Today is the last day of my residency and I've been sitting at the computer most of the morning. The doorbell has been busy. One person called to see if I was interested in a portable gas stove cooking demonstration, a man from the water company downstairs came to collect the empty bottle, and someone else came looking for a Khoj person. I managed 'no thank you', 'it's here' and 'come back at three' ... in Hindi.
I haven't told anything of the Sunderbans trip as yet and I have some photos I'd like to share, so I will add some more posts post-Kolkata. However, here is one of my favourite images.
One morning in the Sunderbans, we came across some tiger pug marks. Sambhu said they were very fresh, probably from early that morning. They emerged out of the water, across the mud and disappeared into the mangrove forest. This tiger had swum across from one island to the other, most likely in search of food, a distance of about 1 kilometre. Just a trace.
It's my last day, and there is still more to write. And much more to think about. It has been an amazing experience, or rather an accumulation of experiences, that I'm sure I'll carry with me for a long time. I farewell some good friends and look forward to meeting them again. I will return in late January to finalise and install the work for the exhibition at Harrington Arts Centre.
A huge thank you to Khoj for hosting my residency, for their generosity and in making me feel so at home here. It has been great to share many things, especially all the fantastic meals we've eaten together. I can't recall how many conversations I've had with my friends about food and cooking. At the end of the day, friends, family and food is what sustains us all. I'm very glad to have been included in theirs. Special thanks to Abhida, Smriti, Bhutu, Kaushik, Paula, Chhatra, Tamal, Kazima and Sayak.