"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

The Race To Christmas

The race for Christmas and all its dreams has started.


The fine tuning of my athletic frame and focused mind are almost complete.


“A sari for Dalila, a dhoti for Shaji”

Anu and I have spent weeks psyching-up and are trained in the necessary teamwork skills.

But a man in his fifties and boy in his teens may not be the ideal couple for sari shopping.

Confidence peaks too quickly:

“You think Dalila like this colour, Papa?”

“I’m not sure. What do you think?”


“More baubles for the Christmas tree”

“And paper stars for the roof terrace”


Thank goodness!

We’re on the home-straight.



5 responses

  1. I had to look up a dhoti … it said it consisted of 5 yards of fabric … how do they manage that in such a warm climate? And what keeps those paper stars from being ruined in the downpours?

    December 18, 2010 at 9:46 am

    • The Kerala dhoti’s are usually 2 metres ( just over 2 yards ) in length. They are made from such light-weight cotton that the dhoti is first folded into two layers, for reasons of modesty. The excess is concertinaed, then tucked into the waist, rather like bath towel!
      Dhotis are ideal for this climate. Like most Kerala men, I have taken to wearing one after my evening shower and keep it on until I get up in the morning. They are very cool, comfortable and un-restricting.
      The paper stars are often hung indoors but, now the monsoon is finished, some people risk keeping them outside, lit by an internal light-bulb.

      December 18, 2010 at 10:14 am

  2. Fabulous stars. I want to make the white one with the punched star shapes. But is there time?

    December 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    • There’s always time – it’s just a matter of priorities. Who needs food in the pantry at Christmas?!
      Remind me and I will send you one next year.

      December 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm

  3. Pingback: Shopping For Saris. « Neither Use Nor Ornament

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