29 November 2009

young at heart?

as i turn another year older chronologically, i feel even younger and more gauche than ever before. while fasting on yaum-e-arafa a couple of days ago, i remember wanting to stomp off to b and mournfully ask why i had decided to fast. i refrained from doing so because it was too 'childish'. and yet, i feel this way all the time. with all the time i am spending amidst children these days, i increasing feel that my own inner child has not grown up. when the kids are squabbling over who gets the last piece of chocolate, i want to yell 'me!' just as loudly as them. i want to curl up and fall asleep in an adult's lap too.

in the past few years, several persons have randomly remarked that they were under the impression that h was the older sibling. he of course, responds that it is but a natural impression, since i am so much more 'immature' than him. and you know, in many ways, i am. i would rather not use the term 'immature' however.. ingenuous, guileless, enthusiastic, perhaps?!

the bottom line is that ever since returning from cairo, i have never actually felt my age. instead, i feel like i am constantly running to catch up.. i have friends who are much older than me, and i also have friends much younger. i treat them all the same. so what difference does a number make really?

india diary: a filmy life

the following three incidents i witnessed struck me as scenes from hindi cinema:

- my phone is not working at present, and when my brother went to inquire, he was told that one of the reasons (amongs other possibilities) is that the service provider were operating several illegal mobile towers, which have now been closed by the government.

- after a long time servant was let go by one family, she started spreading false stories about her 'bad experience' with them, and prevented others from working with them by threatening to use black magic on them. in return, the family fired her son from their business. the next day, his wife showed up at their house to work in the place of her mother in law!

- a family member undertook the services of a 'fabricator' (someone to put up roofing sheets over the yard and other such tasks), who took the advanced money and never showed up to do the work. his phone was always switched off, or he had a multitude of reasons for not doing the work. after someone was sent to his house as a 'threat', he showed up and asked for more money, in order to buy the materials to do the work. while he was being refused anymore money, someone came to take away his motorbike as a further threat!

28 November 2009

a few of my favourite things

having been away from hk for a month, this is what i miss the most, what i would want to gather up if i could fly home for the weekend!

soya milk
green tea
friends and acquaintances from different cultures and backgrounds, with different takes and habits (i think this is something that i really miss. all my life, i have been surrounded by people from everywhere, who speak varied languages, have unique customs and yet share something in common with me, be it school, work, religion or ethnic origins.. here i feel a little claustrophobic by the constant immersion in indian bohraville..)
all kinds of non indian food! in particular, noodles (pasta, udon, egg noodles), vegetarian dim sum, tofu, mushrooms, broccoli.. (ok, it's too painful to continue!)
chinese and english tv
the mtr!

18 November 2009

week two

i am a little homesick. i miss my friends and colleagues. i miss myself. i clearly recall having lunch at p & i's some time ago, and how happy i was, how comfortable in my own skin. here, i see someone who cannot cook, who isn't great with kids, who stumbles her way through social situations, whose accent and mastery of ld leave much to be desired, who has little to say.

13 November 2009

india diary: week one

my first week in the country was mainly spent in ajmer, rajasthan. it was my first field visit in india, and it was very educational. we visited different villages and communities, interviewed government employees and activists, and attended a couple of meetings.

the content of the meetings and interviews was nothing new; it was my discussions with people i found insightful and inspirational.

what baffled me: the place we were staying at in ajmer had a patrol guard who would circle the building and randomly (inevitably outside my window) bang his stick and let out a siren like whistle that nearly gave me a heart attack the first time i heard it.

also, i saw many women sweeping sand strewn streets, which simply made the sand and dust rise up in clouds around them; there was no cleaning value to the act, as far as i could see.