Monday, March 20, 2006

RASTA- "the way"



In Hindi, the word "rasta" means the way. The path in front of you can be the rasta. A manner of cooking a specific dish can be the rasta. But more or less, I've heard it used when asking for directions, as in "Is this the good rasta?"

Language is funny.

A while back I was trying to get a pair of pants stitched. I had a pair from the states and I wanted the new pair to be exactly like my pair except made with my newly purchased cloth. It was almost dinner time and I headed to the kitchen patio to ask the hungry souls waiting for dinner, "In hindi, how would I ask the tailor to make these pants but with this cloth?" Minds started working, eyes began darting around the patio, looking for the answer as if somehow it would be right there on the wall, next to the bright blue mosquito zapper.

After a few minutes brainstorming, the cook, Sumitra, came out from the kitchen.

"Photocopy!!" she exclaimed.

A month back I went for a grueling hike with two schoolkids from the small village of Kausasi and their teacher. Our final destination was the Nag Tibba Mandir, high on the mountain outside the village. The kids had apparently been there before and we followed them. We got lost and ended up bushwhacking up a steep slope for hours. The teacher, Meera, wanted to turn around and everyone was a little worried that we were getting farther and farther away from our destination.

I blazed the trail ahead, "rasta achaa! rasta achaa!" This way is good, I encouraged. Finally we made it to the top of the mountain and we were greeting with a stunning view of the himalayan high ranges. I stopped to take a portrait of myself and one of the kids, Priyanka. The second image is from inside the mandir.

Love to all.

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