Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Jaipur at 3am

Was searching for an earlier draft of my thesis and came across this stash of files in a folder on my desktop, taken exactly two years ago. Suddenly I'm back in Jaipur at 3am on a Monday night in Brooklyn.

I was coming off a staggering month-long gut-rot affliction and probably had Dengue fever, and yet I was more or less happy, energized, motivated, optimistic. I was spending my mornings out in Bagru working on what would –almost two years later– become Block Shop, and my afternoons apprenticing with master painter Ajay Sharma (whose lovely wife's cooking may or may not have been responsible for said gut-rot).

P. and I had both just been accepted to graduate school. We knew how many rupees for a cup of chai, a bag of milk (it comes in little plastic bags! why not!), an auto-rickshaw ride to Anokhi Cafe, a garland of marigolds from the one-legged flowermonger and reigning champion in the women's division of amputee weight lifters in the great state of Rajasthan (I am not making this up).

I was reading Just Kids. We were out of money. We had no idea what was in store for us.

Somehow we've almost made it through two years of this long-distance insanity and I can hardly wait. GRAD SCHOOL. Over in two weeks.

Hope you're having a good week, vixens. For listening: Something Good by Alt J (but don't watch the terrible video! No one needs to see a poor man's Enrique Iglesias as a rose-wielding Tragic Matador!), which reminds me of something I would have listened to on a rainy New England spring day in high school. For reading, James Gleik's Wikipedia's Women Problem in the New York Review of Books. And before you hurl yourself outta window in utter despair, this baby penguin being tickled


  1. this might sound a bit dramatic, but thank you for reminding me, that life never stops to change and to close, but then open doors. I kind of needed that, this morning.

  2. Wow, I remember when that was happening in real time. I can't believe it was two years ago, and I can't believe you are almost finished with school! How exciting. Can't wait to see what you do next :)

  3. Finishing my masters was the best feeling, you are going to feel so good when it's over! Two years from now (where I am, two years after finishing my masters) all the stress and late nights will be a distant memory. Push through! Good luck in your last two weeks!

  4. Hi Lily,

    Your photos are so beautiful. Almost done with grad school??!!?? hurray! and then you are coming to visit the dez, right?
    lots of love is coming your way...

  5. omigosh, how time flies! i feel like it was just yesterday that you were there, posting (mostly) jealousy-inducing stories of beautiful colours + people + food. i'd say let's rewind, but maybe it's more of a pause + smell the roses kind of thing...to paraphrase those horrid virginia slims ads, you've come a long way, lily. and thinking on your success makes me feel like perhaps everything *will* turn out ok. :)

    but back to the main point: holy GODS you're almost donnnnnneeee!!! hooray!!! :D

  6. Giraffe says hey. Hey.
    That shot of the kitchen counter is perfect. Also: those sandals. Perfect for completely different reasons.

    What does a thesis involve when one is an artist? Is it a super intense and well-researched artist statement? Or something totally different?

  7. I almost imploded with cuteness upon watching that video. Though, I must say, it does lead you to some pretty crazy sh*t! Case in point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZwTFWyI4Ho&feature=endscreen&NR=1

    Amazing photos too!

  8. It's a bit odd to be affronted by the passage of time via someone else's experiences. That means it's been about two years since I wrote to you from Antarctica to let you know that the NSF blocked your blog, which was such a blow as I had been hanging on to your every word about India, anticipating our own trip. I would curl up in a dark cozy corner of one of the lounges and transport myself to Jaipur via your pictures (although it was far more like Anokhi in my imagination and a little less like Amer Fort haha!) And now, I'm in Montana, plotting our next move, curled up in a Block Shop Scarf! Holi cannoli, life is weird.

  9. speaking of matadors, this is an awkward time for me to profess my undying love for enrique's "escape," but here we are. joe sings the chorus as "if you feeeeel like leaving / i'm not gonna make you stink," which makes me laugh harder than a tickled penguin.

  10. i can't believe you're almost finished with grad school ! it seems like just yesterday that i was reading about your STARTING school. wow.

    anywho, brava !

  11. Your own photos are extremely stunning. Virtually finished with graduate college??!!?? hurray! then you are generally arriving at visit the dez, proper? plenty of adore is originating your way...

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  12. These pictures are breathtaking. I mean it, they are so beautiful. All of the clothes are gorgeous. I think bags of milk would be the cutest thing ever. Good luck with everything that you wish to accomplish.

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  13. If these photos were taken two years ago, then you already was a great photographer back then. Anyway, what happened to your thesis? I think some of the photo can give you thesis ideas that would certainly help a lot in your writing.

  14. You can try to use this service Evolution Writers . I have used it several times in college and was absolutely satisfied with the result.

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