Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Intro to Jatan and Masi's House

Here is a quick recap of what happened in the last few days:
- Arrived at the Vinoba Bhave Ashram in Baroda where I’ll be staying and working. There is a guest house which is currently unoccupied, so I have a ton of space. I use the little room given to me as my office and where I put my stuff, and I sleep outside in the bigger area where its cooler. Because no one else is staying at the guesthouse, I have the bath and toilet to myself, which is great because I have complete control over their cleanliness. I also have set up my exercise ropes on one of the doors out in this common room so I do quick sets more often… it’s great but more than anything else I know I will miss my gym being out here
- I gave an introduction to the Jatan staff about why I’m here and what I want to do, all in Gujarati. I thought it went horribly. It is totally hard for me to speak full sentences in a formal fashion, and it will need a lot of work. I will be very disappointed if by the end of this summer I’m not fully speaking Gujarati. I also was introduced to the Jatan staff and they are all very nice.
- A cow at the Ashram gave birth to a premature baby calf. They weren’t sure if it was going to survive through the night, but it did. The mother was visibly concerned about the baby and kept trying to go near it while the workers cleaned and checked the baby. When they finally let the mother near her young, you could tell it was relieved.
- On the weekend I went over to my Masi’s place who lives about 20 minutes away by Rickshaw… not bad at all. She, my Masa, and my cousin Nikita (a.k.a. Bohti) all live there, though the flat also belongs to my other Masa and Masi. My Masa is a farmer and still runs a farm outside of Baroda, but they are staying in the city while Bohti finishes her school (this year). They don’t do a whole lot during the day. Actually, they literally spend most of their time eating and sleeping. They don’t work so they just, as my Masi described, “eat, sleep, and sit, what else?”
- My Masa is classic. He’s the most laid back person you’d ever meet. He is a man of few words and few needs. He smokes beedees and walks around the house in a wife-beater, putting on a shirt when called upon by Masi to go out on his motorcycle for this or that errand.
- Number one and most common topic of conversation is the family. I gave them updates on everyone at home and we laughed about the funny personality traits and running jokes of family members. Masi loved hearing about how talented of a cook Kinari is. She’s a proud mother.


  1. An introduction all in guju, that is not joke. How is the guju now?

  2. It was improving for a few weeks, but now it's plateaued and I'm not getting much better at articulating complicated thoughts. My vocabularly, particularly words to do with farming and agriculture, is getting better though. But still, I have too many English-speakers around me... I probably speak 35% Gujarati during the day.