My Young India Girls Fan Club, Bangalore Chapter
That's what we've taken to calling Chai's little cousins and the other little girls who seem to be enthralled with my mere presence. Who could blame them! Actually it's both strange and hilarious. One little cousin, Sanjaney, stared at me for hours when I first met her, then finally got up the nerve to talk to me, and eventually became my bff and self-appointed personal counselor while I got my henna done yesterday ("you must have patience.") This has led to many curious exchanges like the following:
"You're from America right?"
"You like to make yourself darker."
"Like on the beaches, you want dark skin."
"Oh, I guess some people do, yeah."
"We all want light skin like yours."
During Chai's mendhi party yesterday (lots of pictures of Indian dancing and me in a fire engine red salwar kameez to come), Sanjaney and the other cousin and founder of my fan club, Acratey, made friends with the mendi (henna) artists daughter, another little 9 year old who stared at me for an hour before starting to wave energetically when I'd look over, then eventually came over to talk to me while I was taking pictures ("Are you taking cameras?"), and she and Sanjaney ran over to me at one point. Looking at the daughter, S says, "She's not young."
Me: "Eh, what?"
S: "You're not young like us."
Me, laughing: "Oookay."
S: "She wants you to play with us, but I said you're not young like us."
Me: "No, I'm old."
S, to the girl, very loudly, "See, she's old!"
And they run away.
So much to talk about, but I'm running between our shopping trip downtown and the wedding party this evening. In between I have to meet with Chai's dad's private driver, who I may use to travel around the South for awhile. All I know for sure is that I'll be going to Mysore with Maisnon for a few days with the driver, who is trying to procure jungle reservations for me, as well as an itinerary around the South, likely including Kerala, which is new on my list. Gotta run, More later!