Thursday, March 22, 2012

One Random Act of Rebellion

I spent my first 14 months here learning to live with this families culture, learning how flexible that culture really was and not causing any real trouble without some sort of diplomatic resolution resulting in more freedom. I haven't been in the most compliant mood for the last few weeks but still, I've not broken the rules of the house. Most of them are not that hard to adhere to because they are things I wouldn't have done in the US either.

Lately though I've been feeling like a ticking time bomb though just waiting to go off and do something really out of character. I've thought about going on completely alone and not telling anyone. (This would be different because those times I've been out alone I've been escorted to my location so someone knew where I was.) The main reason I haven't done it is because by the time I finish work each day I've run out of anger and motivation to go. Another reason is that I don't feel safe here. I know we have gangs in the neighborhood and at least one drug dealer who just got out of jail. In the last couple of months I've been followed, saw a friend have one unruly young man get close enough to her face she could smell his nasty breath, and I know how immature many young men act around here. So that rules out the park where I would walk  because it's over run with non-disciplined young men and boys during the day. The stores in the neighborhood have become the most boring places imaginable. So that leaves me questioning what rebellious act is coming.

Now, my sleep schedule is royally screwed up due to stress right now so I'm up all night while no one is awake. It works for me because I don't have much interest in interacting with the family anyway. But that's not my point. I got my rebellious act out of the way last night. And like all truly good rebellious acts no one knows I did it but me. Nope, nothing grand, life threatening, illegal or insanely fun was done. I can't be arrested, punished or ridiculed because I wasn't busted. All that matters to me is that I did it. So what did I do you might ask?

It's trivial, yes indeed. But, when I came here I brought a few sets of pajamas (night clothes) with me and one such set was a Playboy 2 piece ensemble. The top is a very low cut tank top with spaghetti straps and it clings to you like a second skin. It's super comfy but I haven't dared wear it outside of my room or without an over shirt during any hours where someone may come to our room. Well, it's 2 AM and my act of rebellion was to waltz around the house (right outside everyones bedrooms) and the terrace, cleavage in full view. Not so rebellious right? Not in a normal world lol. Here in ultra-prudeville though I think it would have been punished by banishment. It doesn't matter though. I for once felt comfortable and not like I had to hide.

In the US, I wore sets just like this to work (I loved that job..pajamas at work is such a treat). I wore them all over the house, all over my parents house. There is nothing scandalous about this outfit except that here the ladies of the house freaked out when I wanted sleeveless kameez last year (I got them anyway) and hubby gets nervous if I wear capris. So you can imagine the reaction if I had stepped out in spaghetti straps and an all too revealing shirt and low waist pants.

Would I do this in the daylight? Oh hell no. There are way too many eyes on me making me uncomfortable when I'm fully covered as it is. Not to mention there is an impressionable teenage boy in the house. I can't escape the staring eyes of the hooligans 3 doors down already and I'm not about to become a target for the drug dealer 2 doors down. I'm not stupid. This place isn't safe enough for this kind of freedom for sure. It's really sad too because I'm showing a lot less skin than Kareena Kapoor in her latest films and way less cleavage than Bipasha routinely does. (Which reminds me, anyone know why everyone around here calls Rakhe Sawant a slut but not other Bollywood women who wear skimpier non-cultural clothing and dance far more provactively?)

I wonder how everyone is going to react when I start wearing capris and shorts all the time. Let someone tell me I can't leave the house like that. And let some punk try to get in my face at the mall. I need to get some of this aggression out so I pity the fool. This next couple of months is going to be fun.


  1. You go girl!
    I roam around my home in Spaghetti top and short on most days now that the heat is back, and I wear capri or just above the knee shorts all the time going outside too. Mumbai is far more liberal for that, and safer for women as well though

  2. That's awesome. I can't wait to find out what the next couple of months hold.

    1. For you. I'm glad you seem to be feeling much better health wise and that your spirits seem to be up as well.

  3. Yeah, I was just discussing this with a friend today and I realized how extremely rare it is even for small children to have any of their legs showing here and arms are rarely seen as well. It's just so unusual how ultra-conservative this city seems to be. It's going to be interesting the first time I walk out of the house in capris.