Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Post: Aug. 18

There have been so many unknown (and mostly foundless) fears about Tapovan, the place where we're staying temporarily, that I've been lacking in describing its beauty.

Tapovan is actually called Marg Tapovan: The Silent Garden. The Marg initiative is, as far as I can discern, a company that has been building gated communities across India. The SAM campus (still under construction) is being built in Marg Swarnabhoomi, about half an hour's drive from Tapovan. The Silent Garden aspect becomes apparent after coming from the city and its incessantly honking traffic. The place is comprised of several villas, some of which are still being built towards the back of the property, spread around lush green landscapes that, up until five years ago, used to be jungle. Three of us live in the "model villa" so on weekends there are families coming in to view it. It's kind of like cottage country and they're prospective cottage buyers.

It's really quite beautiful around here. The weather has been mostly hot and sunny apart from some pretty majestic thunderstorms moving in to break the heat. We've had a few of these storms and they're spectacular. There are some stunning birds as well- I wish I knew their names! They've got some beautiful markings- I've seen some birds of a very vibrant blue colour as well as some red-winged birds. One person even saw a flock of parrots fly by over the weekend. There is always birdsong in the air. There's a frog pond just outside our villa and in the evenings the sound of frogs, birds and nightbugs serenade us home. I hope to record some of these sounds. There are some beautiful flowers and I wish I knew their names too. There are gorgeous colourful butterflies and some are quite large (there are equally large caterpillars). The only rodents I've seen have been some tree squirrels, and even they look more colourful than the average squirrel.
Of course, it's not a completely silent garden around here with musicians practicing and jamming in the dining pavillion and other areas. But you can't hear any road traffic (including honking) and it's generally pretty peaceful.

I've been able to get a lot of writing done here as well. It took a while to get into a rhythm but since there's no TV and barely any internet there aren't a lot of excuses NOT to write and practice when we're not teaching. It's funny because I had been looking into applying for an August residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts to retreat away and dig into my current writing project. Later that same day I received an email from Prasanna offering the position at SAM. Kismet?

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