Spiritual Spring Break

It’s that time of year again–empty beer bottles are sprouting in my garden like so many crocuses, flocks of young chicks in bikini tops and belly rings keep swooping into my neighborhood Starbucks, and, if the boys who have rented the apartment across the courtyard are any indication, young men’s fancy is turning to lust. […]

Let There Be Light!

I have a window of opportunity (that is to say, a sleeping baby) and I had an entirely different blog planned (fear not, it will make its appearance soon). But I keep getting messages about Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, and I am not one to ignore summons from the universe. First, a few […]

Sibling Revelry

Are you ready for Raksha Bandhan? It’s August 13th this year. I know, that’s 10 days away. But if you’re not Hindu, and this is your first Raksha Bandhan, you might need some time to prepare yourself to celebrate. The way I understand it, Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of siblings. It started out a […]

Beauty from Birth

At our childbirth prep class on Sunday I bravely asked the visiting pediatrician the question my husband wanted answered, but was too shy to articulate: When is it appropriate to pierce the baby’s ears? We had already covered how soon a baby can fly in an airplane, and spent 10 minutes on the pros and […]

Quiet Time, Getting Crazy, and Psychic Reboots

There is a lot going on in the world this week, and it’s all very “turn, turn, turn,” to quote the Book of Ecclesiastes (and, later, Pete Seeger, and even later, the Byrds). The verse reminds us that to everything there is a season. And because Orthodox Easter and Western Easter are the same this […]

Bright Lights, Big River!

So, it’s fitting, given that the Ganges is the scene of so much transformation, that my own film career started (and ended) on the Ganges. On January 1st, 2007 (are you feeling the liminality yet?) I awoke in the lovely Hotel Ganges View in Benares. A converted nobleman’s palace, the hotel is located above Assi […]

The Laughing Yogi in the Fetid River of Life

One of the amazing things about being in India is that people are actively seeking enlightenment all around you, all the time. And it’s (usually) not in an annoying, “I know more than you do about the meaning of life” kind of way. It’s just that people’s daily routine involves a lot of thinking about […]

Making a Splash–Scenes from the Magh Mela

So, we’re in the middle of the Magh Mela, a vast pilgrimage festival for Hindus which started with Makar Sankrati on the 14th of January (you read it here first!) and ends on March 3d. There are a series of dates within that time that are the most auspicious for bathing in one of the […]

Go Fly A Kite

Today is Makar Sankrati on the Hindu calendar, a celebration which marks the sun’s trip into the northern hemisphere. It’s supposed to be a highly lucky time, and I make it a policy to take luck wherever I can get it. I learned (on a BBC site, go BBC!) that MakSank (as I affectionately like […]