Saturday, October 16, 2010

Namaste, Ji!

......Sigh!. It's been a long long while since I sat down and put words to how my world is going. It used to come so easily to me. Now I have writers block or something, so am fitfully working through it and coming back to my blog; a forgotten cyber real estate that could indeed be the ideal vehicle to break through this non writing.

A day in the life of Bianca in India:

I get up early. 6:40. I walk down two flights of stairs, make a coffee and bring it to my room where I sit on my balcony, smoke a ciggie and hang out with Fred, the bird that seemingly likes my company (is it the same bird? Who knows, I like to think so). My neighbours are waking up too: the smell of chapati, parantha, pulses and fried something or other (onion, mustard seed, cumin, butter) fill my nostrils. Yummmm

I come back to my bed and do 25 minutes of breathing exercises. I take a shower and think of my outfit as I suds up. I put my itunes on shuffle and get dressed. I stack bangles on my wrists, outline my eyes (sooo Indian!), shut the fan and walk out the door. I leave my home with a banana in hand and eat it on my way to the market. I have a chai and a ciggie with the patrons. Holy-do I ever buck convention doing this! I am the ONLY woman there, smoking and smiling and trying to look like I belong (do I fit in? Not really, but I like it regardless). I pay the chai guy (5 rupees, jeeesus) and turn the corner to find an auto-rickshaw. It is usually Ashok or Kashmir or Ganesh that take me to Dr. Frederick's in Sector 8. Ten minutes later, after inhaling dust and diesel in spite of covering my mouth and nose with my dupatta (long scarf that is part of the Salwaar Kameez) I get to Frederick's. Sunny is there, waiting for me and Natasha. We drive to the slum, the bustee. We enter the bustee and the colours remain the same but the smells are ranging from putrid to unbearable. Ugh. Not a worried look in site. Cows and goats lazily hang out with the slum dwellers, women speed walking with purpose, men spitting gross orange stuff and chatting away, their bellies hanging out of their wife beaters . Once we reach the school/Clinic I start to teach pretty much right away. I do read alouds, play games, sing and observe. OR- I conduct a conversational English class with the health promoters that work at d.i.r. My first time teaching ESL is not only rewarding but bringing with it a whole new energy and discipline. I love it. Someone brings us chai. We sip and talk. Sunny takes me back to Pause at noonish. I enjoy our chats very much.

Once a week I teach Drama and Arts and Crafts to bustee children that are being integrated into a private school(incidentally, I teach at the school that most of my Pause kids attend). They're a big group ranging from 6 to 16 years of age and wowie do we ever have a ton of mustee (hindi for fun)! We play charades and do improv, we make things with fabric and glue, newspaper, paper plates, yarn, sticks and crayons (we just made a personal mobile. WICKED!)

I eat lunch (usually sprouted mung beans and rice, cilantro, tomato, radish, green beans, chilis and raita) and get ready to teach my kids at Pause. I have two age groups. The Spaceships and the Leopards. We are entering a new theme, Self Esteem, and just covered the concept of being unique. We dance, do improv, play games and share feelings. It's awesome. By 6 p.m. I am knackered. I come back to my room, eat some chocolate bars and get online.

Now it is time for my walk. My neighborhood is so lovely; dotted with parks and a continuous flux of children playing cricket, acting, and giggling. Punjabis seem to be partial to leaving their homes at night to walk around their neighbourhood. Kids play really late here... like at 10pm they're are still out on the streets! I sometimes go back to the market and buy food, eat samosas,momos, chow mien, check up on my tailors to see if my next punjabi suit is ready, and eat a 5star or savory namkeen (Indian snacks) on my way back home.

I enter my room, burn some lavender incense, make tea, get online and get ready to enter sandman... I love my life!!!

Does it sound boring? Indeed, I haven't gone out dancing in many moons. I haven't been to the movies since 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbai' and have gone out for dinner a handful of times, IF that. But I am at peace. Surrender baby, yeah!

There ARE a couple things I miss about North America,though: idioms and C H E E S E.

1 comment:

Stefanie said...

Ok - so your writing is so beautiful, I just might make this blog one of my regular daily websites. I love the fact that I can live vicariously through you and experience life in a different country. It's like having a mini vacation; even if it's only while I eat my salad at my desk! :)