Tuesday, 3 March 2015

heading back to Udaipur

but first the GIB

the Indian bird book ID for size is very large  
in the background two Nilgi who are also very large -  big antelopes

a rural scene on the outskirts of Udaipur   quilts out for an airing   hard to believe that
only a few miles the urban sprawl begins  

and what did I stitch?

a little experiment using printing blocks to mark the patterns
fond memories of snatched moments here and there and lazy mornings at Sena

mainly chai

a necessary part of every day life whether travelling or not

a stopover on the Abu Road
Granny feeding a Star Tortoise a delight in itself   in the wild they are a threatened species

first cup of the day at Bera - note the clay pots

we spent the morning driving through the jungle (not as imagined in Walt Disney's Jungle Book!)    The land is dry scrub    where there is water the fields and planted   right now the wheat sown in October is green and slowly turning golden yellow   the mustard crop has been cut and left drying in the sun   within a few days the seeds will be gathered

fields of fennel  such a good smell

the chai shop at Sena  nice brew

chai shop at the end of our little ramblings with all you need to make a good cuppa
strainers, tongs, tea, fresh ginger, cardamons, milk (buffalo for preference) and sugar
fresh chai is made as you wait   spices crushed and added to the pot with the other ingredients   the wheel on the right is turned to bring up the heat in the clay oven
when ready the chai is served fresh and hot in the little clay pots   

next door the village men were gathering for a meeting  lots of paper work in evidence

the ladies meanwhile seem to be having a girls day out


originally chai was served in these little clay pots, made by local potters   used thorough out the land at chai stalls and most importantly Indian Railways  very hygienic  no need for washing up instead they are thrown away, perfect recycling   

around twenty years or so ago they were replaced by small plastic cups which were chucked out on railway lines and streets  you may imagine the results   with the awareness of the damage of plastic waste plastic bags are now banned being replaced by cloth or paper bags   occassionaly small purchases are beautifully wrapped in newspaper and tied with string    small paper cups are now used at chai shops  or a small teacup and saucer   tea to be drunk out of the saucer of course   best not to think of the washing up water


ten years back a potters family in Kutch were still producing pots for the railways



these are such beautiful objects  each bearing the potters hand

I like to think that all over rural India it is still possible to enjoy chai served in a clay pot
research required!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Four relaxing days at Sena

Our favourite place just 'to be'. 

the lovely Aravelli Hills, beautiful lakes full of winter migrating birds,
and in the hills leopards

we were invited to stay with a farming family in the village nestling alongside the hills the pace of life was slow  the sun rose at 7.30  temple bells sounded  the cows were fed and children with huge satchels made their way to school    

our room was on the roof  one window looked out to the hills 
an early morning photo as the monkeys descended looking for breakfast

Udai the head warden of the Forestry Commission, Keith and Samshu set off at 'leopard o' clock, otherwise known as 6am, to check the leopard population.   I enjoyed lazy early mornings and chose to spend my time reading, stitching, catching up with my journal and enjoying my early morning chai

A little domestic duty called   we had been tramping through deserts and scrub  our clothes were dusty and with no chance of getting laundry done for a few more days   fortunately there was a bar of Rin soap in the bathroom, marvellous for washing   rub scrub the water looks like mud   rinse and on the line   within in an hour clothes ready for wearing again
suffice to say I brought a bar home with me and already I have found it removes turmeric from tablecloths!     

making butter and straining off butter milk while the temperature is cool

young calves having breakfast   we met them last November when they
were only three days old

the mornings were spent around the lakes, driving and walking in the jungle
a little rest in the afternoon when it was very hot   and in the evening checking out
the leopard family who having had their rest were getting ready to find dinner

all the children seemed to join us   I brushed up on my numbers in Hindi
no paper about so one boy picked up a stick to write on his dusty arm 
the car registration plate was a good exercise to practise numbers 
and letters in English!

here come the camels

so our delightful stay in Sena came to an end   the family were lovely and very welcoming   the food simple but  delicious  home cooking at it's best   we were sorry to leave but we will return