Thursday, November 22, 2007

Fabulous Photography

I have made it my mission to get out and about more in Bangalore - and India - and really take advantage of the amazing cultural activities.  This week, I've visited two different photography exhibitions - Tim Hall at the Tasveer Gallery, and students from the Light and Life Academy  Tim's work is amazing!  He manages to make many of his photographs look like paintings; I was told that he did a lot of post production to make the colours pop on his subjects, and they do.  Amazing.  I think the real secret to Tim's work is, as my photography course tutor in London keeps telling us, GET UP EARLY!  Most of his work is clearly done before/around dawn; you have to be dedicated to your art!  The students from the Light and Life Academy had an interesting display and I'm considering visiting their facility in Ooty for a week long course in December.  Maybe if I'm lucky my pictures will improve - though I'm not sure whether I'll ever be able to get up before-dawn!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Bottom Line

Having returned to Bangalore from a month-long trip to the US and the UK, I can now reflect fondly on one of the more bizarre activities I undertook, namely colonic irrigation, or 'colon hydrotherapy' as it is more trendily known now.  The practice of cleansing one's colon gently with water has been practiced for centuries, but probably came to prominence in the '90s went many celebrities, e.g., Madonna, extoiled its virtues.  I've also known 'real' people to have amazing results; a couple friend of mine who were getting married undertook a series of three sessions each (less painful than a pre-nup, perhaps?) and waxed lyrical about its weight-loss, skin-purifying, and all-round-invigorating properties.  So when my New York friend was raving about her experience at The Great Jones Spa and urging me to try it, who was I to 'poo-poo' it?

The process goes like this:  Arrive at fabulous downtown spa, get in robe, go to small room equipped with bed, 'poop-removing machine', and curtained-off toilet, switch robe around so it opens at the back (don't be alarmed, the PR says, "Client modesty will be preserved at all times...'), swing up onto afore mentioned bed in foetal position and get ready for 'warm water to be gently infused into the colon while your therapist uses special massage techniques to stimulate the release of stored matter...'  Of course, to get to this point, a very sterile, brand spanking new poop removing pipe (not official terminology) has to be inserted into your butt.  Enough said.

I am told that the process - which lasts up to an hour - can be quite relaxing, cathartic, and even enjoyable.  My first experience left me wanting to curl back up into the foetal position and go home.  But I stuck with it.  And came back for a second time.  And a third time - at which point, I'm told, the real old stuff that's clogging up your colon will start to come away.  By this time, I was an old-pro and having many successful 'releases', as the therapist calls them.

It's an odd feeling laying there with a tube up your butt as someone massages your tummy, talks about dairy producing 'toxic mucus', and watches bits of you float past at high speed through the window on 'poop-removing machine'.  

What is in there?  I've heard stories about parasites as long as your arm coming out (none seen by colonic-expert of many years, Brigit Krome), or whole mushrooms appearing more than a week after consumption, and even twizzler-type shapes whizzing past (hence the more affectionate term used by me to describe this activity - twizzling).  The scariest moment had to be when I used the in-room loo pre-my first session, only to see a whole Metrocard down the pan!  If that's not the strangest thing to come out of someone, I don't know what it.  Man, that must have been hard to pass.  Sadly, I think it really fell out of someone's back pocket, but we can dream...

So, after all this twizzling, what were the end results you might ask?  Well, with the help of this and some aptly named supplements called 'The Mover' things are going pretty well in the bathroom department.  Note: Brigit says you should go after EVERY meal...  And I honestly do feel lighter. The fact that after a month of traveling, no real exercise, drinking every day, and eating out, I haven't put one lb on will vouch for that.  

Would I do it again?  You can bet your bottom dollar!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Puppy Love

Many of my single friends bemoan the fact that they can't find a husband - well, here's a story that proves you don't have to because in India, you can just about marry anything!  So far I've read about a woman marrying a snake, another a tree, and now this - a man has married a bitch.  I'm sure many men in unhappy marriages think the same... but this guy really did marry a FEMALE DOG.  Actually, it's not that they were in love, but that he believes it will atone him of his sins for attacking a couple of dogs years back... I wonder who'll wear the leash in that house?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Home Sweet Home

After a whirlwind two and a half weeks, I'm finally leaving the US to head to the UK for another couple of weeks. It is always bitter sweet visiting the US, NYC particularly. While I consider it 'home' as it's the last place we lived before we moved to India, it's fraught with memories of crazy work schedules, stressed out work-weeks, manic weekends, and not much time for each other. We did get a lot done in this time - visits with family, friends, new babies, bigger babies, shopping, eating (including Le Bernardin, very nice, and Les Halles, okay), a three-day work trip to Chicago, concerts (The Police rock!), even flu shots - but it's still nice to think we are heading back to 'our home' in Bangalore soon. 'First World' living is great, but comes at a price - financially and emotionally. I was taking a relaxed walk down the upper west side, our old neighborhood, and was really enjoying the sights and sounds of it all, but all I could think was that if we lived back here, I wouldn't be as relaxed, I wouldn't be a visitor, I'd be a resident, and with that comes all the day to day issues that arise wherever you live in the world. So, Bengaluru beckons us back for a little while longer at least. Someone asked me what the best thing about living in India is, and while initially I said 'my horse,' it really is the time that my husband and I get to spend together, vs. our crazy NYC schedules that left us frazzled and fraught by the weekend. That's what matters and that's why home will be wherever we are - together.