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Why chai at six? Because growing up, my family and I would have chai every evening. Those moments of my youth are among my most favorite memories.

Who am I? A twentysomething working fulltime in Knoxville, Tenn.

Please note that all thoughts and comments described in this blog are purely my own and do not reflect the thoughts or attitudes of the company I work for.

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    chai at six
    Last night I saw a beautiful sunset. I'm surprised I paid attention as the sunsets in Knox are especially magnificent (we think it's the pollution). It first caught my attention as I waited in Terminal C of Detroit's Northwest wing. The sky was this amazing pinkish orange and colored the clouds a dark blue/violet. With the open space, it felt like I could see so far away.

    We continued to accompany the sunset as we flew southward toward Knox. The sky changed without me realizing it. I always wonder how that happens — you stare at something so long and yet see no change. Only when you recall your first memory of it do you recognize it's been changing. I guess culture (like everything that is in continual transition) is like that too.

    Culture has been on my mind this weekend. I attended a conference aimed at Anavil youth: Anavils being a subsect of the Brahmin caste in Hinduism.

    Although youth conventions aimed at people of a certain caste are thought of as meat markets, this one promised not to be one as there would be no parental figures hovering around pointing their children toward propestive partners who are either slim, fair and beautiful or tall, handsome and athletic, depending on gender. It was organized by youth for youth.

    Despite finding it somewhat fun and very interesting, it also bluntly reminded me that despite my ethnic roots, I am forever an Indian from Z. I made a few connections and conversed with other Desais, Naiks, Mehtas and Vashees. Got to meet some fellow Zambians.

    One experience which I observed with interest was a South Asian club in D.C., called Murali's. I'm hardly around my folk, so when I am, it's like taking an anthropology class. I also learned a lot about cultural hibridity (thanks to Scott LaPierre for introducing me to this concept) and how the Anavil Brahmin Indian culture has morphed with the American culture.

    I have to confess: despite the drinking, dancing and meeting of new people, the most enjoyable parts of the weekend were talking with Rina and Nisha and racing the sunset in the sky.

    Posted by Jigsha at 7/29/2003 12:16:00 AM | link to entry |

    Turns out one side of my jaw got infected after I got my wisdom teeth removed so for a couple of days I held my swollen face in pain as I tried to deal with the terrible feeling of a jawache. Thankfully people recognized that throbbing feeling as an infection and urged me to visit my doctor. The oral surgeon said it was an infection and made me undergo more pain as he cleaned it up. It's all good now.

    Also, embarrasingly enough, I am about to get braces to correct an overbite. It doesn't affect my mouth that much but as we're all our deepest critics, I wish to get it corrected. Since I can finally afford it and not worry about my folks getting drained financially, I'll be a young adult with braces in two weeks. How damn embarrassing will that be! But if you're bound to taunt, know that I'd rather endure public embarrasement for two years than a lifetime's worth of private embarrasement. (Spelling note: Having copy edited, I should know the real spelling of embarrasement (i.e. one or two Ss), but am too lazy to check it up, so please deal with typos and sics.)

    So anyway, prior to getting braces I got spacers — rubber bands inserted between your molar teeth to move them some to let the braces have enough space. And damn are they painful. I've been on such a good diet since I got them as I can hardly eat. My teeth have become really sensitive with the spacers. A small spacer can inflict so much pain! Ouch. Also getting one more tooth removed for the braces. Sometimes I wonder if it's all worth it. But having a better smile in the end will be so worth it. Better hush that doubt. (ha! what a cool phrase!)

    OK, "chai at six" isn't a dental drama blog, although I think it well may become one. Bare/bear with me.

    One of my oldest friends from Z. is in town and it's been great hanging out with her. We've known each other since back in the day when we were in nursery school together. Something about old friends, you just connect more. Wednesday we drove around and all as I rushed from orthodonist to dentist to bank to etc.

    Today was much nicer though. After visiting some stores, I went to drop a friend off at the airport than we drove to Oak Ridge. Wasn't much to look at there, so upon returning to Knoxville we went to WalMart, got a blanket and some soda (or pop, which she calls it!), and went down to Cherokee to sit by the lake. It was so peaceful and calm sitting there, watching owners and dogs and the little bugs and hearing boats sail down Loudon. Nothing but a most pleasant evening with nonstop chatter.

