"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)

preparations

Preparing To Celebrate

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Dalila watches Babu, her cousin and my electrician-cum-plumber, as he wires Christmas lights around our roof terrace;
Anu washes the terracotta pots.

We prepare to celebrate Christmas.

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Putting On A Show: The Curtain Falls?

Further heavy rain is forecast.
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Picture taken in Fort Cochin


Packed And Almost Ready…

My bags are packed.
My shoes, which have not seen daylight since they walked the streets of Washington DC, four months ago, have been brought out of storage.
My scarf, in case of cool weather and cooler aeroplane cabins, is readily accessible.

My recollection, from a couple of years back, is that evenings in the Sinai desert can prove difficult to predict…

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Morning Moments…

A priest pauses to focus his thoughts, before celebrating early morning Mass.
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Picture taken outside the Mount Carmel Petit Seminary chapel, Fort Cochin


Wanderlust..

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I have been home for less than a month but this afternoon saw young Anu packing my bags once more.
Vishu approaches:
one of Kerala’s two biggest Hindu festivals.
Festivals, I’ve promised he can enjoy with his family.

I shall enjoy it too – but not in Kerala.
When Anu goes home,
I go on my Indian travels.

Charlie, my agent, has been busy;
Robin, my travel-buddy, is ready.
Flights, cars, drivers, hotels, and perhaps even tents, are booked and confirmed.
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The Preparing Of Unleavened Bread

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Picture taken in Palace Road, Fort Cochin


Almost Ready

Final preparations before departure.
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Picture taken in Cochin.


Ready and almost willing

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Picture of a worker in the Koottickal Rubber Factory, Kerala.


Time To Go

I am almost ready.

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Transportation is booked and confirmed.

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Sir is once more off on his travels:

This time across the Western Ghats to our neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu .

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The ancient city of Hampi is on the itinerary.


The Raja’s palace in Mysore will be experienced.

An excursion to exotic and mysterious places.

I may be gone some time.

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Other than the first picture, images have been taken from the web.


Preparing for a Feast: Paysam

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Every festival in India is a feast for all the senses.

And in Kerala, every feast finishes with paysam.

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Vast cauldrons and trays of the dessert are prepared.

In Kannamaly the church hall is used for its storage.

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This paysam will be given as part of the free meal but can also be purchased

As a “take-away”

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Preparing for a Feast: Profane

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Preparations for the feast of St Joseph also involve food:

Quite a lot of food.

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Vegetarian curries and rice will be prepared in almost industrial quantities

To feed people of all faiths and denominations.

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Preparing for a Feast: Sacred

Today is the Feast of St Joseph.

Late on Thursday evening, a friend took me on his motorbike to St Anthony’s Church, Kannamaly – a quiet semi-rural backwater of Cochin –

Where preparations for the annual festival involve the entire community.

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A time of preparation, quiet meditation and devotion.

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An Assembly Of Fishermen: Preparing Your Boat

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Before the fishermen set out, the boats and nets are prepared:

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All must be sea-worthy.

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They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;

These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.

Psalm 107. 23 – 25

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Crossing The Dark Waters

Stop!

Enough procrastination.

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It is time for new experiences

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And new perspectives.

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My bag is packed;

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My entourage assembled.

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A taxi is waiting.

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Goodbye for now…


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