Warming Hands and Heart

It’s cold here in Delhi!  What’s cold?  Mid-40’s at night – 50’s by day.  The air is wet and the chill is difficult to shake – especially when you don’t have heat – and most people here, don’t.   Around the city you see women wearing socks with their flip flops, men wrapped in scarves, bodies lying on the sidewalk bundled in burlap or other scrap fabric.  Yesterday, I read a commentary in the paper about bonfires, which is a common way for people to keep warm.  The author was waxing poetic about how the bonfire  in north India is an invitation, or “motel of warmth”  where one can stop, warm your hands and your spirits with others gathered around the flame – and then move on to your destination or to the next bonfire down the road.

Inspired, I joined these women who happened to be on my path this morning:

Notice the cell phone, the knitting, the fire of wood and trash and maybe even cow dung.  Here’s a photo of dung cakes.  They are mixed with something – grass, hay, corn husks, trash, usable waste of some form.  I’m not entirely clear about what goes into the concoction but it’s used for fuel:

And leaving you with a good laugh at my expense, here’s my latest adventure with henna.   I exposed my foot to the chill and let a beggar in the park decorate it – only to later discover that she laced me with mud and did a poor job, to boot!  (Beware:  I haven’t shaved since the beach – you may not want to click on this photo!!)

8 thoughts on “Warming Hands and Heart”

  1. Hi Theo,

    Happy New Year. I have been enjoying your adventures. Your family is lovely! The kids are so grown. Give my best to Jim. Loved the photo of him on the elephant.
    I am doing well. Consumed in parenting 3 boys. Nicholas and Michal are our angry youths. Anyway, Cherrio! Best, Elba

    1. elba: i used to be sad that my kids were growing but now i celebrate every month on their march to maturity. i’m betting my georgie does anger better than N&M… he makes the Livieratos clan look meek! thanks for reading – i failed to keep family and friends close while i was in china and i’m trying to make up for all of those quiet years. keep brian humble for me.. love, t

    1. i remember the kind of cold in boston when you couldn’t make it one block before you had to dip into a doorway to catch your breath… and the wind, the wind! makes me shiver just thinking of the misery. jen, it’s time to think about cooking up a junket to delhi. there’s a direct flight from newark on continental…

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