Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Watery Wednesday Meme, #174 - Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib, Patiala, Punjab, India - February 22, 2012

This Gudwara, which was once in the town of Lehal, is now part of
Patiala city.  It was visited by Guru Tegh Bahadur on January 24, 1672
who sat under a banyan tree by the side of a pond and prayed for the 
inhabitants of the village who had been suffering from a long and mysterious
illness.  When they, amazingly recovered, people began to believe in the
healing properties of the water and a shrine was erected there.  The 
Gudwara was named  Dukh Nivaran, which means "eradicator of suffering".

Devotees bathe in the pool in hopes of healing from illness.

I am participating in Watery Wednesday, #174 -
check out the site and add your watery picture to join in the fun.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Eternity - Meeting the Editor in New Delhi - February 21, 2012

Several years ago, in My Space, I met Harekrushna Mahanta, editor of
"The Eternity", a magazine published twice a year in India.  It has a spiritual
focus in its poems, art work, essays, articles and the like.  While most of my
poetry really is not spiritual in nature, Mr. Mahanta has chosen to publish
several of my works in "The Eternity" which I consider an honor.  "Travel
Thoughts" has appeared in its pages, along with two poems about India,
"The Taj Mahal" and "The Peacock", which is the national bird of India.
During a recent visit to New Delhi, I had the privilege of finally meeting Mr.
Mahanta and a colleague of his, Hindu poet and meditation and yoga
instructor, Dr. Dhanpal Tembharey,  They came to my hotel, with flowers
for Virginia Lynch and me and brought copies of the last issue of "The
Eternity" with a thumbnail photo of me on the cover as a contributor
from the United States.  Inside, there was a picture of my poetry book,
"Life's Journey" and  my poem, Rainbows" also appeared in this issue of
the magazine.

My friend, Virginia, took a number of photographs of the occasion, I
presented Mr. Mahanta with a Sony Holland CD and Dr. Tembharey
prsented me with two of his books, written in Hindi.  I can see that I
definitely must learn the language!

Wearing my silk kurta and pants made at 
Village Textile in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

With my Indian jhumka

Flowers from Harekrushna Mahanta and Dr. Dhanpal Tembharey

My poetry book, "Life's Journey"

My gold mojeres

Harekrushna Mahanta, editor of "The Eternity"

For subscriptions to this magazine, or to buy issues, go online to:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mellow Yellow Monday #161 - Jal Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India - Feb 20, 2012

I loved my eight days in Jaipur.  There were so many beautiful things
to see in this lovely part of India.  One that I thrilled at passing on my
frequent journeys about Jaipur was the splendid Jal Mahal or "water
palace" in the Man Sagar Lake.

This exquisite architecture is a combination of the Rajput and Mughal styles
that are frequent in the state of Rajasthan.  When the lake is full, only one
floor remains above water.  In the 18th century, Maharajah Jai Sing II
of Amber began restoration and englargement of the palace and lake.

Because of years of pollution, the lake which had once been home to
150 species of migratory birds, no longer attracted visits by beast or
fowl.  Work was done to rectify this and birds are returning in large
numbers to the ir former habitats.

At one time, tours were allowed to visit the Jal Mahal but have now
ceased as restoration efforts continue.

I am participating in Mellow Yellow Monday -  add your bright  spot of
yellow and join in the fun.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday 2 - Jaipur Cows Resting in the Shade - February 19, 2012

A beloved Indian friend and fellow blogger gets a bit annoyed at me when I
post pictures of cows or elephants and the like.  He tells me I am not showing
the true beauty of India and I am giving people a distorted view and feeding
in to stereotypes.  Well, I have to disagree with him.  I absolutely love India
and will post pictures of all that I see, including the amazing temples and
their ancient history, the interesting festival, the beautiful faces of the
people, the interesting modes of transportation, AND the animals.  I, for
one, love the cows - their sweet gentle faces and so I take many pictures of
them.  I guess, having spent several years of my childhood on a farm, I am
drawn to these creatures.

So, dear blogging friend, forgive me, but, for two days in a row, my post
is about cows.  I post it with love...of India, its beauty and its creatures, and
of you.

I am participating in Shadow Shot Sunday 2 - post your shadow shot and join
in the fun!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Camera Critters -Cows of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, February 18, 2012

Cows are sacred animals here in India and they freely wander the streets,
in the midst of all the other traffic, which ranges from cars, trucks, buses,
auto rickshaws, bicycle rickshaws, bicycles, carts pushed by men and women,
elephants, and camels.  There may be others but those are the modes of
transportation that quickly come to mind.

Most of the cows look very healthy though, Lala, my taxi driver and friend,
tells many belong to no one.  They forage through garbage piles and, often,
people do leave food for them.

MacDonald's here in India offers no beef hamburgers.  I had a chicken
maharajah when I ate there!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's in India

Since I arrived in India,
I've felt love everywhere,
In unexpected places,
Folks show me that they care.

I may not get a valentine,
Or roses smelling sweet,
But there are many other things,
That make me feel complete.

Old friends made me feel welcome,
New friends have come along,
All are special people,
Who make me feel that I belong.

Who knows what Valentine's might bring,
If I get shot by Cupid's dart,
I might meet a special someone,
From whom I'll never want to part!

But if that doesn't happen, 
I'm happy on this day,
My dream was to be in India,
Just wish I had a longer stay!

