At the same
Time

So Much Depends
Upon
Moments and memories
Outliving
All of us
Including
You and me

So Much Depends
Upon
This girl missing
You
This boy on
Whom
So much depends
Upon

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Turn the Stove Off!

Dear Dan,

It's been a rainy day here in the valley. The sound of rain, as you know, is one of my favorites, and now it makes me sleepy too  (you know why, right? ;) Waking up to the sound of rain is so comforting. Drinking chai on the terrace and watching drops fall gently all around me is remarkably calming. There's not much else in terms of ambient sound. Hardly any traffic on the road - how could there be?

Nepali politicians elected their 2nd president ever and it's a woman. Their new speaker is also a woman. Quite the achievement! At the same time, my understanding is that the country is slowly waddling to the brink of protests. Right now there's no fuel (think beyond automobile/transport - cooking gas, production gas, electricity, and more). Staples like sugar, lentils, rice, salt prices are beyond reach. My guess is as soon as a critical mass feel the food shortage and inaccessibility, there'll be trouble on the streets. Nepal signed an oil deal with China, ending India's 4 decade old monopoly over the industry and China has offered 1.2 million liters on grant to Nepal to start with. But then what? And for how long? I think back to when two of my students debated about fossil fuels and if we could go a day without burning them. I'm watching as a nation looks about ready to implode without access to fossil fuels.

But my students had strength to see the unerasable footprint we are smudging our earth with. Somewhere over the South China Sea, I found words to describe my unease about the times we live in and our impact on our planet. We don't borrow from and make transactions with each other/corporations/nations, we only take from the Earth. We drill, deplete, destroy, deforest, deploy, and depend heavily - in our unidirectional abusive relationship with the earth.

And then when that's not enough, we turn against each other. India says there's no embargo. Embargo or not, official or unofficial. We're feeling it here in Nepal. Not as Nepalis, Indians, upper class, Americans, Hindus, whatever. As humans - we're feeling it. My privilege shelters me. But the shortage is too pervasive to not see and be touched by. This situation is a pot of milk - boiling, bubbling, working out its convection process, heating, but waiting with a nylon string of patience for someone to come and turn the damn stove off. Or else boiling over and spilling out irreversably from the pot are inevitable consequences. It's just a matter of time mixed with an unattended pot.

With love,
Suparna

En Routine

Dear Dan,

Yay for technology and time! Welcome back home and to a little bit of a routine!

My days have hardly had any routine, but I've not been a tourist either. I guess since I left my job, I found it odd how my routine was not guided by the needs of 17 marvelous human beings. I've been adjusting fine but it's empowering knowing I can guide my day, which also comes with responsibility. For instance, even though I'm on "vacation" at home, I'm watching what I'm eating, trying to work out frequently, and staying on top of my projects. I'm also reading a lot for fun. I'm catching up with friends and family I haven't in a long time. I'm also cherishing each moment with mummy. Sometimes I just sit and take in the moment of being near her. I do this with you everyday, every morning before you stir, I stare and smile! :) I don't have the luxury of doing that often with other people in my life whom I'm so grateful to have.

As part of a changing routine, here are some things that are settling for me:

My appetite
My sleep cycle
My meditation
My exercising
My being

I hope you find that routine soon too as you return home after a while.

Sending you and our sweet home love and warmth,
Suparna

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Over the Hills and Far Away...

Dear Dan,

Today I missed you especially much! After our adventures in Paris dodging big buses and finely escaping death or at the least gruesome dismemberment, I felt ready to brave the mostly paved village roads of eastern Nepal! Just outside of Kathmandu, still nestled in this gorgeously sleepy valley, are a series of villages.

My scene most of the way - hills surrounding farms



Such beauty in Linear Forms!


I bravely rented a bike and wandered, aimlessly but so fulfillingly, through fields, over potholed streets, and by 42 trucks waiting relentlessly in an endless line for fuel that doesn't exist. 

The infamous gas stations...

...and 42 trucks waiting for gas. That was the shortest line I have seen since coming to Nepal!

I did it!

Thanks to my trusty friend!

Most of the road was like this

And some was like this!
I also saw village life in action and heard children chanting their times tables and howling (in two separate locations ;). Animal life in the village was thriving as you will see below in the pictures. My biggest fear, apart from being run over by a speeding jeep and falling down a cliff, was being chased by a rabid dog and having to defend myself with my water bottle and trusty mountain bike. I practiced my loudest and most threatening roar as I sped down one hill. I did amuse a few disarming passers-by but tragically failed to alarm or frighten any living beings. Which was maybe for the best since the dogs couldn't care less if I were dressed in a lion suit (it's Halloweek, right? ;) or if I had descended from Jupiter. So, I didn't need my ultra-rehearsed roar. 



Share the road!


Symbiosis


But I did need some other things -I was very grateful that I had water with me since most of the ride was a cruel but challenging marriage of uphill and downhill. I was also grateful I had some sense of navigation. And even with that, I missed one exit and had to take a detour half a mile up a steep hill. I was also glad about wearing salwaar-kameez so I didn't stick out *that* much and that Nepali and Hindi are so closely related! 


I rode 11.4 kms to a village called Sankhu!

Share the road!

Christmas trees in Nepal in October!





People Busying Around

All in all, people minded their own business, which was quite intense - spraying insecticide on their crops,   shaffing wheat, tending to their homes and shops, taking care of their roosters and cows, harvesting crops, and people-watching. 


