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[TravelTales] The way things used to be...

One day we (my mom, sister, nieces and me) went to my paternal grandparents for lunch. My grandparents died some time ago, and now my aunt, cousin and his family live there. My dad grew up there and we used to spend some of our summers playing in the rice fields.

Many things had changed, a lot for the better. Many other things had stayed the same. It was surprising and a little nostalgic to see and re-experience parts of my childhood.



It was raining a lot when we got there, which is why I didn't get a shot of the exterior.

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This is the view from the front porch of the house. The shed used to be a hen-house/barn and has now been converted to a garage and their Maruti 800 that eleven people can fit in is parked there.

I walked through the house, marveling at the similarities: the cabinet with the stereo; the cupboard with the obligatory pictures and knick-knacks from weddings; the carved wooden sofa set my uncle had made; the windows with their large wooden shutters and heavy steel closures...

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The stand-up grinding stone was still there and being used, so was the pot of salt sat on stones in its plastic coverings. The two concrete tables in the rear of the first picture is where clothes are washed.

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I missed hearing my uncle's hearty voice as I walked through the rice store-room that had been converted to a bedroom for my cousin's sons. The kitchen had a nod to convenience with a gas stove, but in the back the wood fireplace still reigned.

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You can see the kunne (pan) of fish curry cooking in the middle. The large pot on the right is where bath-water is heated. The pot on the left is the rice that is draining into a container on the bottom. (Rice in Goa is cooked in way too much water. After the grains are cooked, the water is drained and is used as a base for conjee, or fed to pigs.) That's my aunt cleaning rice (picking out the stones).

To keep the fire going, you lean into it and blow.

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You can't really see all the smoke, but the soot deposits on the walls show how much there usually is. When the firewood runs out (usually around Aug/Sep), that's when the switch to using dried cow-patties is made.

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I remember loving the way they smelled. All green and grassy and sunny. There used to be an outhouse way in the back and there used to be an umbrella or two and a couple of tumblers kept by the back door. The outhouse is outside no longer. It's been brought in. Not too long ago, I would guess: you can still see the stones that made it up.

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And ladies and gentlemen, for your edification, behold the indoor outhouse. The hole, instead of being attached to an S trap, drops into a trough and yes, your body waste feeds the pigs.

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(As an aside, nothing; nothing could persuade my nieces to use that toilet.)


They also had a municipal water supply, but the well in the back was still heavily used. And the water was delicious (but my mom refused to drink it because it was not boiled).

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Goa is pretty in the rains. So here are some random pretty pictures from Goa.

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
eestiplika
Aug. 4th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this! I suspect Goa is pretty not just when ot rains.
missionista
Aug. 5th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
Wow, Goa is pretty!

Those pigs look really, really happy.
curioushamster
Aug. 5th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah - they were happy pigs. They'd just been fed our banana skins and fruit peels...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )