Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mountain Festival Saturday

Saturday morning I headed out to the gate to run registration again. But I ran into Steve in the Quad and he told me not to go, just let the regular security guard hand out programs. So I got to go to the presentations in Parker Hall after all.

The morning opened with three readings. The first was Amrita Tripathi, who read from her novel The Sibius Knot. It is about five friends from boarding school into their late 20s. Each chapter is from a different point of view. Although it is dark, with many sad happenings, it sounded like a good read.

Next up was Martushka Fromeast, a Polish photographer. She also had a photo exhibit in the Quad about the Nanda Devi Yatri (pilgrimage). She was a little difficult to understand, but she had wonderful photos from a Nepal village. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in the earthquake earlier this year.

Paro Anand read again, from a book of short stories, Like Smoke. The one she read was wonderful, about a teenage girl who goes from hating Muslims to learning to know and like one, very timely and appropriate.

Mandip Singh Soin is a mountaineer, who talked about Indians going to the Alps, rather than the opposite. He also showed pictures and told about the Indo-Pak Peace Trek to the Sianchen Glacier.

John White, from the Isle of Skye off Scotland, talked about a variety of adventures there: biking, caving, kayaking, hiking.

Mandip SIngh Soin
I left the session to grab a bite of lunch and headed out to the Hanifl Centre for the Mela (about a kilometer walk). This time I worked for two hours in the booth. My partner was a 10th grader, Suyanch. He is from Kanpur and wants to be a businessman. He was moving constantly and already is a great salesperson!

For the first half-hour or so, we didn't have our cash box, so we had the money tucked under a jam jar. Marta came with the box soon after that. It was stuffed with bills from yesterday. We weren't too busy, so I had time to sort the cash and put like bills together. I think there was at least 30,000 rupees. We sold almost all the hats, but had many small and medium T-shirts left. 

The performance area was right behind us and lots of people were hanging around. A musical group made up of school staff played and sang. Then we had a Garhwali folk performance, a reenactment of the story of a woman who marries Shiva. They were very good, and a translator took part, which helped. I wanted to hear another program but this one went long past its scheduled time and I was pretty tired, so I headed back to our apartment.

Women in the play

Part of a procession in the play
Yesterday I mentioned we had dinner at Sanjay's house, which was magnificent. He had a nice place before, but this one is on the top of the ridge and has views both of the mountains and the valley. The facade/entrance is quite impressive!

We went inside, down and out to the back where there were two firepits going. Waiters were serving drinks and snacks. It was crisp and cool outside.

When it was time for dinner, we went inside. back up to the main floor. There were many places to sit. The house is absolutely beautiful inside, full of the tasteful details that Sanjay is known for.

Ceiling in entrance hall

Fountain at base of central stairway

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