safari in sri lanka

abby and i went to the south of sri lanka for the diwali weekend. the highlight for us was a safari at yala national park, which is known for its leopards and elephants, among other animals. we spent the day in the bush, braving morning sun and afternoon rains, and saw lots of animals, including water buffalo; spotted deer; eagles, storks and other birds; grey langur monkeys; elephants; and even a rarely-seen sloth bear. we didn’t see any leopards – the closest we got to seeing one was these pawprints – but it wasn’t for lack of trying. our driver…

the upcoming kali puja

two versions of kali – one by raja ravi varma and a more totemic local one. we were in kolkata this past week, just after durga puja, the holiday for the goddess durga, and two weeks before kali puja, the holiday for the goddess kali. kali is the goddess of time and change, and is pretty badass. when the goddess durga is unable to kill the demon raktabija and his minions – duplicate raktabijas that spring up whenever the demon’s blood hits the ground – she calls upon (or transforms into) kali: out of the surface of her (durga’s) forehead,…