A Passion for Peace

Responsibility, respect and a loving connection with all beings and for this Earth we share.

The India Adventure Begins...

Today marks my first week in India, and it is Diwali, the Festival of Lights. We Jews are used to just lighting candles whereas the children here have a much more exciting time lighting fire crackers (as if the city needed more smoke in the air). My tired old camera is keen on snapping shots once the cracker's finished, but by preemptive guesswork I've had a little luck.


This picture was taken on the famous Marine Drive walk that's in practically every Bollywood movie. Mumbai does feel a little like flashy yet chill LA, and from what I hear Dehli farther east is more fast-paced and has better public transport, perhaps more like NY, but I think the comparisons end there. The beaches on the Arabian sea look nothing like the Pacific. No one swims.

Speaking of movies, my friend and I went to see Wake Up Sid, whose lead actor reminds me a bit of Sylvester Stallone. It wasn't subtitled, so I understood about half of it (and she kept helpfully translating the parts in English). It was a simple somewhat westernized love story, sealed with a hug and not a kiss, since that is still taboo in movies here. The Title of the blog is taken from the movie, in which the female lead moves to Mumbai and the first person she meets is named Sid (my first contact here was a friendly CU alum named Sid). And then she finds a flat, and a job, and writes a column for a local mag called New Girl in the City. Assuming I find a flat and a job, you can appreciate the parallels...

As for jobs, Diwali is the worst time to be looking for one because everyone's on holiday, so I'm assembling a respectable list of contacts, meeting with friend-type people I contacted before I came, and trying to be patient and persevere. It will come.

There's so much to say, and I'm slowly writing letters to everyone. Stationary stores sell school notebooks and pens, not cards or nice paper. I happened to find envelopes in a small hodge-podge shop, and my first Hindi word popped into my head buying plain paper--I remembered how to say "small" (chota), since the stationary-walla was offering me a large ream of drawing paper. Apologies to everyone who gets boring plain white paper letters. Maybe I'll come across stickers somewhere to jazz them up...

Speaking of Jazz, the girl in Wake Up Sid went to Not Just Jazz By the Bay, a live music club a block from where we're staying. Coincidentally, another friend took us there last night and we found ourselves listening to an Indian cover band with a mohawked-goateed-rat-tailed lead singer play Nickelback, Coldplay, Greenday and Pearl Jam songs.

More later, comments very welcome, and I promise not to let this be an excuse not to keep in individual touch with each and every lovely one of you readers...

xoxo

Valerie

Posted byValerie at 2:27 PM  

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