Last night our hosts, Sanjeev and Sush Ama invited us to a family event. The family had earlier in the day held a puja (a religious ritual). In the evening was an informal get-together and we were invited to go up to the 7th floor and have some food, desserts and social time.
We met in-laws, nieces, nephews, mothers aunts and uncles. Sush Ama’s mother is bedridden but we brought to her room to be introduced and to chat. Even though she was obviously in pain, she had a beautiful smile and told us how Pune used to be.
Today we went to a private residence for an amazing shopping afternoon. We were picked up by car (a big deal after riding in rickshaws for two weeks) by Geeta’s husband Sunder. And then we were met at the door by Geeta herself, and even though I hadn’t yet met her she hugged me in welcome. We were treated to lunch of mixed veggies, a squash dish, Indian bread and paratha (potato dumplings). It was the best meal we have had since we arrived! Geeta’s house was beautiful and quiet. We met her grandsons, daughter and son-in-law.
Then the shopping began. We walked to the back of her yard to a converted garage. This is where Geeta displays all of her wares from her travels around India. Geeta brought us chai tea, which we sipped as we opened drawers, unfolded scarves, and dug through piles of purses. Everything in the store was beautiful and we soon had picked out many gifts – as well as some treasures for ourselves. Ladies of my family, expect gifts! (sorry guys). Geeta gave both us us a gift of a cotton purse/backpack to nicely package what we had selected. She personally drove us home as well, and invited us back for another meal.
I am almost out of dark chocolate and I don’t know how I will cope for two weeks. Julie – you were right I needed to bring more!
Finally, Geeta’s women’s class yesterday was strenuous and informing. We did janu sirsasana (a seated forward bend) five times and I left the class feeling good. Both Karen and I were grateful to sleep in this morning to the sound of monsoon rains.
Personal notes: Catie, thanks for the post and let me know how things go.