Dussehra Staycation

Gina writes:

dussehra wishes
Happy Dussehra!

Sunday was the last day of Dussehra, the most important festival of the year for Hindus. It's a ten-day celebration marked by fasts, rituals (pujas), and public worship...and eating rich foods and visiting family. Kind of like a Hindu Christmas. Complete with glittery decorations and twinkling lights everywhere!

It was only a few weeks ago that Corey and I found out that we had five days off work for the holiday. Since we'd been traveling (Corey to Delhi, me to Gopalpur) for a week and had visitors for a week in September, we didn't feel like taking a trip away from Koraput. The trains were mostly full, anyway, so we decided to remain in Koraput and enjoy a staycation. Yes, I did just say staycation.

Fellow VSO volunteer Sheila came to visit us on Friday and Saturday, the first two days we had off. We had some good conversations about anything and everything. We made some amazing food -- eggplant lasagna, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, dark chocolate walnut brownies, alfredo pasta -- to take a break from eating Indian all the time. And I finally made it to the Koraput movie theater. The movie was an Oriya thriller/love story/action/musical called Abhimanyu (The Lover-Warrior) that was made in typical over-the-top Bollywood style. I picked up the basics of the storyline even without understanding the words.

Sunday was a guilt-free lazy day. We spent many hours on our respective sides of the living room, watching programs on our computers, ignoring each other, and reveling in the silence. The peace was only broken by the sound of pujas being conducted all over the neighborhood. At least, I think that's what the ringing bells and blowing of rams' horns signified!

On Monday, Corey had to go to work "for a few hours" to do some work on the server that was best done when the office was empty. With power cuts and unexpected problems [that I don't know how to explain because I'm not nearly geeky enough], he ended up being at the office from 10-7! I had a productive day, too. I worked on developing a website for a fellow volunteer's organization, prepared for the next volunteer committee meeting (of which I'm the chair), and marked the end of rainy season by going for a run. The run was especially nice, since there wasn't anyone at the stadium except me and the cows, so no Indian guys staring at me, always the lone girl on the track. A few episodes of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" ended the day quite nicely.

Yesterday deserves very little comment. Slept late, relaxed, did some chores, relaxed again. We were running low on a few spices, so I did get to use our spice grinder. Maybe not so exciting, but the smell of fresh-ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves was a good reminder that it's fall in the U.S.

Speaking of seasons, the rain has finally ended and the sun is heating things up for a month until winter brings colder temperatures of 50 degrees or so. Is this what "Indian summer" means?