Carmen Henesy
Valentine's 2012

Copyright ( c ) Feb 13, 2012
by Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Jaipur, Rajasthan, India - February 9, 2012

A week in Jaipur was not nearly enough.  There were two friends there,
I did not even get to see.  Sadly, as I am over the halfway mark of my
India stay so, as much as I would like to do so, I don't think I'll get
to return to Jaipur this visit.

In Gujarat, India, Uttarayan or Makar Sankrati is a festival that heralds
the end of winter, with the  move of the sun to the northern hemisphere.
Additionally, in Amedabad, on January 14 every year, kite flying day is
held.  It is no small event as there have been over 40 countries
participating in this festival.  The rest of India, also, happily
joins in the fun and Jaipur, clearly, was no exception.  Everywhere
one looked, kites had met their demise in trees, overhangs, wires,
and the like!  I am sure the flyers must have been extremely
disappointed when their creations ceased to soar in the winds.

Jaipur apartment building

Garlic and ginger for sale

Small roadside stores


Beautiful arches

Old town buildings

Entering old town, Jaipur

Old town street

Rubble here and there about town

There are shrines and temples throughout Jaipur

Elephants walking in traffic

My first night in Jaipur, I asked my wonderful taxi driver, Lala, where I
might go for typical Rajasthani food.  He suggested a restaurant called 
Chokhi Dhani, which had also been recommended to me by my seat
mate on my Air India flight to Jaipur.  It was an interesting experience,
offering a view of life in a Rajasthani village as well as food.  I 
arrived at 6PM and was able to see some of the entertainment and
performances before it really got too dark to enjoy them.  The
resort is not really geared to those with mobility handicaps which 
made it a bit hard for me.  I use a walker and the sandy areas were
almost impassable.  Some of the options are also not easy for 
those with mobility problems.  After dark, I had difficulty navigating
through sand and rocky ground.  I felt a sense of relief when I was
finally taken to the dining hall for my dinner - a large Rajashathani
thali.  I enjoyed the food but it is a long evening out!

These young ladies greeted us at the entrance to Chokhi Dani

Before my trip to India, I lost about ten pounds &,
though I haven't weighed, I think I lost five more during my
four day illness with "motion" - all my pants are hanging on me!

Drummer playing as we entered

Entrance candles

Warm soup to welcome us

Rajasthan is famous for its colorful is not
unusual to see men wearing them in hot pink,
purple, turquoise, etc.

My first days in Jaipur were just wonderful.  I was especially fortunate to have
taxi driver, Lala, drive me from the airport the day I arrived and he took me
so many wonderful places throughout my visit to Jaipur.  No wonder I fell in
love with this "Pink City" of India.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

More of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India - February 4, 2012

I have so many photographs and upload time is very slow.  Also, daily, my
wonderful driver, Lala, picks me up and we are off again, adding to the
photo collection.  My friend and colleague, Virginia Lynch, arrived about
11PM on February 1st so we are ensconced at the Jaipur Ramada where
our conference will take place.  It is a large American hotel, of course,
modern and efficient, good staff - but I am missing my lovely heritage hotel,
the Umaid Mahal.

Yesterday, I picked up the three outfits I had made.  They are beautiful
though I haven't tried them all.  I must do that today since we leave at 8PM
tomorrow night, on a sleeper train, for Patiala in the Punjab.  We will be
guests there at the home of Rakesh Gorea, MD, who is a professor at
Rama Medical College.  He is a forensic pathologist and forensic
odontologist so Virginia and I will benefit greatly from his company.  Of
course, Virginia was in India for six months, in the past, spreading the
word about forensic nursing.

Jaipur has a huge variety of modes of transportation....bicycles, bicycle rick-
shaws, autorickshaws, cars, taxis, motorcycles, camels, camel carts, elephants...
just to name some of them.  It is something to see a camel cart, moving
forward in lines of traffic.  Amazingly, the camels look quite placid midst all the
horns blaring, and traffic whizzing around them.

Bicycle rickshaws on a busy street

Rajasthan is famous for its painted elephants and a huge elephant
festival is held here every year.

A cheerful auto rickshaw

Rajasthan does have a helmet law...people are more compliant here, than in 
Mumbai about wearing them and, often, both passengers on a motorcycle will 
be wearing them.  I am always lecturing, as I pass by, when I see someone
without the chin strap fastened.  Here, as in the rest of India, you may see both 
parents and two children on a bike.  That always makes me so anxious!!

Cows are everywhere, running loose, walking the streets.  They look quite 
healthy and well fed, these sacred beasts.  They forage on garbage, finding 
greens and vegetables and they, also, don't seem bothered by traffic passing.
Most of the time, we pass a random one or two but, sometimes, there are 
herds of them...and that can certainly disrupt traffic.

There are also monkeys here and there.  My driver, Lala, cautioned
me not to get too close to these.  He says they will, sometimes, attack.

Such a cutie!

I didn't find this pig as cute.

There are many beautiful buildings, palaces and arches in the city.  I love 
riding around the old town.  

Band members after a parade

Vendors are everywhere.  You see them setting up shop on carts, blankets laid
out on the street, selling everything from vegetables and fruits to pottery, 
beautiful mirrored Rajasthani umbrellas - all sorts of things    

The Rajasthani dress is different from the saris I've grown used to
seeing in Mumbai.

Little boy who approached my taxi to ask for money

His sister

This is the, Jah Mahal, the water palace that was used by maharajas for their summer retreats

Colorful laundry


Beautiful architecture

Jaipur apartment building

Rajasthani umbrellas of beautiful colors