Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Abhaneri Step Well

This is a video of an 11 story deep step well in India that would keep M.C. Escher up at night. It's accessed by walls of staircases. No waiting.

Click for video
Abhaneri Step Well

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Celebrity Stalker

The Times of India

Goldie Hawn prays, meditates in Varanasi

Hollywood actress in holy Hindu city

Tue, Nov 10, 2009 10:54:55 GMT

Goldie Hawn is in India for a spiritual trip. The Oscar winning actress is at home in the holy Hindu city of Varanasi where she performed pooja, paid obeisance to her late guru, and also meditated in a boat on the holy river Ganges.

The 63-year old actress performed 'Ganga Aarti' at the Dashashwamedh Ghat (wharf) and visited an ashram to offer flowers as a tribute to her late guru Devkinandan Shastri. She first met the guru about 32 years ago and took lessons in spirituality and astrology from him.

 “I am fascinated by India and its culture and colours. This is my seventh visit to the holy city and the main purpose of the visit was to pay homage to my late guru, who imparted me lessons in astrology and spirituality,” Hawn is quoted as saying by PTI.

Later on, Hawn went shopping for silk shawls in the city. She also observed a Hindu religious ceremony from a boat.

(Image courtesy agencies)


As many of you know (Having heard it from me repeatedly) I am possessed of a certain dark charm that, while not immediately apparent, develops over time. Staci can confirm that it takes approximately 20 years to find me just irresistable. The rest of you will have to take my word for it. (Check back in a couple decades, though. If you're still alive we can have lunch and compare notes.)

I mention this by way of explaining why I'm not responsible for this recent embarrassing situation in Varanasi and would hope that the news media will respect my privacy and that of my wife. She's putting on a brave front; feigning indifference (Those little barks of derisive laughter are Staci's way of feigning indifference...) but it's important she know there's nothing going on between me and Goldie Hawn.

Sure, there's a little history there.

Back in the seventies, I'll admit to finding Goldie attractive. I'll even acknowledge taking grand prize in the "Win a Bubble Bath With Goldie Hawn!" contest four year's running though I never actually collected on it. (Granted that I was creator of and sole participant in the contest but I still feel her publicist and security people over-reacted a bit when I turned up with the Mr. Bubble and several cans of Crazy Foam.) At any rate I remained a fan of Miss Hawn over the years, from a minimum distance of 1,000 feet, as we went on with our respective lives.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when she suddenly turned up in Varanasi everywhere we were visiting. Morning boating on the Ganges; Aarti ceremonies at the Ghats, visiting the bazaars and the Bharat Mata temple; she would show up everywhere shortly after we left. I immediately realized what was happening.

As recounted in the Nov. 4th post, after Staci and I won the annual turban wrapping contest at Pushkar, our pictures were all over TV and in the papers. I put two and two together...

Goldie must have seen me splashed across the media and that dark charm thing kicked in. Now she was  trailing me during the day and spending tortured nights (I'm naturally assuming...) dreaming of me, poor thing. (By the way, Staci just fell off the sofa in great gales of feigned indifference. Poor thing...)

I was relieved to get to the airport for our flight to Delhi, thinking a little distance might help bring her back to her senses. We'd made it through security and were waiting for our plane when I had the feeling I was being watched. I looked around the waiting room till I noticed a blonde woman, surrounded inconspicuously by photographers, who seemed to be making an awfully transparent show of totally ignoring my existence.

It was her! Worse, she was between me and the exit and bound for Delhi on the same plane we were. I was about to be trapped at 20,000 feet with 2 women who were both overwhelmed by a burning, raging indifference (Feigned...) How was I going to keep them apart? How was I going to prevent a catfight? How was I going to get a kiddie pool full of jello onto an airplane, 3 ounces at a time?

Fortunately, I'd had the foresight to book us coveted seats in the rear of the plane while Goldie was stuck in those lonely, oversized seats up front. Once we got to Delhi, I cleverly got us stuck in large lines with everyone else while she was whisked off by security. Hopefully, time will help her to recover someday. (Staci? Do you need a glass of water or something? A little heimlich maybe? Where are you going?)Well, at least it ended with no-one getting hurt. By no-one, I mean me; which is the important thing as Kurt Russell  could probably kick my charming butt. (Oh, let's face it; Goldie Hawn could probably kick my charming butt.)

Plus, imagine how awkward it would have been once word gets about about my having won the third annual "Win a Hot Oil Massage From Kate Hudson" contest.