Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 1 in DElhi - flight from Munich/London (long walk to gate)/Delhi

Hi Luv (daughter Janet),
    Safe and sound. Naturally, being in India started with someone dying on the plane (in 1st class I believe) so we had to wait in the plane a good while after it landing in the airport in Delhi until the police arrived. I finally fell asleep wile waiting - barely did on the flight. Then there was an interminable wait for my baggage - was getting dizzy watching the bags go by and by and by. And, of course the driver wasn't there when I got out of the airport- had to call Sanskriti. My IPhone said there was no such number and I had to go back inside to make the call. A woman gave me five rupees for the call but it ended up costing 220. Was I overcharged? Oh well. After one guard refused to let me back in to make the call, another let me in. The driver showed up - finally with a neatly typed piece of paper with my name on it, and lo we drove through  the streets of mix and match with him honking the whole way. I got here! Everyone is very gracious and helpful. They got me on line and now I'm settling in.
     Beautiful grounds as I remembered, but my studio/living is a bit more primitif than I'd imagined. Oh well. I'm here in India and already the magic in the air is suffusing my spirit. Dinner isn't until 8:30 and I'm very hungry. It's vegetarian and I hope I don't suffer from the overdose of carbs.
    Barely slept on the plane. A heavy set woman sat beside me and was too chatty. Watched the film Breakfast at Tiffany's - really stupid on the replay. What ever charmed me about it before? Still, Audrey Hepburn was gorgeous with her long neck and child-like figure. Started on Mamma Mia - even more stupid, but then again Meryl Streep is always great to look at with her little elegantly pursed lips, and yes, she has a great neck too.
    Tomorrow I'll go through my stuff to organize the suitcase I'm taking to Kolkata and Dhaka on Friday, and what I'll leave behind (my warm coat, etc.). Thursday, I meet with the US Embassy person about my show in March. I have a great idea spurred by the show I saw in Munich by Marlene Dumas - faces that fill up the page. Well, doesn't that make sense for me? Of course and mine will be mine, no where like hers. She just tacked them on the wall, and even some seemed to be pasted on. Well, let's see what the American Center is open to.
    Barbara Rothenberg came here in 1993 at the tail end of her Fulbright. Remember that she and I traveled to Jaipur along the Shakuhachi Trail (??? - know I've got the spelling wrong) - we meditated in the desert and slept in a castle, etc. More funny stories but I won't recount them here except to say that our driver got drunk every night, and we went along with some guy who was a hotelier in the States (we got ac heaper rate through him). He'd gone to Bennington College with Barbara. I found him officious and difficult - making unilateral decisions. We dumped him in Jaipur where Barbara stayed on after I left. She did a study of the Ramalama paintings (?? - Barbara - please correct me) - Indian miniatures with musical references.
    I gave people here greetings from Barbara and they not only remember her, but still enjoy the wonderful artworks (2) she left here. They are in the dining room and fit in perfectly.
    So, this is day 1. I hope to get a good night's sleep on the rock hard bed. I brought a half-size pillow - a very smart idea. At least my head will have something soft to lie upon.
    All's well. I've a heater in the studio (getting chilly as it does in Delhi on January nights). Was pleasant in the day - shining sun and of course friendly resident artists.
    Luv u - and I'm going to put this on my blog if I can figure out how.
        Hugs and all,
        Mama Suzanne
Photos will come later. Computer is sluggish.

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