Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Maxine Berntsen


Here's a shot of Maxine in the little autorickshaw we used daily during my stay in her home. We bump and honk along to school and then get ourselves back on some different route, often stopping for groceries or flowers at a street stand on the way. When I mentioned that we hadn't used the same path twice, she said that a friend had likened the many routes in Phaltan to the Hindu dharma, many paths all-leading to the same destination.

I wish I could write out some of our late night conversations. Without the constant invasion of tv, computers, and homework (at least on my side), we've gone on for hours on everything from "The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock" to our blood types. For the most part, we like the same food, we're both late for everything, and we keep to similar night-owl schedules, although she has been beating me in that last regard. I've crashed into bed earlier than her every night and she wakes me every morning. Plus, she must be working on six different projects, for the school, for their foundation, and for the new literacy center she and her colleague are working on creating. In a couple days she's off to Bombay and then back to host more people. She's even volunteered to host my parents when they come to visit in July. I don't know how she does it.

On Monday I officially moved from one my temporary home to my more permanent home with Madhuri and VJ Dani. They live closer to the school and this will give me a much more authentic experience in India, so I'm glad for the move. That isn't to say I won't be back though. Maxine has invited me for weekly dinners and I'm pretty sure that I'll be at her house more often than that, to use the rowing machine, say hi to Nanda, or for some good conversation over tea and biscuits.
Here's a picture of the flooding, as promised. The water has, for the most part, gone down, and now everyone is just talking about how wet it was.

2 comments:

Max said...

Wait- there's an indian version of you now? I mean, don't get me wrong- the world could use a few more of you, but the sheer amount of time lost to not showing up on time- it boggles the mind...

On second thought, focus on the first part of that sentence and just forget the second ever existed, eh?

Laura said...

She sounds awesome, I'm so glad you've been in good hands.