Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Last month, India celebrated the festival "Holi". This is primarily a Northern Indian festival, but it has become a national holiday over the last 10-20 years. "Holi" is basically a Springtime festival, celebrating the return of colors and warmth and fun. The first night, there are different rituals and singing and eating and dancing - At our apartment complex they were all very nicely dressed and rather formal. The children sang songs for the adults and there was a formal catered meal and socializing in the party hall. The next day, however, is completely different. Most people wear all-white clothes and some people where the same clothes that they wore the previous year for Holi. Many people (kids and adults of all ages) carry around colors... colors means powdered dye - just powdered colors - and they throw colors on one another. At our complex, there was a big color party out in the courtyard and people even brought super-soaker water guns filled with colored water. Other people had buckets or just piles of dry color. Unfortunately, I missed the excitement because I had a Sanskrit lesson, but driving accross town I saw people all over the city dousing one another on the streets with color, having a great time. I saw men and women riding motorcycles down the street - as if everything were normal, but they were completely covered from head to toe with every possible color! When I got home, Elizabeth met me at the door with a big smile on her face - and big red marks on her cheeks and forehead. She explained that our chief of security, Sanjay, had knocked at the door and she opened it to find him covered all over with colors and a huge ear-to-ear grin - and one hand behind his back! She said that he asked about me, hoping to get us both. When he found out I wasn't home, he got Elizabeth with some red colored dye on her cheeks and forehead and warned that he'd be back when I got home. We vowed that next year we would be involved in all the functions - the party the night before and the festival of color, too. This year, though, Elizabeth got some great snapshots of Holi from the balcony of our apartment - and one of herself, too :) (click the photos to see them more clearly - especially the one right below)


mycaylyn said...

Brad, that sounds so fun, and Elizabeth, I can just see the surprise on your face when Sanjay colored your face :)...but I was unable to open the pictures, possibly my settings are wrong...We are heding for an American 'Festival' that I so wish you and Elizabeth were also joining us at the Kentucky Derby...funny I chose the name "Curlin" which reminded me of 'Caylyn", I picked that horse to bet on and then found out it is the favorite...then I also decided I liked the name "Storm in May" because Cathy was born in May...and she is spunky, and then I realized that was a favorite too, so I decided 'Street Sense" was a good name, and then found out it was a good horse too...so maybe just picking horses by names is the way to go!! I'll let you know after the Derby how I faired :)...I have a NEW Derby Hat so life is good :)I am glad you two will be involved next year in the India festival...Good for you :)to take advantage of what is right in front of you... love you both, mom

mycaylyn said...

Went back and the pictures were all there! computers are such a mystery...Love the pictures and my favorite is the one of you, Elizabeth!...What an adorable Indian Girl you make :) love, mom

trump said...

We need a celebration such as this here at home....that's my kind of holiday! I can't tell you how great it is that we've found each other after all these years....I'll be composing an email when I get the chance. It's strange how roads twist and converge in one's lifetime....take care.

mtrump said...

Oh, and hello to mom!

Brad said...

Mike, it is excellent to hear from you, too. The Internet has shrunk the entire world to the size of screen.

Isabel said...

Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. That was a nice surprise. I also enjoyed our conversation. Let's meet again soon over chai or a dosa!

mycaylyn said...

Hello Mike Trump!! It is great seeing you stop by here..How did you find Brad? I am assuming that somehow you ran across his blog...What are you doing and where are you? Fill me in on where life has taken you. I am hoping it is all good :) hugs, Mom

mycaylyn said...

Mike, to make all the questions easier to answer I am sending you my e-mail address...normaruth@charter,net......write when you have a minute :)

bobsill said...

Dear Brad & Elizabeth,

I apologize profusely for having not contacted you sooner. I went to have your wonderful Buddha card framed today, reread your letter, and kicked myself in the rear, with this as the result.

I have finished three courses at Montclair State: Renaissance Drama (other than Shakespeare), American Romance: Thoreau and Emerson, and Theories of Teaching Literature. My grades, respectively, were B-minus, B-plus and A. Looks like I won’t be making it into the Harvard Ph.D. program. That’s okay, though, because I do not feel any need to get a Ph.D., at least right now.

You might be a bit disappointed to read my papers, Brad. I regarded them as a utilitarian exercise to advance myself toward a practical goal. In the first course, I had a bit of head-butting with the teacher regarding the journalistic style with which I wrote my essays—seems they were too down-to-Earth, even enjoyable, which is strictly verboten. The third course allowed a bit more creative thinking, to my advantage.

My three courses have opened my eyes to some of the turmoil that is occurring in English M.A. programs. The majority of the students in the Montclair State program are not concerned with being scholars. They are high school English teachers who are looking to the M.A. to advance to a better caliber of school and/or get a raise or tenure.

Yet the teachers, who are scholars, teach the classes as though the students want to be scholars—a serious disconnect. What we have is students sending research papers up the chain, never to be read by anyone but their professors. The professors themselves write such papers for publication in scholarly journals that are read only by people like themselves. Yet such activity brings in research dollars and prestige for the university. Meanwhile, they are not very skilled at teaching.

Rather than sending such papers upward to a metaphorical dustbin, teachers need to send knowledge and love of literature downward to M.A. and B.A. students alike. Any time I spend writing a paper would be better spent reading something I have never read before.

Many students at Montclair State must take remedial writing courses in their freshman year because they are deemed deficient, which they are. These courses are taught by adjuncts and non-tenure-track professors: doing “the dirty work.”

As far as I am concerned, if the tenured professors gave a shit about what is happening with literacy, they would volunteer for the remedial courses, which they instead disdain. I would love to volunteer for the remedial courses and as soon as I get my degree, I will do so. If you really love literature, you want to share, not conduct thinly disguised scholarly hazing.

Enough from the soap box. Things are going well at the church, although we miss you both. Elaine is really thriving in the choir. Two big events were a Cabaret Night on the weekend before Valentine’s day (Elaine and Missy Pentecost performed “Stepping Out”) and a play directed by Dan Schultz called “Children of Eden,” which was excellent.

We just finished Bible Study for the summer. Dave W. did a great job of leading, although we missed the richness and depth you provided, Brad.

During the hiatus, we are having a book discussion. The book: The Heart of Christianity by Malcolm Borg. That starts this Sunday.

To give John Sampson a break, Mindful Meditation will be replacing Taize during the month of June. I hope we get a good turnout from the congregation.

Please write back on your blog site or to rscopyedit@aol.com. I’ll try to do a better job of staying in touch.


sushilsingh said...

Holi is one of the major festivals of India and is celebrated in almost every parts

with great fun and frolic. The joys of Holi know no bound. The festival is

celebrated across the four corners of India or rather across the globe. However,

each part of the country has its own way of celebrating Holi in a different way.

Let's have a look at how Holi is celebrated in different part of the country
Please Visit For More Detail

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Mr. and Mrs. said...

Hi, Anon! Thanks for taking the time to read our blog, especially a few years after we let it go! We'd love to get back into writing, but Boston doesn't seem quite as scintillating as Bangalore. :)

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