Food for the mind, feasts for the eyes.

If I have trouble putting together a Real blog post, it’s not because I haven’t been soaking up the sights and thinking about so many things. Now that I am actually here, I have been reading about and discussing with Kate and Tom Indian history, language, politics, slums, and religion.

The night before Baby Raj was born, Tom projected maps of India on the big screen and gave a little talk on various of these topics — it was the best sort of lesson for me, the map presentation helping me to tie bits of knowledge together in my mind. Perhaps there’s a chance I will retain more than a smidgen.

My “studies” are interspersed with or carried on in the midst of Baby Immersion. Just being in a home where a newborn baby lives and breathes and will stare back at you with no feeling of awkwardness — it’s too sweet.

This baby will have Indian nannies as long as he lives here, so some of the first words impressed on his pliable mind will be from Indian languages. But which ones? Hindi is not the primary language spoken in these parts, and India has designated 30 languages as “official” languages of the nation. According to Census of India of 2001, India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages.

20% of Indians speak Dravidian languages, which are not even related to Indo-Aryan languages such as Hindi. These and other non-Hindi speakers have fought against proposals to impose the Hindi language in southern India. The Indian constitution does not give any language the status of national language, but the authorized version of laws is required to be in English, and the business of the Supreme Court is conducted in English.

I’ve learned very few Indian words, mostly names of food. But I didn’t learn the name of the Diwali festival treat above before eating the last one in the house. Almost everyone I encounter seems to speak at least a little English, but sometimes I can’t understand one word in a whole sentence by the most fluent speakers, because of their accent.

Everywhere we go I feast on colors, and feel myself to be somewhat ghostly in appearance in contrast to the Indian women in their rich attire. I’m sure I will come home with a few new and bright, concrete items to go with the images on my computer and the imprints on my mind. New dishes are constantly being set out on this banquet table.

10 thoughts on “Food for the mind, feasts for the eyes.

  1. From the color in the photo, the festival treat looks like a very pliable cheese straw! Thank you for this interesting travelog and for the happy baby news. Jules

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did not realize that India had so many languages!! Or that English played any part at all in law and business. The women certainly are dressed colourfully. The food also looks colourful and delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. what a special experience!! I LOVE Indian food!!! oh my goodness! the fact that many of the ‘poorer’ countries … the women wear such vibrant colours, merely tells me of the health of their country verses what I see as the possible confusion or despair of ours…. (I am not a fan of grey-everything but yet some of the ones I respect here the most do, so what do I know!?!)… but still I take note of the bright colours and think of JOY… God bless and keep you!!! and your family and that dear littlest one!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have enjoyed reading about you journey to India, and all that has confronted you not only with new grand baby, but the sights, smells, and sounds that the culture has opened in you.
    I could not help but think of Amy Carmicheal as I read your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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