Saturday, September 10, 2011

Life Around Me

Often I look out into the streets around the neighborhood. I notice a lot of things and wonder and think about life here. One thing that has really kind of puzzled me is how rare it is to see anyone sitting out on the terrace enjoying the weather. They sleep out on the terrace but that means they come out there late, go to sleep and get up early and go back inside. The weather can be really beautiful this time of year and sitting outside has an element of peace to it.

Our family sits out there often. In the afternoons the ladies sit out there and work on the veggies for dinner. In the mornings they sit out there and work. Sometimes they just sit out there and talk to themselves or the neighbors. Including the one I've now decided to call the wicked witch lol...she's weird and weird things go on in that house, and they do practice black magic over there. This woman is always trying to figure out what is going on over here. But she's just one aspect of life around here. There are people just like that in the US, but here with the element of superstition that abounds I think this woman has more clout than a witch in the US would. Hubby has all kinds of stories to tell of weird men coming into the house during hot summer days and smoke rolling out of the house while strange music is being played (yeah lol, black magic wouldn't be my first guess on that one either).

Anyway, I was talking about the neighborhood. Hubby says I'll see more people on the terrace as the weather gets colder and more ppl make bonfires on the terrace. I look forward to those days. I'm going to burn all our old visa files and crap we don't need laying around here. That's my recycling program lol.

Another strange thing I've noticed...well it's not strange I guess but it doesn't fit into anything I've heard. There are a significant amount of young girls in this neighborhood. That part isn't abnormal considering this place is crowded. But, what doesn't fit is that the other day when I was watching all the kids go to school in the morning there were about 20 girls for every 1 boy. Now, I'm not denying that baby girls are murdered in this country and the statistics will back me up, but in this neighborhood that doesn't appear to be happening. I found this inspiring. At least in parts of India, girls are not as endangered as other parts of India. It makes me feel a little better about my neighborhood.

I had a little rendezvous with a young man the other day. It's not what you were thinking lol, but hubby got a lil jealous hahaha. We were out on the terrace and a little girl a few houses away and across the street was out playing on her terrace. Next thing I know she ran and got her baby brother (he was like 3 or 4). They were staring at me and when I looked back the little guy ran. He came back. I couldn't help it, he was adorable so I waived at him and he waived back. Then he was all smiles and a 3rd sibling came out, this one a little older than the other 2. Little man was still smiling but then his sisters carried him off and next thing I know they were standing in their doorway down at the street. The little cutie was staring up at me with a huge smile. I pointed it out to hubby who then got a lil jealous hahaha.

I watch the neighbors stop by and talk to each other and visit on each other's door steps. I watch the men and women, boys and girls come and go and stop by the store. Another cutie that caught my eye was the naughty little boy around the corner. I cracked up over this one. He is maybe 4 or 5. His sister was supposed to be watching him but I think her phone was more important. He had this long ribbon he was playing with and he kept running up the street with it so it would follow him. Well, his sister would come around the corner and call him back every so often and it was too funny. Once, she let him go too long and since his dad has a shop up the road he was going there - alone hahaha! He got almost to the end of our street and must have got a little scared and turned around. Here he come running back and he got almost halfway back before she busted him. She had no idea how far he had went. He wasn't in any danger really because kids here have the right of way in the streets it seems and the roads weren't busy. He sure was having the time of his life. I love that, kids rule.

I've also noticed how before the sun goes down women and young ladies are all over the place around here. Going here and there, walking around with their friends and driving their scooters. But you let the sun go down and there is barely a female in sight. I know many of them are cooking dinner, doing homework, etc. But it just seems odd to me. I know I've only been here 8 months but I haven't heard of anything bad happening to anyone in our neighborhood so the streets here can't be that bad. Or maybe I'm looking at it wrong.

I know in our house the ladies run the men crazy in the evenings lol. As soon as they get home, go get this, go get that, etc. So maybe that's the real reason the ladies aren't out. They don't have to be. Some days I can't help but wonder if Indian society really oppresses women as much as the newspapers say or if it's the women who are playing that card for the benefits behind it. I know personally if I had others willing to do almost everything for me, I would let them....oh wait...I'm already doing that!

Now, I'm not saying it doesn't happen but I don't feel oppressed since coming here. I do have a curfew but that's because the whole house does amd we're a non-drinking household. So the only things open late are the establishments for drunk men. And I'm pretty sure the house curfew has a lot to do with  the drunk men that hang out on the corners too. I'm all for this curfew because then when I go out I don't look like an idiot wearing sunglasses to keep the dirt out of my eyes lol. And I didn't go out at night when I lived in the states either so this isn't so abnormal for me. Therefore I don't consider it opression.

Even when I lived in medium sized cities in the US I don't remember their being this much going on in the neighborhoods I lived in. Maybe I just missed it all or didn't care enough to pay attention. Maybe I hadn't slowed down enough to see. I'm not sure. What kinds of things do you notice happening around your neighborhood?

4 comments:

  1. you so reminded me of my childhood days when we used to visit my grandma in Mansa (your hubby can tell where this place is, not far from yours).

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  2. Aww. These are the things that make life good. The little moments that go on around us and the cute things we see each day. Little things are more important than big things in life. Little thins carry us through, make the memories and give us joy far more often than we realize. Glad I could remind you of those things. And I asked him hahaha, then I had to explain why I was asking. Now he's liable to take me on a trip there or point it out the next time we go that way. Know of any attractions near there we should visit?

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  3. I really enjoy your descriptions of life in India. When I returned to Australia after spending a year in India and Nepal, a big part of reverse culture shock was how sterile the streets seemed (I'm not saying people here are sterile...it's just that a lot of 'life' here happens indoors and  privately, instead of out on the streets). It's also a pretty big part of homesickness for family members who have moved here...they miss the fact that the streets aren't as bustling or 'fun' ("rumailo" in Nepali), which just makes life in Australia seem that much lonelier. 
    It's nice to hear a different experience of being a woman in India :)

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  4. Hi, I am Surinder,the irl who posted cpl times on youtube,thats wherre i found your blog! I really like it,I have read a few "Gori" blogs before,but none so positive and understanding as you. You must have been a punjabi larki for sure in your last life! thanks for making this great blog

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