Published: July 31st 2012July 31st 2012
I can tell we're all getting tired of this break-neck pace, here in India. It's getting harder to convince myself to blog every day, which is why I've gone and missed one yesterday. Sorry everyone! But not really much happened yesterday, so there's not a whol lot to report. I convinced Bala to order me a "cheese burst" pizza from Domino's, non-veg. It was delivered to my room in less than 30 minutes just like they promised (I was really surprised) and was pretty tasty. The sauce is more BBQ than tomato, and the toppings are similar to a supreme pizza. The difference is the "cheese burst" part--they put a bunch of melty cheese between layers of crust on the bottom. It's pretty darn tasty, though ridiculously rich. I should not have eaten as much of my medium pizza that I did, but I finished the rest the next morning anyway.
Tonight we had a girls' night in my room, which meant snacks and Bollywood! Naveet has a super-nice hp computer with ridiculously good sound, so we set it up on a table in front of my bed, plopped into comfy positions and started watching! The movie in question is called "Jab We Met," a romantic comedy from 2007. The story centers around an energetic, bubbly girl who meets a heartbroken guy on the train. She then gets all up in his business and, of course, hilarity ensues. We only got through the first half, but already the romantic sparks are starting to fly. (You see, it took that long because she has a boyfriend she plans to elope with. We haven't gotten that part resolved yet.) The male actor is good at brooding and occassionally flashing glimpses of teeth in a small smile while sneaking glances at Geet. One of the kids from China in my program, Chen, looks a bit like the actor, so it was a lot of fun comparing the mannerisms of the two. I'm eager to finish, though it will be a couple days.
Onto my second topic: women in India. Honsetly, I don't fully understand the complex dynamics that occur here. On one hand there is the traditionalist side of things. The large majority of women wear traditional clothing, like saris or (more commonly) kurtis with loose pants, leggings, scarves, etc. I've been warned not to wander the streets alone, though I'm moderarely sure I'd be okay before 11am. Women and men are not friends; I do not think I have seen a women and man walking the street together unless they were married. In Jab We Met, Geet gets stranded at a bus station and almost immediately starts getting harrassed by a group of men. The buses have trouble with men sexually harassing women. I read in the paper about a case in Mangalore (a city in the same state as Karnataka but pretty distant) where groups of young men considering themselves moral keepers gang up on people who are partying in the city, and probably harass women for wearing non-traditional clothing as well. The state's getting slammed because the officials in Mangalore are traditionalist-minded as well, and therefore are not as diligent about catching the "goons" as they could be. When I told Prakash that I drove myself to school he was surprised; even something that we consider as meaningless as driving could be an unusual privelage here. I don't fully get the picture of women in India, I need to ast Naveet and Sumedha for some of their experiences. And probably some of the Indian guys, too, since they see the other side of it. As a foreign woman I am in a unique position, since I can interact with both groups freely.