Thursday, October 16, 2008

Don't Worry, Ghee Happy

A few weeks ago I met an American lady who was about as buff as
could be, wearing Yoga pants and a T-shirt with an Indian image on it.
I decided to test her level of commitment but not wanting to belittle her
fitness regime I semi-casually asked if she was a Yoga instructor. No,
she said no, merely a student and lover of Indian culture. She then
correctly responded to my query by identifying the Hindu deity on the front
of her T-shirt as Lord Ganesa. Cool....and I wasn't about to press her with
any more questions because she obviously had genuine knowledge of
Indian 'stuff', and I probably would embarrass myself with my latent
ignorance of Hindu deities and feeble RAM capability.

Later I got to wondering about Tees with Indian motifs and their appeal to
Americans, something I often do since I was once involved in the business
of creating screen-printed T-shirts.

Flickr photo

Those were some great times in my life, and that creative thought
process still often rears its head at strange times and in surprising
places. Then I came across Ghee Happy on the web......
Calling itself 'The little book of Hindu deities' Ghee Happy the book
is at once amusing, informative and entertaining and below are the
sample pages at the Ghee Happy website.

But wait, that's not all. There's more ! Really ? Yes ! It's not only a link to
a book, but an enticing portal to an apparel collection for toddlers and
infants. Full of cute stuff that should appeal to children and parents alike.

Go see for yourself. Don't worry, Ghee Happy !

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Spared by Hurricane Ike

This is dedicated to the ones I love who remembered me before,
during and after Hurricane Ike, when I lost my online services
Thank you all !!

So you may ask if reports of my death are greatly exaggerated and I reply
wearily, yes, they are. I have been away from this Blog before the impending
disaster became a distinct possibility and then turned into grim reality for
thousands of people. Not all of those people were in the direct path of
Hurricane Ike which made landfall as a Category 2 storm but destroyed
lives and property with the intensity of a Category 4 storm. In many places
the damage equaled that of Hurricane Katrina and played out that way
for many of the people affected that I spoke to.

For myself, I was forced to heed the official Evacuation notice by the local
authorities and so two days before the storm I was in a Sugarland Texas,
in a safe place with my niece and nephew and their loved ones. The
invitation for a single person like me with few resources was deeply touching
and reassuring. As it turned out, we spent that Thur. evening and all day
Friday having fun just hanging out chatting, eating and

watching non-stop TV coverage of hurried preparations and Evacuations
of areas as far away as Louisiana, roughly a 6-hour drive. No, I tried to stay
awake till 12:30 a.m. on that fateful day but dozed off and woke at 3:00 a.m.
or so to discover that the lights were gone and it was windy, rainy and warm.

It stayed that way through late afternoon until the sun came out and we
all started cleaning up the branches and leaves,

as if trying to erase the memory of how close we had been to Ike.
A Hurricane had passed through and I had slept through it all ! At the time
I was really disappointed to find nothing serious had happened, little realizing
that miles away the destruction and aftermath had been so catastrophic.
I got back home to find my digs and my car

same as it ever was with the exception of bird droppings, but others a few
feet behind my apartment were not so lucky. At least eight cars were damaged
when a carport smashed into them.

My next-door neighbor's father and his daughters in Hitchcock survived,
had their power restored, lost it again and then lost their house and everything
in a fire that started when a huge power surge occurred a week after the storm.

Another neighbor who is disabled and recovering from a previous motorcycle
accident and has over 200 pins and a steel plate in his leg is alive, but his Ike
troubles have only just begun. His Accident and Medical Insurance will run out
and eventually so will his wife's. She lost her job due to Ike.

The official Search for survivors and the counting of the Missing has been
given up by FEMA and the Police in most places. Military choppers and some
Rescue Boats comb the areas but not for victims. Their mission now is to
ensure the area is safe for residents to return and pick up the pieces.

Here's a link to the ongoing compilation of Press and Amateur
videoclips, many just a few seconds long because they were taken under the
most hazardous and deadly conditions.

Previous Hurricane-related here