Friday, February 25, 2011

a Sunday of the optimal sort

This post was written on February 20.

Today was a good Sunday; the best I’ve had in a while.

Not that my Sundays are ever bad, per se—today was just exceptionally good! It started like any other with 6:30AM prayer. Then I read the newspaper and had breakfast—egg curry and bread. Yay protein! (Protein is something to get excited about when you mainly subsist on rice, trust me). Then, the BIGHS/TTC boarding students and I headed off to church. Nothing really noteworthy to report there except the service was two and a HALF hours long, rather than the usual two. However, K.T. Kurian Achen did use a greater-than-usual amount of English, so perhaps that makes up for it.

Upon returning from church, I found two of the TTC students, Sruthy and Hari, working on an art project that’s due this week. As the only two Hindu students at my hostel, they take advantage of Sunday mornings to get ahead on their class work while everyone else is away at church. Sitting in the shade and enjoying the breeze, it turned into an impromptu conversation about which crops are grown in the US, where we get our rice from, world geography, the concept of women shaving their legs, and the absence of caste, dowry, and arranged marriages in US society. The taught me about the craft they were making: puppets from a mixture of water, shredded newspaper, and parrotha (an Indian bread)-making flour. I admired Hari’s caloose; she took it off her ankle and put it on mine. (A caloose (no idea how to spell that, by the way) is what we would think of as an anklet, except it has small bells on it. So you kind of jingle when you walk. It’s actually kind of fun, I think I’ll venture out and buy one one of these days!).

After lunch, some of the girls and I played Uno, which has been a big craze around here recently. They always confuse the word ‘skip’ with ‘slip’, so every time one of the girls puts down a skip card, they yell ‘SLIP YOU!’

I tried chacca (jackfruit) for the first time today—delish! And mango season is fast-approaching. Two words: can’t wait. 

With our afternoon tea, we had my favorite snack: etekya appam (banana fry—similar to fried plantains). Afterward I watched/helped some of the girls with the dance they’re choreographing for the 10th grade send-off, which is taking place this Wednesday. In India, ‘high school’ goes to 10th grade; for Plus One and Plus Two (what we would think of as 11th and 12th grade), you go to a different, ‘higher secondary’ school. The ‘send-off’ is the 10th graders’ formal farewell celebration, as they will have study leave for the first part of March, SSLC exams during the second half, and then summer vacation for April and May, after which they’ll begin the new school year at a new school in June. They are assigned to a higher secondary school based on their scores on the aforementioned exams.

Dance practice was followed by evening prayer, and now here I am writing this post, listening to my new favorite Malayalam film song, Manassil.

Today was a good Sunday; the best I’ve had in a while :)

"If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?" -Stephen Levine

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