Monday, December 21, 2015

India calling


Let me start this post with some stats. Of my life so far, I've spent half in India and half in Singapore. I'm in a fairly good position to somewhat understand, praise --- and bitch about --- both. My child, however, had not been to India at all. Because of her lung issues and our frequent midnight hospital runs in her early years, we'd been advised not to rush her first India trip. So we didn't. In fact, the last time we were in India was 2009.

But recently, we started feeling that it was time she saw the place where her parents were born and where a gazillion of her relatives live. People who had only seen her in photos and videos and on Skype were asking to meet her in person. My sister was flying down from the U.S. with her family. There really was no better time. So with much nervousness and excitement, we booked a trip to India and here we are, currently in Bangalore, which is our first stop of many.

I was very curious about the things she would say when she first experienced the complicated wonder that India is, and so I decided to tabulate all her India-related statements.

2 minutes after boarding the plane...
Xena - Mama, are we already in India?
Me - No baby, we are in the aeroplane.
Xena - First it will take off, then fly, then land, and then we will be in India?
Me - Yes.
Xena - Yayyyy we are going to India!

At Bangalore airport... (her first words in India)
Xena - India is cold! India is cold!

At the Bangalore airport toilet (which was mind-blowingly clean, btw)...
Xena - Mama, are you going to wash your hands with the tap water?
Me - Yes.
Xena - But we can't drink tap water in India, right?
Me - Right.
Xena - Because tap water in India has germs, right?
Me - Right.
Xena - Mama, please don't touch me after washing your hands. Otherwise the germs will be on me!

Just outside the airport...
Xena - Mama, I love this winter. I want this winter in Singapore.
Me (deep sigh) - Me too, baby, me too.

In the taxi from the airport...
Xena - Mama, are you sure this is India?
Me - Yes, I am.
Xena - But this doesn't look like India.
Me - You've never been to India. How do you know?
Xena - You're right, Mama. I think this is India.
Me - Good.
Xena - Mama, I love this country!

Stuck in traffic...
Xena - Mama, I smell smoke.
Me - *Long explanation on how air pollution occurs yada yada yada*
Xena - Now I smell poop.
Me - ....

At Viv's aunt's place...
Xena - What is this?
Me - It's a bucket.
Xena - I'm going to bathe with water in a bucket?
Me - Yes.
Xena - Why?
Me - Because that's how many people bathe in India. It also saves water, you know?
After bath...
Xena - Mama, I love it. Can I bathe with a bucket every day?

After a standing dinner at Food Street...
Xena - Mama, tomorrow can we eat in a place that has tables and chairs?

Last but not the least...
Xena - Mama... is that... a cow... on the road?!




8 comments:

Bubblegum.... said...

I remember when my NRI cousin some twenty years back jumped with joy after noticing pigs in some slum area from the car. He actually thought they are bears :D :D :D

I hope you guys don't notice any. I am sure big cities have almost lost those creatures.

Prathima said...

The first place in India that Xena visits is my city!! Superb! Have fun!

Varsha said...

For how long are you here? I dont know if we can meet, as I am off to Kolhapur (Maharashtra) for a 5 day vacation.
Maybe we can speak over phone. Can you mail me your number?

SK said...

Hahahah! I was surprised when she found India cold! ;--)
So cute Xena and her observations are ;--)

Nidhi said...

Welcome to Bangalore...it is hardly any cold here (in case you are planning to travel up north). Till when are you here? Been a silent lurker in your blog most of the time...wanted to meet you in person some day :)

Subhash Chandra said...

Bhai, Hyderabad? Biryani?

V said...

Welcome and have a great new year!

Arun said...

Happy New Year! May there be a pleasant surprise around every corner!

And may you blog about it :D !