Climbing North Peak in Mt. Diablo State Park

Kumar and I hiked North Peak in Mt. Diablo State Park today.

It was a hot day and the hike was not easy. But, the beautiful views of the valley below kept me going.

I felt on top of the world.

This is what it really takes to climb any mountain (both the real and the metaphorical). Put one foot in front of another. And, repeat.

Simple Kolam to grace the Household that I grew up in

Adi is having way too much during his India trip. He has been immersing himself in the rich Indian culture that I grew up in.

Kolam is a form of drawing that is drawn by using rice flour/chalk/chalk in South India. powder/white rock powder often using naturally/synthetically colored powders. Kolams are thought to bring prosperity to homes. Decoration is not the main purpose of a Kolam. In olden days, kolams were drawn in coarse rice flour, so the ants would not have to walk too far or too long for a meal. The rice powder also invited birds and other small creatures to eat it, thus welcoming other beings into one’s home and everyday life: a daily tribute to harmonious co-existence. It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, not the least of whom is Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. The patterns range between geometric and mathematical line drawings around a matrix of dots to free form art work and closed shapes. Folklore has evolved to mandate that the lines must be completed so as to symbolically prevent evil spirits from entering the inside of the shapes, and thus are they prevented from entering the inside of the home.  Source: Kolam

The day has finally come for Adi’s simple kolam to grace the household that I grew up in.  The kola dabba(box) is several decades years old and has been touched and used by several generations of people within the family.

Typically, the women in the family draw the kolam in the early mornings. However, Adi is an explorer. To him, the kolam is a piece of art. It didn’t matter who the artist was.

This generation is defying every boundary that we grow up with – racial and gender walls are being broken down. Are they not?