Joy unconfined. Oh well, if we must.

I am traveling from NYC to DC with 40 Indian government executives and their families.We are on a bus and they are singing wholeheartedly in Hindi. It was the same on the way to the Big Apple, obliging me to cut short a conference call. I texted my colleague to explain why I’d dropped off the line “Never apologize for singing” she responded, cheerily.

In life there are those who are wholehearted, ebullient and bubbly, finding joy in everything they do. And then there are my friends, who are altogether more begrudging and surly. These are the qualities I picked them for.

Milhous Vile and I accuse TV hosts, ministers of religion and hospital- visiting Princesses of popping sincerity pills or applying scallions to the corner of their eyes when they adopt a caring tone, or well up with pained tears. Devoid of compassion ourselves, we mistrust its display in others.

When Scottish Susie identified a mutual acquaintance as “vivacious” I was in no doubt that she considered this a failing.She, like me, hates to be asked “How ARE you?” by someone who expects anything other than flinty flippancy in response.

Barkis’s friends  celebrate him as a troll and will conspire with him to make sure all blithe, passing Billy Goats get their comeuppance. Gruff Kabobs would be welcome additions to any Itchy Ankle cookout.

As we dodged sidewalk artists last weekend in Dupont Circle, Mike was heard to mutter with some vehemence “Really–people ought to have a license before they’re allowed out with chalk” and I laughed snidely.

It may be though that the spirit of the Indians is rubbing off on me. I caught myself smiling, even marveling, at some of the pictures below. Maybe you’ll enjoy them too.

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About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
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