November!

I hope everyone had a good Halloween. For one who never plans a costume or anything, I did have a plan for this year. I was going to be Lisa from Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam. I was going to wear a satin-y, pink, poofy jump suit, frizz out my hair, wear some high tops, and carry around an old microphone while doing some crazy 80s dancing. It would have been great. If Shem had his way, I would have had a haunted, zombie Bollywood going away party on Halloween.
Anyway…
I hope everyone had fun dressing up and getting all crazy. I saw some pictures briefly but I was in mini meetings all day at work so I couldn’t see as many as I wanted.

Sorry to scare anyone (my mom). Helmetless and in the midst of much traffic, I ventured to the local registration office on the back of Kamlesh’s motorcycle. As my friend Anjali said, the traffic here makes New York seem quiet and calm. We had to go back twice, even though the papers were at the front outside desk where we asked for them the first time, we had to come back a second time when the office was “open.” Bureaucracy, no matter where, is ridiculous.

I sat in many meetings with various people from work today (and will continue to do so throughout the week) to talk about the different departments and their role within the organization. It was great listening to everyone describe their different roles, and take a long time to say what they do, with whom they work, how the organization works, etc.

I’m not sure if anyone can tell, but I feel better! It’s nice to feel more like myself. Part of it, I realized is that everyone calls me Oriana here. Even when at grad school where I used the name Oriana, I still had an outside community that called me Ana. I’m going to see if I can work some of that in. Ana in Hindi translates to the verb to come. I think that’s interesting. Some of the kids the other day asked me what Oriana meant. I’m actually not sure at all.

I had an interesting lunch today as well. Susie and I went to the restaurant to splurge a little bit (the bill came to R157 with tip which comes out to less than $5). We split 2 dishes, an eggplant and an okra. It was great! The story though: On our way in there was some kind of commotion. There were a few women outside. One of them slapped one of the men who worked at the restaurant. At first I thought maybe it was his wife who was angry at him. We passed by the entrance and all of a sudden she lifts up her sari to reveal her nakedness. She also probably said some pretty raunchy stuff – I’m just assuming by her actions and the tone of her voice, which seemed to be taunting, angry, and mocking combined. When I looked at her face I realized she, nor any of the women with her, was not a woman. I remember reading, in a book called Son of the Circus, about men who castrate themselves and who are often prostitutes. We assume that they’re not allowed in the restaurant after speaking with Susie’s husband who recounted a story where a manly looking woman in a sari was refused service inside a store but who was brought food outside. I wonder if that’s true or not.

    • Jenny
    • November 2nd, 2010

    I can tell! mwah!

    • Noe
    • November 2nd, 2010

    you were missed in Halloween!!!!!!!!

    • V. Manivannan
    • November 3rd, 2010

    Back in NYC after my office hours and almost caught up with your blog… am enjoying thus far. And yes, you are beginning to sound more like yourself even in your writing, which is just plain win 🙂

    Interesting about the male prostitutes. I’d love to read more about that—will have to add that book to my constantly growing reading list. I was in D.C. this past weekend to see the performance of a piece I wrote for the South Asian Vagina Monologues, and while there my friends and I first walked past a group of women dressed as prostitutes for Halloween, and then a group of actual prostitutes, who also turned out to all be men (two of them passed more than the third).

    Anyway, it’s an interesting story… I’d be curious to know if it is true or not.

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