Many temples like this everywhere - many crumbled during the earthquake


The pace - that's what struck me the most. Automobiles were rushed, but people - no, there was absolutely no sense of urgency. It was infectiously relaxing! The hills were teeming. Green, and playing a serious game of hide and seek with low-hanging clouds. I got truck-exhaust-blasted and dust-hurled at a few times and felt so grateful for our crisp pristine Colorado air and unbelievable bike trails. We're so stupendously spoiled where we live!

I was proud of myself today for leaning into my fears and am excited to note my improved skills as a biker.

I'm also excited to continue our biking adventures together!

My Nemo,

Suparna

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ear-nestly.

Dear Dan,

Today was a chilled out day. Got to go to a doctor in another country. My ear, as you know, is experiencing its 3rd infection this year. Fortunately, thanks to modern medicine, antibiotics have begun to be inputted into my system, and hopefully shall yield a positive output. Soon.

It's so funny after having been to numerous doctor appointments with you, seeing a doctor in another country. By virtue of being raised by two doctors, I got home-based treatment for everything from stitches for gashes next to my eyes to chicken pox. Going to "the doctor" meant serious business or surgery, which were rare, but not unheard of. Being here with my doctor parents brings me this sense of calm that I don't have in the US. Especially, taking my job as a teacher as seriously as I did, one of my biggest fears was falling sick and missing school (I think I missed my kids more than they did sometimes :p ) Mummy came with me to my appointment and was able to talk in doctor lingo and I felt like a kid in the most comforting sense for those 10 minutes, during which it was determined that I had otitis externo.

We went to a fancy-shmancy clinic by Nepali standards where I was the only brown-skinned patient. Some poor guy walked in all dizzy and woozy with his big hiking backpack. I felt bad for him.

The ENT specialist was straightforward and didn't use gloves nor washed his hands (in front of me, as I have become so used to seeing in the US) before examining my ear. My brain sees so many of these moments that show me how this Indian girl has become so American.

I'm grateful we could get into seeing a doctor so soon (none of the hassles of appointments, insurance, etc.! :) and that I'm not turning deaf.

Love you ear-nestly,
Suparna

Monday, October 26, 2015

Lessons Stewing, Brewing

Dear Dan,

We're back in Kathmandu (whose airport - in photos below too - never ceases to amaze me!) after changing many time zones and an entertaining night in Singapore airport (not recognizing and calling LMFAO rude ;). Indonesia was beautiful and lovely and I can't wait to go back and explore more with you!

Today, on the flight back, I made a list of things I've been noticing about myself on this trip and I wanted to share with you. Some, you probably know better than I, but some, may be new to you.

Here's to more learning and I can't wait to hear what you learn over the next two days as you travel!

I love the smell of airplane croissants. It makes me thirsty for orange juice.

All I need to physically live is in one suitcase/backpack.

My biological clock stupefies me.

I can sit for hours alone to fill myself up.

I love becoming lost in day dreams.

Funny how rivers are born from oceans,  and land just sits there patiently waiting to be swallowed.

I love listening to the harmony in songs.

You taught me how to sing without giving a shit about what others would think of me.

I love reading Reader's Digests. I think because they're small and the pieces in them are short, so I don't get bored quickly.

I listened to two songs continuously for 5 hours and I'm still not bored of them.

I know how to keep a straight face when someone farts in front of me.

I'm learning to let go.

I'm learning that everything doesn't have to be perfect.

I'm learning that everything can't be perfect.

I'm learning that it's okay if everything is not perfect.

I love the feel of beads of sweat falling from the edges of my very short hair on the back of my neck when I'm running. It feels like my own personal sprinkler system has been activated.

Few things are worth sweating about.

I love it when someone is able to and tries to pronounce my name right.

When babies scream on flights, it makes me extremely anxious.

I love looking at earth from a height.

I prefer taking off to landing.

I hate airplane toilets.

I'm learning to be more patient with myself and those around me.

I have no patience for rudeness and will call out pop stars even if I think they're being rude.

I love food.

I sometimes overcook things.

I don't like it when people call me,  "Ma'am".

I think it's so incredible that I came from my mom and you from yours.  Like, from inside them. We are funny seeds of funny fruits, huh?

I get so excited when an idea for a poem comes to me.

I get so so excited when in able to write poetry I'm proud of.

Everyday. Every moment of learning and not...I love you.

Always,
Suparna

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A day of rest in unrest

Dear Dan,

Today we begin our journey back to Nepal. Nepal - it seems like things are getting worse slowly enough. Anti-Indian sentiment is on the rise and the US government also issued a warning for US citizens. Such a conflicting time we live in and I especially find it odd now that I'm straddling multiple realms and identities.

We'll work hard to be safe and well and cherish memories of our vacation together!

All my love,
Suparna

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Colors and Contradictions Part 2

Dear Dan,

Today, I enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast and it felt odd as I watched news about more refugees fleeing Syria while I ate all this freedom-filled food.

Then I contrarily enjoyed working out for a long time.

So funny how how some have so much freedom and some, none.

I also had a food and fruit adventure today - getting to explore local fruit and enjoying all the amazing colors all around me! So much to be grateful for!

Fruit and vegetable galore!















Vegan protein section!

Enoki mushroom! I made ; )

Vegan chops ; )


Today, you're heading out to see Kevin, Chie, Luca, Elia, Yuna, and Elsa - and I'm missing you all LOTS! Have an amazing time and cherish each moment! Sending all my loving...

Tumharee,
-Suparna