Also part of the Retail Therapy at Cinnamon , Bangalore. This classic Sambhalpuri Ikkat I fell in love with the minute Anju and I laid eyes on it.
Ikkat for a Farewell Night in Bangkok seemed appropriate and here are some of the lovely people I have spent time with in the last few days . People who are my colleagues, my friends , my peers and my inspiration.
The Erawan Shrine which was the target of a bomb attack a few months, no, weeks ago is just around the corner from our conference hotel and is like this bright oasis of peace in the middle of the bustling downtown area. Prayer and Offerings continue undisturbed here and it seemed so fitting that one lights a candle and the traditional incense sticks seeking the Universe’s blessings and protection for all of us. No matter what, the devout come and pray here and life goes on .
Today my thoughts go to two very special people in my life . Both called Babu mama , both no more with us. One left us in October 1987 and one yesterday . Both of them have had a great impact on my life , teaching and guiding me and being there as father figures in my life. Babu mama who died yesterday was not just my husband’s Uncle . He was my best friend and my champion in the new family I married into. It breaks my heart that I am not there in Bombay just now to pay my last respects to him and hold dear Vatsala Mami in my arms .
The other Babu who left us many years ago , on another October day like this when he was only 60 was my husband’s senior colleague and guide and mentor ! Babu and Shanta who took me , this gauche and a little lost newly wed chit of a girl from Delhi under their kind and loving wings and taught her how to survive in big, bad Bombay . Babu , who sat me down years later when we came back from Venezuela , having lost all our savings and told me , go out there and find yourself something to do and help your husband get your lives back in order. Teach your children to come home from school and make their own sandwich for lunch . Good for all of you !!! How right he was . And how I miss him , all 6 feet 4 inches of him ; and his loping gait and his boundless energy and how I miss the lovely Shanta , my other mother .
And how serendipitous that I meet and spend a lovely evening today with that very Babu and Shanta’s granddaughter Aarthi and her husband and little,son. The same young Ammu I have known since she was a babe in arms . How proud they would have been to see them today .
How beautiful is this world that in the midst of sorrow it brings you sweet joys and in the midst of loss it shows you what still have and always will have . Love and hope .

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