Shubankar lived downstairs from me in Koregaon Park, Pune - where the restaurant bombing just happened on Valentine's Day. He lived in a traditional "joint family," with a bit of a twist - the husband and wife (Shubankar's parents) had moved in with the *wife's* parents, rather than with the husband's as per tradition.
The family were my landlords, it was their building. They were entirely accustomed to having foreigners come and go, they just asked that I be in before 11 or so.
Shubankar was all dressed up for his school Fancy Dress Competition as Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Marathi leader and hero of not only the Marathi region but Hindus everywhere.
He won the contest, so I took these photos and not only printed them for the family, but took them to be laminated and mounted with a stand.
This type of remembrance will make you very popular with Indian friends and landlords. It really is all about the family.
Sirensongs: Indologist At Large
Somewhere between Kangra, Kashmir and Kumbakonam, India
Sirensongs moved to India in 2002 to complete her six years' study of the ancient temple dance, Bharatanatyam. Apprenticing with a revered master in Madras, she learned a great deal; however, most of it was not about dance.
Disillusionment and childhood memories of "Tintin In Tibet" have led her to adventures as a spiritual investigative reporter throughout India, Nepal and Sri Lanka; as documented on this blogsite, her Flickr photo portfolio and various newsmedia (see sidebar).
She holds a certificate in Spoken Sanskrit from Rashtriya Samskrta Samsthan (deemed university, New Delhi) and is a lifetime member of ABHAI (Assoc. of Bharatanatyam Artists of India). Sirensongs is inordinately proud of her ability to read street signs and argue (successfully) with taxi drivers in Malayalam, Hindi, French and Nepali languages.
Her Tibetan, however, is still a total disgrace. She's working on it.
Quote: "Why do people go to India to find themselves? India is where you go to LOSE yourself."
Unless otherwise noted, every word and photograph on this website, including the phrases "Spiritual Investigative Reporter" and "Indologist at Large," is original and copyright from 2005 into perpetuity by Sirensongs (yes, I have a real name I use for legal purposes). It is not public domain. It is not there for the borrowing. If you would like to use it, write and ask nicely. Karma is a bitch. Thank you.