It’s been a few days since Mr.R and I moved house. We’re now closer to London (It took us under 40 minutes by train to get into London Victoria yesterday, which is very good we think). Moving wasn’t such a painful experience, though Mr.R is sure to disagree. What was painful was unpacking. The movers left our worldly possessions – mostly books and the like, no furniture, neatly packed in a zillion boxes around the house. It has taken us the better part of a week to get unpacked and stack the boxes in the garage. There are still some lying around – evidence that the work is not yet done.
Apart from the back-breaking business of unpacking, Mr.R and I got to entertain our first guests within 48 hours of moving in, which was quite nice. We’ve also managed to take a break from the boxes and make two trips into London on Friday to see the Caravaggio exhibition at the National Gallery and on Saturday to see a marvelous exhibition on The Turks – journey of a 1000 years followed by a concert by Mr.R’s orchestra, one in which he didn’t play in because he couldn’t make it for some rehearsals as we were moving and things kept getting in the way. It’s been fun, except for this weather. The cold is unrelenting. It’s been snowing, raining and the chilly winds never cease. This country would be so much more fun if only a few degrees warmer.
The exhibition on the Turks was simply amazing. Both Mr.R and I had several ‘aha’ moments when (as Mr.R puts it) a piece of the jigsaw puzzle fell into place. I found it amazing that cave paintings found in China dating to the 6th and 7th century depict pictures of gods like Surya, but with Chinese eyes! Also depicted were things that we think are so Indian – some items of clothing, some words used like ‘ kitabkhana'(a bookhouse, but also used to store art, jewelry and other artifacts), ‘bakshi’ (a scribe), depictions of several ‘sadhu’ like figures who were most un-Chinese like….It’s interesting how so many centuries ago, the Turks managed to travel across lands, distances from present day Central China to Turkey, Iran and the Middle East. The Turks had reached as far as the gates of Vienna apparently and their influence was felt far and wide.
The exhibition had some exquisite pottery, wood work – doors, boxes, Koran cupboards. There were fabulous carpets – amazingly large carpets about 30 or 40 feet long for palaces, and still in mostly pristine condition – how they must have worked to get those carpets done. And oh, the kaftans! Gorgeous brocade, silk and satin in stunning colors and patterns. Truly fit for kings and emperors.
Mr.R and I took a little over 4 hours to walk through the galleries; I finished earlier because I speed read and don’t stop to imbibe every little detail. Mr.R, on the other hand lives for such days – days when he gets to indulge in his love for etymology.
If you’re in London anytime upto May, this exhibition is highly recommended.
Today, March 6 is Mother’s Day in the UK. So, to my mum and Mr.R’s and to all you mummies out there, here’s saying that we appreciate all that you do for us and although ‘thank you’ may never be enough to show our gratitude, you know that we know what you have done for us.