Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Things to do when the power goes out

Nabina, Mangala, & Birgitta

I've come to look forward to the momentary gasp when the power goes out here in this starlit little part of the world outside of Bangalore. I forget if I mentioned that the constellations seem to be upsidedown. I can recognize Orion's belt, but it's much higher in the sky, almost directly overhead, Cassiopeia, which is also upsidedown, and the little dipper. I can't find the big dipper. Tonight as soon as the lights went out, we looked for the moon and couldn't see it. A few minutes later it rose out of the clouds, as orange as the past two nights. There's a lot of smoke in the air and maybe that's causing the effect. I'm not sure where the smoke comes from but it's always there. I did notice on my walk the other morning that they'd been burning fields. Reminds me of the prairies back in the 70s. Do they still do that?

Last night when the power died just as darkness fell, Nabina taught me a raga, called Yaman. It's one of the first ragas that a student of Hindustani classical music will learn and the lyrics say something about "My love is far away in a foreign land and here I am staring at the stars." Fitting. Also, it's an evening raga, meant to be sung in the first quarter of the evening, around 6-9 p.m. It was beautiful to be standing in the dark, looking out at the first stars and singing.

This morning I woke up before dawn. I guess I'm still off-kilter with the time change. I lay awake as it got light and then finally at 7 o'clock I got up and went for a run. First thing I saw was several green parrots twittering in the trees.

Tomorrow we have a big trip planned to Bangalore. But first, we eat sausages for breakfast. A blip in our incredibly healthy diets here.


  1. Did u say anything about wild dogs ? Running by yourself ? Careful ! Great blog Francie, look forward to each new entry, shortcut on desktop beside gmail icon.

  2. Yeah, I know. There are a lot of dogs, and I'm nervous of them like I am at home. I do what David suggests, pick up a rock or stick if I don't like the looks of them (not to take them on but to throw and scare them away.) But also we have three dogs here: Guru, Swami and Tambi. One or more of them usually comes along on our walks/runs.