Trip to Berhampur

We played a game of cards till 2 pm in the night in Khalikot. I was getting sleepy at about 11pm when bhauja pulled me up from the bed. Let's play just once more, she said. We had already played three types of card games throughout the evening before the last puja of Navami was started. So, again four of us sat down in blankets to play. That one time gave way to many times and we ended up playing and laughing for three hours. It was so much fun. Only once in a blue moon do I sit awake at night three hours at a stretch.

Next day we went to Berhampur, saying our goodbyes to everyone at Khalikot. They weren't letting us leave, as usual. They do prefer more people and get togethers of family members during festivals. No household is left without visitors or guests this season in Khalikot. We left early as our tour was pre-planned.

Dada's house in Berhampur is in a very narrow lane. We hardly had imagined that taking the car through it would be such a Herculean task. Half a kilometre took us about an hour to cover. Dada walked in front of the car putting cycles and bikes to the side as the car proceeded at a snail's speed. He knocked certain doors to call someone out to pick up the buckets and water drums left on the road. People helped direct the car away from open drains. Then there were cows and Bulls on the road- Dada ''hud hud"ed them to the side. We heaved a sigh of relief when we finally reached the end of the lane. Epic!

The surrounding of the house gave me a nervous attack. There were numerous cows, calves, bulls and buffaloes out in the open, near the entrance gate. The terrace had three monkeys ogling at us. I just picked one of the luggage bags and ran into the house, skipping the greetings for later. Hilarious!

Gatherings like these offer so many nostalgic talks, hilarious anecdotes, and elaborate gossips during dinner preparations. I enjoy it all. It's in these occasions that I get to know so many family stories and eternal family tales.

We plan to visit the Jiranga Buddhist monastery today which is situated at about 90 kms from Berhampur in Gajapati district in Chandragiri. It is the largest monastery in South Asia and was inaugurated in 2010 by Dalai Lama. I'm excited.

Happy pandal hopping !!
Happy VijayaDashami!!

 Linking the post to #UBC , and #DailyChatter.


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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