    Then visited the newly opened Agave/Azul grill in Western Plaza. It's really good with great service. Totally recommend it. Awesome food with awesome prices to match. And they have live music too with a tequila bar to cap it off. So if you're ever by the Fresh Market and have a hankering for Mexican, be sure to try it out. Save some space for flan too, it's totally worth it. If you're wondering, I'm not affiliated with the restaurant. I just like to promote good service whenever I see it, as it so so hard to find. (e.g. CVS in Western Plaza, I won't easily go there anymore)

    The post has gotten long enough without anyone really knowing anything. Hope you're still reading. Furthermore, hope you're still in contact with your old friends. The talk and laughter and hanging out is so worth it.

    Posted by Jigsha at 7/20/2003 01:26:00 AM | link to entry |

    This weekend, unlike many, was more physically strenuous. I went bike riding at Cades Cove with a friend from work. We rode 11 miles on the Scenic Loop. I have to admit that I stopped a couple of times and walked up a few hills. But in my defense, I went through 5-1/2+ miles without stopping. Only at the second half did I falter and did my lack of shape give up on me.

    Bike riding was so much fun. We passed deer grazing in the woods, little streams, other cyclists and walkers. The early morning was the perfect temperature to ride and the lost thrills I had bike riding in Z. with Daniella, Arietta and Naomi returned. Those were the days ...

    Toward the end of the Loop, my friend and I came to a stream where we sat a while and talked about values and culture and our beliefs. It was rewarding to know my beliefs are shared by others. The sound of the stream trickling by made the time even more special. What is it about water that soothes you? Is it the rythm of its noise as it runs?

    In the afternoon, I assembled a desk I'd ordered online. It's a dark mahongany with a shelf underneath. Silver trims on the side. My style. The embarrassing thing is I didn't realize I was using a wrong tool to assemble it, so had it half assembled in my living area as I debated whether to ask my neighbor if he had the tool I needed. But my friend showed me the tool I needed had been sent with the screws. Freakin dumbass!

    Another friend and I then went dancing that night. The place wasn't as fun as before, but we saw a lot of interesting things going on that made the night lots of fun.

    Bike riding again this morning. Went down to Cherokee and then sat on the grass by the lake. Again and again, I realize how awesome the neighborhood is.

    Finally spoke to my old D.C. roommate. She spent a year in Scotland — how very fortunate. We regaled ourselves with talk of our summer in D.C. in our tiny-ass apartment. She has such a youthful and good heart. Those were the days ...

    Posted by Jigsha at 7/13/2003 11:39:00 PM | link to entry |

    BabyKush and JigshaFoiUpdated the picture so it's not as big as it was. I can't believe how adorable he is.

    My Dell is slow so Blogger is the quickest way for me to post pictures online. See here, the delight of our family, my bhajyu, baby Kush. He's going to grow up to be so cute.

    More precious pictures:

    Kush sleeping
    Kush sleeping again
    Kush and his Jigshafoi

    I'll update his site once I get a little more time.

    Posted by Jigsha at 7/08/2003 11:34:00 PM | link to entry |

    One year ago, I was sitting on the (I think) East Lawn near Capitol Hill with my roommate Liz and her friends. We were waiting in the deadly heat for the Fourth of July concert and fireworks. I remember sweating so much that day that when I touched my skin, it would itch and burn. Patti LaBelle sang then as did Chuck Berry and little Nick Carter. After the fireworks, we walked back home with the rest of the crowd to our Eastern Market neighborhood.

    Everyone should spend a Fourth of July in D.C. It should be one of those things to do.

    This year I'm at home. I'm working the next couple of days and am nursing my jaw/mouth as I recover from getting my wisdom teeth removed.

    It's been a pleasant recovery however and a pleasant weekend too. Have a lovely Fourth.

    Posted by Jigsha at 7/04/2003 06:02:00 PM | link to entry |