Hatching termites are crazy

If aliens were to invade Earth, I’m sure it would look something like this.

We stopped on the side of the road to stretch our legs. Something on the ground caught my attention. Turns out it was a mass of termites emerging from the dirt.

Well, I just lost an hour reading all about termites on Wikipedia.

Phusachodu Village, Nagaland

High in the mountains above Bangladesh and close to the Burmese border, is the Indian state of Nagaland. Our first stop was the village of Phusachodu, where we wandered around checking out people doing what they do.

Traditional dress is now reserved for special occasions (and tourists).

The harvest was over, and the cool weather kept everyone close to the fire. Many of the women were busy weaving or, like this older woman, processing raw cotton.

Some of the men were enjoying the fermented version of the proverbial fruits of their labours. The local rice beer is a watery rice dish that smells like beer, has a bubbly effervescence of soda, tastes a bit like alcohol, and has the runny watery rice texture of congee.

Signs that amuse me: Ultimate fisherman

Can you spot what is strange about this advertisement on the wall the Kolkata airport?

Here, let me give you a close-up of the two fish being caught simultaneously by ultimate fisherman dad.

The ad is for the Life Insurance Corporation of India and the slogan says “With life, after life.”

Faces of Dharavi

Dharavi is filled with friendly faces. I really enjoyed wandering the alleys.

There are numerous plans to redevelop Dharavi. Below, a large apartment block under construction casts a shadow over the slum.

The fish seller came carrying on his head a bucket of fish and shrimp on ice. The ladies inspected closely, but didn’t buy. He was followed throughout the alleys by a cat that would patiently for him to serve the scraps after he gutted each fish he sold.

This girl’s curiosity was just strong enough for her to approach to check us out, but the skepticism remained on her face.

This boy watched as a truck was loaded with finished water jugs being sent for sale.

Signs that amuse me: Honking is contagious to mental health

The big sign that says “Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet him” caught my eye. The little sign in front says, “Honking is contagious to mental health… be cool.” That just makes this street corner awesome.

One Tree Hill near Matheran

The trail toward One Tree Hill is a gentle path that passes along rolling hills, watched over by a goat.

The rains had stopped a few weeks prior, so the forest was still lush, but hot. Without the cooling effect of the rain, it was a sweltering day.

Eventually, the path emerges from the forest into a steep waterfall that has been reduced to a trickle. About halfway up the rocks, we encountered the last of the Kharvi blooms.

At the top of the falls, we found the one tree on top of the hill, along with more Kharvi blooms.

Some of the other flowers were pretty spectacular too.

Qutb Minar

I hadn’t heard of a minar before. It seems not even the internet knows how it differs from a minaret. In any event, this one is large and, impressively after hundreds of years, still standing.

Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai

Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day festival near the end of the monsoon season in honour of the Hindu god Ganesh. Families and neighbourhoods band together to house idols of Lord Ganesh in temporary shrines, worship them, and eventually immerse them in the sea.

On their way to the sea, the idols are paraded through the city accompanied by music, dancing, and general partying. The sound system strapped to the taxi below is a small one. Others have full flat-bed trucks carrying a sound and light show.

The sound level on our balcony, 23 stories above street level, exceeded 100 dB regularly. Below, partying dancers pause for a selfie.

On the last day of the festival, many of the idols are immersed at Chowpatty beach in Mumbai. Seeing the I really enjoyed spending time with the families as they prepared to send their idols into the sea.