Wednesday, December 29, 2010

India made me smile yesterday! Wait, thats not right, a country can't do that! :-)

Yesterday I had gone out to run some errands. I had to get my hair cut, and pick up a few things for DH.

Well, at the salon (the same one I have normally gone to for like the last 3 months...) I had the same 2 girls that took care of me last time. There is a trained professional (who does the actual cutting / eyebrow threading) and her helper (she holds the hair up and does the little jobs...) who take care of each customer. Well, this time they remember me, and they go on jabbering in bangla. No biggie, I just sit and listen and they thread my eyebrows first. Then the fun starts.

The trained girl starts asking me if I wear sindoor, and I say no. Then they ask me if I wear the shakha (which in Bengal, married women wear red and white bangles. The white bangle is beautifully crafted from conch while the red is made either of coral or lac. While the red and white ones are quite important as a symbol of matrimony, what is crucial is the loha or iron kada that is worn along with them. Some Bengalis get the loha gold-plated rather skillfully, giving it a more contemporary look). Then where I was from and then if I had been married long.

Then when I came home yesterday I had a auto-wallah who was irritable and yelling at some man on the street (I have no idea why...) and was just plain ornery. When one of my fellow passengers got down, she gave the driver a 10 rupee note, and the driver was rooting through his change, mumbling something, and so I gave him my 6 rupees, and then he gave the lady change. He looked back, and smiled and said, "thank you".

Then, when I got home, I went to take a rickshaw to my house and when I got to the stand, the rickshaw-wallah looked at me, and turned and hit the seat of his rickshaw, and said "bosun, bosun" (sit, sit in the polite form).

It made me smile and come home and tell DH about it. :-)


  1. Oh no. I have to disagree with you here. :-) A country CAN INDEED make you smile. I had many such moments when I was studying abroad in New Delhi for a year. There can be many frustrating times as well though, so thank you for sharing something that others can smile at.

  2. @Aman

    I know it could...I was just trying to make a funny blog title, since usually they seem boring!!

  3. Cute story. I like your spirit... I've read about some Americans who move to India and don't seem to leave their home without their hubby.

    Do you go out routinely on your own? Did someone tell you how to interact with the salon girls, for example? I know it may seem like a silly question, but those are the kind of things I think I would either learn through trial by fire (because I feel like an idiot handling things even in US) or someone would have to teach me. I might be moving to India, so I think about these things often.

    Kudos on learning Bengali!

  4. @Honeybee

    I go out a lot by myself. I normally go out by myself. My husband is very busy with work.

    I learned how to deal with them myself, normally I just sit there quietly and let them do their thing. :-)