Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Davis Ravis Tamang and Catherine Lama

I'm trundling away on the key board listening to Roy Harper singing 'I'll See You Again' and before that (about five times...) Ricki Lee Jones' 'Company'.

Beautiful, really beautiful, voices.

Of course, if Ms. Leah Lou was here I'd be fighting her for the key board -- but she's off at her dear Icelandic friend Anna's today across town and, no doubt, happy as a clam. While Shaku is doing her annual pre-Xmas Ganesh's Trunk sale with her Ya-Ya Sisterhood at Chez Caroline. I hope they have a big crowd and that the sales are going well. They all deserve it, these female artists and entrepreneuresses of Kathmandu. We're meeting Utpal and Caroline for dinner there after the sale ends this evening.

Yesterday, Saturday, the annual Pam & Charles Kathmandu Thanksgiving shifted from Bansbari to Bhatbatini. With P&C now living in America, their 24 year old backyard tradition shifted gently to Lucy's front yard. She's taken on the tradition of inviting all the 'too long in exile' Kathmandu crowd over to celebrate the American feast. It's a big pot luck w/ a wondrous meal on the table, sitting in her yard on carpets and pillows.

Shakun and i were there from 3 to 10 pm with about 70 folks, some of whom we see on occasion, many of whom we only see a couple times a year. Of course, I cud have stayed longer, except Shakun was at my elbow saying 'we have a daughter at home!' for about an hour before we actually departed. Of course, the malt wine, the tasty baclava helped extend the evening. Plus, Hugh Fisher, a lovely guitarist from Montreal who played some exquisite Neil Young, Paul Simon and his own songs serenaded the later, darkened hours around the fires in the yard. Quite precious, actually...

We're all thankful for Lucy's generosity, openness and kindness in hosting this self-selected kathmandu 'elite'. Maybe b/c the crowd was slightly less, the garden more enclosed and/or Hugh's exquisite live guitar, the evening was a true and memorable delight. Magical, even, especially to see the tradition transposed to a new location with no less of the spirit and joy enhanced. Lucy has become one of Kathmandu's dear and gracious earth mothers. We are all fortunate to have had her among us for these years and for the years to come.

Just a few minutes ago Gita didi (well, bhaini actually...) brought me lunch upstairs (two sausages, sauteed vegetables and mashed potatos...). Her meals are always cooked in affection and ooze her gentle caring ways. Gita also asked me why we never had the chocolate mousse that she'd made for us the other day, when Davis and Catherine were here. I said that we'd (and Laxmi...) had forgotten, so no one had had any.

Gita laughed, of course, since she always laughs. Then she said how happy she was that our dear Berkeley friends, Davis and Catherine, had come back again to stay w/ us in Kathmandu, after Catherine fell and dislocated her shoulder below the Annapurna. Gita said how much she really likes them. She said Davis and Catherine are both 'sojo', the Nepali expression for someone who is simple and sincere; just like us Tamangs, Gita said.

I think that may have just been the highest form of compliment that a foreigner can get from a Tamang in the local 'bhasa'.

Well-deserved, if I may say so!

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