A woman walks away from the winnowing circle with the chaffed wheat on her head. Innocent bystander looks on. She is beautiful in her gesture of composure. Her sari is a subdued blue the color of Krishna, not red, nor orange. The children are home with her husband’s mother. Soon she will arrive with fresh wheat to grind for fresh chapati. There will be homemade paneer and spiced vegetables with turmeric and chili. They will cook on a simple fire and drink water from the well that they store in a terracotta water jug made by her uncle.

The girls have pigtails and big smiles and hold on to each other’s arms. The boys stay close to their mother’s skirt. Cows wander.

During our Culinary Adventure in India, Devi Garh, our Palace fortress up above the village waits with a silver thali on a low marble table that looks over the valley, beds with white linens and a view. The food is very similar, just presented differently, yet we are not cut off from one another. We are close and smile and, able to share a kind word.

One man’s temple is another man’s palace. Namaste.

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