Back at home in my own little nest, trying to fight off the jet lag (and failing miserably), I can feel myself morphing back slowly but surely, from holiday maker into my two conjoint avatars - gynaecologist and jewellery maker. I have also been sorting out the beads I bought in the wholesale market in Bangalore.
I used to go to Raja market as a medical student to buy small trinkets - in those days, we would bunk off from a class, and walk down from medical school, stopping on the way for a bite to eat to fortify ourselves for the onslaught.
Today, Avenue road (a misnomer, if ever there was one) allows traffic in one direction only, but even so, it is maniacal and I cannot understand how people do not get killed while they are standing stock still in that street.
To get there, we needed to negotiate a rat- run of tiny streets, and I swear the chap who drives my mother around went pale under his tan at the mention of taking us there.
He offered to drop us off at the top of the road, go around the back way and pick us up on the other side. No way was he Driving Miss Daisy through that traffic - he feared for his life, his passengers and the car - not necessarily in that order. I could not see my 86 year old mother, (who would be most offended if I suggested that she stayed home) surviving the walk in that vast wilderness of people - one look at the pictures below will tell you why.
So we hit on a compromise - we took a 'bone shaker' - the infamous auto rickshaw - small enough to negotiate the tiny gaps in the teeming mass of humanity, with an angry hornet's buzz of a horn, 'burrring' pedestrians into getting out of the way. We just had to hope our driver wasn't as crazy as they are all made out to be - mum assured me that all the stories were just that - stories!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, we got there and back in one piece, although, for a few moments, I did wonder if the driver was taking me entirely in the wrong direction and I would end up a slave on a galley ship, pulling the oars en - route to Madagascar. Mum of course took it all in her stride, and sat serenely in the rickshaw while I did all the worrying. It didn't help that Bangalore has changed enormously since I was a girl, and that none of the landscape is familiar anymore.
But when I look at all the stuff I found, it brings a smile to my face - it was so worth the effort. I was also glad that I had left Mike at home - he would never have made it - I would have had to take him to a hospital to resuscitate him on the way back!
I have not woken my muse up - she sleeps the sleep of the righteously exhausted - now and again, she remembers a certain bunch of beads, and thinks of something to make with them, twitches a bit, then shakes her head and goes back into slumber - there's not much point till I have the cases sorted, my jet lag banished and then, I certainly have enough material to be getting on with - perhaps next week, I will have something to show you.
While we were in Bangalore, we celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary - undeniably, Mike deserves a medal for putting up with me for this long. It was the second day of the exhibition, and we were tired - happy, but exhausted. We made an effort to go out to dinner to the Sheraton, and my sister in law organised us a cake - Aaah!
I had very few clothes to wear, having filled my cases with jewellery - and four saree blouses, so I spent three weeks in borrowed finery - still, it was a good excuse to wear a saree, and I don't do that very often these days.
Now I shall go back to bed, to join my muse - I have a cold coming on, and I am on call at the day job this weekend - so much for the holiday!!
Catch you next week, same time, same place
I'm Neena Shilvock, and I'm crazily addicted to jewellery. I've been designing and making quirky and interesting statement necklaces for the last five years and my passion hasn't cooled off one little bit - in fact it has got worse, such that I'm even dreaming jewellery.
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