Saturday, August 15, 2015

Independence Day -- & More

15th August is Independence Day in India. Most institutions have some sort of "flag hoisting" ceremony. Modern School decided to do a ladies-only function, hoping that the Muslim mothers would feel more comfortable attending a school function without men or boys present. (Even the videographer and security force were women.)

The drum and bugle section rehearses. Normally girls do not get to play the drums.
I wore a two-piece sari -- in  appropriate saffron color. (The weird cut-outs on the photo are because the girl who took the photo likes "high-fashion" angled photos. I prefer more straightforward ones!)
Afterwards, Lon and I went to the puja for the new Spice Academy facility near the Daman checkpoint.

Sue and our instructors from Spice.
I'd wanted to get a "mehndi" (henna) pattern painted on my arms for some time. When one of the teachers at Modern School volunteered to do the artwork, I took her up on it.

The artwork is done free-hand. It definitely looks better on younger skin! I was also surprised by the difference in color between my arm and my palm.
A closer look at my hand.
I looked up the chemistry of mehndi. Turns out the active dye is "lawsone", which is very similar to "juglone" from black walnuts. Juglone is not only the dye in natural walnut stains, but is also responsible for the characteristic "allelopathy" that stunts other plants growing near walnut trees.

And now from our drive back from Mumbai on Monday morning:

Green can be overwhelming in monsoon. I've been wanting to get a picture of a traditional well and rice paddies -- I finally got my chance this week.

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