Spring, Heat, Rains: A South Indian Diary by David Shulman

By David Shulman

“Rocks. Goats. Dry shrubs. Buffaloes. Thorns. A fallen tamarind tree.” Such have been the attractions that greeted David Shulman on his arrival within the South Indian country of Andhra Pradesh within the spring of 2006. knowledgeable on South Indian languages and cultures, Shulman knew the quarter good, yet from the instant he arrived for this seven-month sojourn he actively soaked up such uncomplicated facets of his atmosphere, decided to take care of the wealthy texture of day-by-day life—choosing to be while student and vacationer, wanderer and wonderer.


Lyrical, sensual, and introspective, Spring, warmth, Rains is Shulman’s diary of that have. Evocative reflections on day-by-day events—from explorations of crumbling temples to battles with ineradicable insects to joyous dinners with friends—are organically interwoven with issues of the traditional poetry and myths that stay such an inextricable a part of lifestyles in modern India. With Shulman as our consultant, we meet singers and poets, washermen and betel-nut owners, glossy literati and historical gods and goddesses. We wonder on the “golden electrocution” that's the style of a mango clean from the tree. And we plunge into the searing warmth of an Indian summer season, so oppressive and inescapable that after the monsoon arrives to banish the warmth with sheets of rain, we comprehend why, yr after yr, it really is celebrated as a miracle.


An unabashedly own account from a student whose deep wisdom hasn't ever obscured his pleasure in discovery, Spring, warmth, Rains is a passionate act of sharing, an unforgettable reward for somebody who has ever dreamed of India.


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Extra resources for Spring, Heat, Rains: A South Indian Diary

Sample text

Best of all, even better than surviving the baptism by linguistic flooding, is the afternoon ride home in the golden light through Gandhipuram and Danavayipeta on the back of Smile ’s scooter. This is the place I have been seeking, it is right, it is whole. February 16: Circar Express The water fails in the night, the taps gone dry. I have the feeling, really a kind of certain knowledge, that this will happen again, and again. At dawn I manage to fill up half a bucket from the Godavari tap on my balcony, enough more or less to wash.

Full of wilderness, a wild place, raw. A country of manly men and sturdy, active women. The dry uplands of Telangana impact on the greener world of the coast, with its great rivers; the interaction of these two ecosystems, together with the mixed zone of Rayalasima to the south, determined the history of Andhra as a whole. That much is simple. Historically, cultural innovation tended to come from Telangana, to be domesticated in the delta, then reexported to Telangana. But wilderness infuses all three regions, unlike the Tamil heartland.

When I wake, I can clearly see the missing piece I was looking for, the one that gives no rest; it is, of course, the one I have set aside. A sudden spurt of exultation: Madras ahead, the past as future, once again. spring 22 In 1975–76, Eileen and I lived for some months in Madras; to be precise, in Mandaivelipakkam, not far from the great Mylapore temple, in the south of the city. I spent those months in temples all over the Tamil country, looking for stories; Eileen was studying Carnatic singing with Ramu in Madras.

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