Thursday, June 15, 2006

in Delhi with Margi

As you can see below from Carolyn's post, Margi's stay in the hospital was a little longer than usual. We will be staying in Delhi a few extra days while she recovers from this particular round of chemo and perhaps a mysterious underlying infection, and then take the overnight train to Dharamsala for the real recuperation.

Kartik picked her up from the hospital and brought her back here to the Prince Polonia. Kartik is a friend of Maya's, who is a friend of Sandy's, and you all know the rest....he is a wonderful storyteller, and regales us with great tales; after hearing of my penchant to pack bottles of water when I travel, he told a story of a famous Indian figure, who, when invited to the Queen's coronation, had 27 (or was it 40? 50? Kartik? I wasn't taking notes; too mesmerized) enormous containers made so that he could fill them with water from the Ganges, where he bathed and drank every day, and still continue to do so when he was far away from his beloved India. He tells us that one of these famous containers is now in a museum.

Margi takes this opportunity to show us her current body of work, and spreads out a series of very new collages, talking about her 2 shows in the fall in Los Angeles. She has decided that she doesn't really have time for cancer; she has shows in the fall. She orders mango lassi each for her and Kartik, I have tea. She allows me to keep the label from my teabag this time; it is my first day here, after all, but she will need any others I collect; she is building dragons, after all.

Margi and I laugh and giggle that afternoon at her favorite restaurant here, the Malhotra, and teaches me how to roll my chicken tikka inside the pita like bread. We talk about Dorland time here in India, each of us working on our own art while seeing each other once or twice a day. She is very spirited and full of life and ideas. She talks about her installation at Rio Hondo; what she can now include there because it is a non-profit venue. Since I started teaching this spring at Rio Hondo, I can describe the space to her; I think it will be an excellent venue for her work.

Haven't done any exploring of Delhi yet; just trying to rest up and get my sea legs back after the 22 hour flight. Thanks to Carolyn for picking me up at the airport, even though her own flight out was just a few hours later. I hope she is thoroughly enjoying her few days in Thailand of r&r before heading back home. How extraordinary you are, Carolyn, to have been here all these months with Margi.

So happy to be here and see Margi's smiling face. And so looking forward to going to Dharamsala. Margi warns me that it will be very crowded in Mcleod Ganj, where we will be staying; the Dalai Lama (spelling?) is doing some teachings here at his Tibetan home in exile. But I hunger to see the mountains. I am looking forward to hiking and painting and giving my lungs some fresher air.


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