Tuesday, June 18, 2013

bloomsday, india edition

James Joyce is my favorite artist. As such, every June 16th I have a personal holiday that I celebrate. Bloomsday is celebrated by Joyce fans around the world, but I have only ever celebrated by myself, sort of like a secret day that I am marking and keeping track of what I did all day long. I usually commemorate Bloomsday by going on a very long walk by myself. This year was no exception, I didnt sit down for longer than 30 minutes the whole day. Silly, pretty much, but its a way of remembering and connecting with one of the most important works of art to me once a year and a way of keeping track of sorts. So here's my Bloomsday in India:

Walked to Lalbagh Botanical Gardens. The clouds were incredible: really low hanging and it looked like it was going to seriously storm at any minute but it only sprinkled a little bit the entire day. The kind of sun/cloud combination that would easily sunburn.

As I walked up the old rock to the top where the temple is I saw these ladies standing in the wind. This rock they're standing on by the way is thought to be one of the oldest rock formations in the world, according to wikipedia, 3 million years old. 

Bloomsday Ladies

I walked all around stopping by the Mango Festival and I bought 1 and a half kilos of delicious mangos. I was really excited this was still going on. 

I looked for the monkey part of Lalbagh but all the monkeys were hiding today. I did see a group of people gathered around looking into a small river where there were two men on the edge of the river kicking around some rocks. At first it looked like they were helping a bird but then the longer I looked I couldn't tell what they were doing exactly. 

Gathered Crowd
I saw an elephant topiary, filmed a huge amount of pigeons flying away and landing again and again, posed to have my picture taken with a group of young women and kept walking. I saw a couple lying on a bench hidden by some trees and a dog that looked like a fox. 

I kept going and then decided to take an auto to the City Market, one of my favorite places. It was too late in the day for the junk market but I still was able to get some presents and wander around for a nice time through the market. I bought some jasmine.

Right when I left the market it started to rain. I saw a dog that looked like he was resting amongst a ton of food, I couldnt tell if he was wounded or if there was food on him because we sped off too quickly. Regardless he looked really peaceful. I saw a cow with purple fruit pulp covering his face and he had a lotus blossom tied around his neck.

I went back to Shanthi Nagar to get a coffee when I heard from Hanna. She was with Sumana and Ravi. We decided to walk to see an outdoor art festival together. We went a new way, tried to wander through an old fancy club but Ravi was not allowed in because of his dress.


Bloomsday Sunset

 We kept going. We made it to the art walk, looked at some plants for sale, saw Aren's art piece which is still doing great in its new home and then decided to get some fresh lime soda and dinner. We hopped the fence dividing MG Road and wandered through a used book store on the way to get our lime soda. We stopped at an amazing magazine store that seemingly sells every magazine in the world and also houses around nine beautiful, glamorous cats.


I played with the cats for a long time and missed my cat back in America. We continued on to get our dinner in the middle of one of the first malls in Bangalore. I had pad thai for dinner. After dinner we kept going, Ravi got chased down by a guy who wanted to sell him a tiny chess board and then we walked Sumana and Ravi back to the BAR 1, where Sumana is an artist in residence. We took another new way home through even darker, more twisty roads and saw a crazy auto driver who was driving towards pedestrians and acting like he would hit them and then speeding away. He did this to Hanna and we all jumped to protect her and yelled after him. After we realized it was ok we were able to laugh about it. I looked at a puncture shop's painted tire signs and marveled at how beautiful everything looks at night under the street lights. We made it to our respective homes and I finally sat down. 

Happy Bloomsday. 

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