Mello’s, I miss you

I miss the way the cook managed to splatter something in my direction every time I sat at the counter. I miss the unorthodox asian twist that you put on some classic diner fare. Most of all, I miss your delicious burger.

Please be reincarnated soon. I’ll return the moment your glorious sign lights up again.

Signs that amuse me: Keep smiling

Elevators are the bane of my existence in India. Our office tower has the most absurd system I’ve ever encountered, to the point where people schedule meetings and trips outside based on how long the wait for an elevator will be.

This elevator in Pune was a much more positive experience.

The artist of Kohima Village, Nagaland

We were wandering through Kohima village, being guided by the wonderful Nino Zhasa of Explore Nagaland. We stumbled across this gentleman adding a name to the tablet describing the history of the village and its leadership under the watchful eyes of some local children.

Meeting this gentleman was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

He explained that he was the artist who worked on all kinds of projects around the village. He took the time to read the legend of the origins of the village and the history recorded on the tablet. Nino did a fantastic job translating and putting it all in context. He took us to see some of his other works around the neighbourhood.

Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival: The Pochury Tribe

Nagaland is the one of the far eastern states of India. It’s tucked in the hills just north of Bangladesh, on the border of Burma. The government organizes the Hornbill Festival, an annual gathering to bring the various tribes together, and we made a point of going.

This is part one of a series on several of the tribes dancing, relaxing, and having fun. The photos below are of the Pochury Naga dancing.

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.