happy 4th

I meant to wear red white and blue, but ended up forgetting and wearing yellow and black. I’m an American Bumblebee I guess. It was really nice, and quite new age to see my Indian friends writing Happy Independence Day Ana on their facebook wall. It’s a nice feeling.
Yesterday’s rain party celebration is a twice a year event where they (if it’s not already raining) put on sprinklers above your head and you dance in the rain to live music. It was really fun – and wet. It was to celebrate or to commemorate the beginning of the rice-harvesting season. I think for us, in the city, it was an excuse to party. It was a fun experience. Most of the people at the party were Goans (from Goa – a beach city). The party also helped me realize that I’m beginning to differentiate between the different Indians, be it state, or social class, or upbringing, a lot more these days. More about that in a moment…
After getting soaking wet, and not being completely ready for the post party change, I had to do some shopping for some new undergarments because my house was way to far away and we were heading to our friend’s house for the post wet/pre salsa time. It proved to be an interesting experience. I couldn’t get quality, just aesthetics. Every time I asked for something more simple, they didn’t really want to give me the basics. Without getting too much into detail, it was just an odd experience, something I have to laugh at.
I finally get to talk about dancing (I have yet to talk about capoeira, but I’m happy to talk about dancing). There’s a decent salsa community in Pune; and an even bigger one in Mumbai. What’s interesting is that they also dance jive. When we go out on Sunday mornings for brunch, the “band” (electric piano and bass guitar) they play jive music; and my friends dance to it! It’s awesome. It’s another one of those things that I would have never thought, in a million years, that I’d find in India. In fact, last night I attended a swing dance workshop. Who would have ever guessed that I’d take a swing dance class in Pune, India?
I was going to do the “me” thing again after work, but of course, as you can guess now, that didn’t happen. I spoke to my mom today and told her that I’m busier here than at home; she didn’t really believe me. I’m always busy no matter where I go, but I think I keep myself even busier here because, even though I feel very at home here, it’s still a luxury and I feel like I have to take advantage of everything. For example, a friend of mine has a friend visiting from Kerala (amazing state in the south) and was wondering if I could take him around for a bit today. Of course I said yes. I ended up taking him to MG road where we did some shopping. I find it really fun and interesting to speak with people from different areas in India. Every state is quite different. And, as I’ve mentioned before in my Tagore phase of posts, Kerala holds a special place in my heart – (recapping why; female land ownership rights, a matriarchal society, a 95% literacy rate, just to name a few amazing things about the state). So it was super fun to hang out with someone from there. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I did some pre birthday shopping. He tried to tell me that we have to buy a new outfit for our birthdays, it’s what Indians do. After much fussing, I complied. It was fun doing some impromptu shopping.
I again missed my Hindi classes and the gym. I’m still trying to figure out what’s more interesting, beneficial, different, more important, etc. Part of being here requires me learning (in my opinion) about the culture and meeting all sorts of people. I keep missing on day to day rituals, like sleeping on time, going to the gym, cooking my own dinner, etc. I haven’t, even after 8 months, figured out that balance.
So to all of you who are just beginning your day, happy 4th! Enjoy the fireworks!

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