Happy Diwali

Yesterday was the Indian festival of Diwali, basically the Indian New Year.

Candles lined the steps in front of the main tower on the University of Texas at Austin campus during an event to mark the occasion, with Indian students dressed in sari and salwar kameez milling around.

One young lady came up to me and put a dot on my forehead. Made of kumkum, it’s placed in the centre of the forehead to represent the channelling of all your thoughts into a tight focus and your communication only with God, another student explained to me.

I’m not sure if I managed such a disciplined one-on-one as there were plenty of distractions.

The food tent’s cue was enormous and so the evening finished with a late dinner at Kerbey Lane where a full stack of carrot cake pancakes proved too much and I had to push my plate of leftovers away. America 1. Britain 0.

Finally and on a different tangent, I came across a KUT radio piece by Reshma Kirpalani, a friend from journalism school, composed for Veterans Day. It provides a different take on military life that you don’t often encounter and which I’d recommend listening to.