Party Time and the All-Onion Masala Dosa

I’ve talked about morning and noon – chai and thali. Can you tell I’m all about food?Well, it’s not completely true. The rhythm that we’ve gotten into this week also includes a rest, perhaps a nap, in the heat of the day. Our room is nice and cool, with a fan to create the breeze and shaded windows to let in fresh air. Usually, I write or edit photos or organize our old photo archives; James sleeps. After the rest time, getting on towards dark, we walk. This place is happening after dark! This is an exciting time in general because the whole place is gearing up for Onam. The short version of the story is that the gods and demons fought for control of Kerala and the demons won. The mother of the gods was totally upset and talked Krishna (?) into interceding, which he did through a trick. He came disguised and humbly asked the demon king for three strides worth of land. The king agreed. With two strides, he crossed the entire land, then asked the king where he might put the third footstep. The demon king fatalistically suggested his head, and Krishna shoved the king deep underground with the last step. People were pretty bummed out (I guess demons make good kings) and Krishna felt bad, so he agreed to let the demon king come back one day a year. The people of Kerala spend 10 days preparing for this – and the preparations I’ve seen look suspiciously like partying to me – before they have a more-or-less private celebration in their homes where they eat like mad and celebrate the free day of a demon. It’s a nifty reason for a 10-day party, eh? So on these walks of ours, there’s music, light, and people.[…]

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