Posts Tagged ‘ salsa in india ’

            Yesterday was awesome, as in really awesome. By the way, I might be saying that a lot in the next few posts. In the morning I went to the office for a few finalizing meetings. It’s Holi today, so we had a special lunch in the office. It was really nice to have everyone together, and eat good food (of course). Afterwards I went to one of my centers for the last time. When I got there I saw half of the girls dressed in little girl saris and waving at me through the window. I was told there was nothing special for me there; I should have known that they lied. The girls put on a performance. There was a dance that was excellently performed; one of the girls even provided the vocals (which is hard to get them to do). The best were two scenes where the children enacted the classroom. One girl, Pradnya, acted me out in such an amazing way; she changed her voice, went through my routine of putting down my oversized backpack, taking out my water bottle and notebook, and sitting in a group of kids. She mimicked my way of speaking with the teachers and they enacted a scene from when I did a demo lesson for each of the teachers. They remembered each and every part of the demo lesson. It was hysterical. I’m also taller and bigger than any of them in the center, including the two teachers; the smallest girl in the center (who is very spunky and likes to joke with me) played me. It was perfect. They did another scene of when I walked into the center and taught them how it’s good to say that they don’t understand something. I made them repeat – that day and other days – “didi, I don’t understand.” It’s working. I laughed so hard. The best and most important thing that I’ve heard was not that I was a great didi and that they love me and I’ve taught them so much (which is important and very nice to hear of course), but Sanjivini went to the front of the class and wanted to say that I am always happy, that she learned to be happy and excited all of the time. If I could say that I taught happiness to kids, I feel like I’ve done more than I could have ever imagined. We had a nice photo shoot with the kids as I left. Image

            After that I had to rush to the other end of the city to have drinks and a snack with a coworker. It was the first time we have gone out, it’s been a long time pending. It was perfect and a really nice way to close out a friendship and colleagueship with someone.

            Then I went to salsa. I announced to Irisha and Awadesh that it would be my last practice session. The crowd was full of the usuals and then some of the beginners. I danced and danced and danced. It was great. They had a cake and made me make a speech. That part was a surprise. I didn’t know what to say. Irisha and Awadesh and I met when I was living in Aundh. It took me two years to be in their dance class, it took them two years to get to capoeira class, but we’ve been in contact the whole time. I’ve never heard the words, “don’t go” so many times.ImageImage

            The big surprise was after most folks left – they took out colours! We had dry powdered colors but it didn’t take long before more colors came out and then water. It was awesome, spontaneous and full of laughter and color. We went to a place to get burgers (not beef), full of colour. No one would recognize us if we went back there without our faces mostly purple and red. My beautiful kurta was sacrificed. Oh well. It was totally worth it. Image

office holiday party

Indian formalities are interesting. For the second time this week I have been waved on during a police (today I think it was an army) check for bikers. Usually they just check your license to make sure your papers are in order and let you go. Since the whole huge rape outrage (I don’t want to talk about it, at least right now) I’ve been pulled over, halfway, twice. As soon as they see that I’m not a man – I’m not sure they can tell I’m a foreigner because I wear a scarf around my face – they wave me on. It’s strange.
The interesting thing that happened last week was my office’s holiday party. Back in the US we would have some food, maybe someone might say something – it might even be at a bar. We had ours in our office. One kid who hangs out in the office for his homework was also there; he loves to dance and performed a hip-hop Bollywood number. I danced a salsa social (as in not choreographed) dance with a friend of mine, and a tutor who plays classical flute also performed a song. There were several games as well as a “fishpond” (phrases that people submit and everyone has to guess who they’re about), titles with crowns (all very nice), and a game to make food – creative no? Although I was looking forward to the party, I was pleasantly surprised to be thoroughly involved in, what I might call in US terms, a kind of cheesy but really enjoyable party. One game involves one team starting with a song, the other team has to find any word from that song and start singing a new song (not made up, but real songs). For fun I raised my hand to be captain of a team. It was so much fun to be ridiculous – I managed to get three songs that I knew and our team won. We’re very silly and competitive at work. It was fun to perform (although I was completely nervous) some dancing in front of them. Somehow I feel that this kind of party would have never happened in the US.
The quantity, and maybe the quality of my posts have decreased. This I can attribute to two things. First, in general, nothing really seems that new anymore. Yes, there are things that continue to shock me, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the traffic, some smells, some of people crassness or gentility and kindness, etc. However, after over two years here, it’s a little difficult to pick up on all of these things anymore. I like that. The second is that I’ve been super busy. Partly work has picked up a lot recently. Partly my out of work time has been super busy as well. I like that too.