Friday, March 26, 2010


Yesterday Chow-Patti and I enjoyed a late, last-minute lunch at Uru-Swati (Masala Dosa for her, Chana Masala for me). The TV was playing Bollywood songs from the 70s, including hits starring Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan. I loved it, especially because: A) I haven't seen Chow-Patti in ages, and B) they always play old-time movies in the afternoon on TV in Mysore. It made me feel a bit "home"sick.

On the way home, I turned on the Indo-Pak satellite radio station... and heard the opening strains of one of the best songs ever - "Dard E Dil" (above). It's from 1980's Karz, which starred Shashi Kapoor's more famous brother, Rishi. The film was inspired by 1975's The Reincarnation of Peter Proud - and in turn inspired the 2007 hit Om Shanti Om. But I digress. It was so wonderful to hear the old music, after eating the familiar food and talking for over an hour straight about yoga, yoga, yoga.

And then, still on the way home, I learned I get to cover the Kali Ray workshop for YOGA/Chicago. Very thankful indeed.

(Kali Ray's guru is Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda, whose ashram is at the base of Chamundi Hill in Mysore. Krista and I had a madcap drive there one night in 2008, on my scooter. We wanted to go and hear the bhajans (devotional songs), and got absolutely drenched on the way there. You have not lived til you have driven a scooter through nighttime Indian traffic in a monsoon downpour with Krista on back, laughing her ass off.... while your leg is still bandaged from a recent accident. Now that's living in the moment).

(Of course we missed the bhajans).

(Now that's living in India).

* * *


I was picking up knäckebröd near the homestead in Wes Andersonville this afternoon, when I came upon the best thing ever.

It was the puppet cat bike theater!

You know - the ultracute puppets I was too cool to stop and enjoy two months ago (read all about it here).

This time, I smiled broadly as I walked by.

This time, arms filled with knäckebröd, I came back and watched the cat puppets dance to music from the 1940s. When you give the puppets money, they dance with it, too. They pop out of doors here and there and, I have to say, it is the cutest thing ever. There are several puppets, including a dog and a long-eared rabbit.

Soon, a crowd had joined me.

There was a male couple, a woman in a wheelchair, a male-female couple, and a Latino deliveryman. Everyone was smiling broadly at this unexpected bit of delight in their day. Watching these sweet, beat-up puppets ignited the spark of childlike innocence that is still buried deep inside all of us somewhere.

And it was proof again that we really all the same.

Afterwords I went back across the street and watched for a few minutes. The puppets continued do dance to music - including Bill Haley's version of "Flip, Flop & Fly." A passerby smiled now and then, but not a single one stopped.

Still too cool I guess.

Gotta get over that somehow.

We're missing a lot if we don't.

(If you go right now, they might still be there).


  1. Glad you stopped for the puppet bike! It's good the Universe sometimes gives us second (and third and fourth) chances. I'll be watching for it when I'm out and about.

  2. I suspect I will NEVER drive a scooter in India... That sounds like a great moment you had.

  3. I was wearing my cat-hat!