Monday, 23 March 2009

Ha Melody...

This wonderful album by the great singer/composer Serge Gainsbourg was given to me by my first love. I was 18 back then and I didn't know that life was not only a big eternal scar. I was totally unaware of all the lessons that I was about to learn...

Gainsbourg died since and has not come back into fashion yet... But, boy, isn't he gorgeous ! and I really miss him. However, some of the songs are still painful to hear for me.

Anyways... Listen. Listen...

(Words translate roughly as "Ha, Melody, because of you I did so many stupid things... If you lied to me, I'll get really sick...")

And, don't ask why, I've seen my way to the next whisky bar and listen to this song about Paris all the time at the moment. Under the sky of Paris anything can mend... some people say :o)

Oh yes... it is almost April in Paris !

Happy Spring to everyone !

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Purple power

picture found here

Yesterday morning, my 9 year old showed me a little book filled with quotes. She had copied them in her best handwriting with purple ink and many spelling mistakes. I was impressed by what she chose.

For example one was
"Law is like a spiderweb. It traps only small flies and lets the big flies get through".

I wondered why she used purple ink, and it reminded me about this beautiful story....

G-Rated You have to be sure to read the very last line!!!

Beautiful Women
Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen.

Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.

Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister (Mom, I can't go to school looking like this!)

Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" - but decides she's going out anyway.

Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" - but decides she doesn't have time to fix it, so she's going out anyway.

Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" - but says, "At least, I am "clean" and goes out anyway.

Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am" and goes wherever she wants to go.

Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. She goes out and conquers the world.

Age 70: She looks at herself & sees wisdom, laughter and ability, goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn't bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.

Maybe we should all grab that purple hat earlier.

Please send this to five phenomenal women today.
If you do, something good will happen; you will boost another woman's self esteem.
If you don't... your left boob will drop off.

(This version of the story found here.)

Friday, 6 March 2009

India continued

In Tamil Nadu, I saw many temples of course, and this time many temples dedicated to the Goddess. It is not allowed to take pictures of the shrines, and non-hindus are sometimes warmly welcome and sometimes barely tolerated. As a result, I don't have pictures of what moved me most. I wrote last year about what I felt in temples here.

I was surprised to feel a totally different kind of energy in Shiva temples and Shakti temples. I am sometimes very naive.

Here are a few pictures of expressions of faith...

Tiruvarur Temple - in each little house there is a statue.

Tiruvarur. Nandy looking after a Shiva lingam.

A statue in Arunchaleshvara Temple, Tiruvannamalai - temple dedicated to the element of fire.

Yoni (symbol of the Goddess) in Kamakshi Amman temple, Kancheepuram.

Offerings for fertility in Kamakshi Amman temple, Kancheepuram.

Ceiling in Palani, in the temple dedicated to Murugan, son of Shiva

Textile tribal snake - TRC museum

Mask against evil spirits.

Celebrations in honour of Goddess Kali, who defeated demons, but in her rage did not stop and tramped Shiva to death. Pondicherry. Don't ask what is in her mouth !!!

Village car festival in honour of Vishnou

Food stall, village, Nilgiris

Tribal Gods, TRC museum

Prehistorical rock art, Karikkiyur, Nilgiris.

Temple footprints.

Hello !

Pondicherry street office

For the last 2-3 weeks I managed to sneak out of my office and... went back to Tamil Nadu, India. I had a great time of course.

This time I managed to get a little closer to textile and jewellery craft people. This was possible thanks to the information found about Indian crafts on the CDs sold by the Craft Revival Trust. Thank you Lainie for the link !

I found my way to the wonderful Tribal Research Centre (TRC) in M Palada, near Ooty in the Nilgiri mountains. With a total tribal population of about 28,000, the Nilgiris is an important tribal district. You can read more about the tribes here. In the museum you can see many fascinating objects made of clay, wood and vegetals. Here are a few pictures relating to Toda embroidery, which is world famous.

Toda woman embroidering a Poothkuli shawl - Photo (c) TRC museum

Tribe scissors - Photo (c) TRC museum

Toda ancient shawl - Photo (c) TRC museum

Toda modern shawl with traditional flower motif bought in Ooty

If you are in the region, you can buy Toda embroidery in Ooty and there is also a recommended Woman's Cooperative in Kotagiri.


In Pondichery, I saw a patchwork exhibition at Aurodhan Art Gallery. The artist name is Vatika and he has a shop and guesthouse near the gallery, François Martin Street. I love the way he mixes printed textiles, embroidery and beads.

Vatika at work

Across the road there is a shop named Excellent Bengal Handicrafts specializing in fairtrade ecofriendly Kantha embroidery from Bengal. Ms Bharati Dhar, director, aims to save traditional arts of India, provide skills and jobs opportunities to under priviliged villagers and use natural, waste and recycled goods to manufacture simple and stunning products of a vast variety. She is trying to expand her work. If interested in helping her, she has a facebook page, her email address is