Monday, April 25, 2011

...and why are your nails - I mean - why is is your nail so long my dear

When we were shuttling to univ by public buses it was a ubiquitous phenomena to see bus conductors grow the nail of their pinkie and lovingly paint it a garish red or in some cases dye to a shade of puke-inducing orange (with mehndi).

I'd forgotten all about them.

On our India trip we went to visit a cousin of mine who stays on the distant outskirts. We had a most delicious lunch and my cousin and her husband were extremely courteous.

On our way back, however, we had no luck in getting an auto back. Then my cousin suggested we take the bus back since the bus depot was very close to her house. We had no choice but to hop on to the bus when my Brat spotted the long nail, red nail polish and all. I was so amused to see this tradition hadn't died out.

We subsequently spotted quite a few auto drivers sporting the Long Nails too. Ofcourse my Brat wanted to know "why". Sadly I don't know and it didn't occur to me to ask (though I daresay the drivers may have got offended).

So, if anyone knows the secret of the the long nail and its origin - please do enlighten me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tulip Time

April end and the arrival of May.

Park on the shores of Ottawa's Dow Lake to take in the tulips. There are supposed to be over 300,000 tulips planted here.

From Wiki:

In 1945, the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa in gratitude for Canadians having sheltered Princess Juliana and her daughters for the preceding three years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, in the Second World War.

The most noteworthy event during their time in Canada was the birth in 1943 of Princess Margriet to Princess Juliana at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. The maternity ward was declared to be officially a temporary part of international territory, so that she would be born in no country and would inherit only her Dutch citizenship from her mother. In 1946, Juliana sent another 20,500 bulbs requesting that a display be created for the hospital, and promised to send 10,000 more bulbs each year.

The festival begins
Princess Margriet returns to Ottawa to attend the Canadian Tulip Festival in May 2002.In the years following Queen Juliana's original donation, Ottawa became famous for its tulips and in 1953 the Ottawa Board of Trade and photographer Malak Karsh organized the first "Canadian Tulip Festival". Queen Juliana returned to celebrate the festival in 1967, and Princess Margriet returned in 2002 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the festival

Tulips are ofcourse associated with Yash Chopra's classic:

But the song I prefer over that one is:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Missing in Action


had been to London to see the queen.

Not really, had been to India.

Have a set of random images in my mind.

The fascinating method in which the construction workers pile the bricks on top of their heads and walk up the steps unaided and without so much as putting a hand to keep the bricks safe...

The tender coconuts - and the expertise with which the vendor lops off the tops...

Watching World Cup on a gigantic screen ... and the ear splitting fireworks at the end...

The gang of hijras (transgender people)who would inevitably accost your auto. They never demand money from the auto drivers but from us hapless passengers!

My brat swatting away at the mosquitoes with the special "insect bat" loaned by my brother-in-law!