Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Perceptions

All right, been hinting at this one for a while but maybe it is time to say it as is.

for a few months now i have been in a relationship that means the world to me. This is not a post glorifying the mush of it but a commentary on how the external world has reacted to it. External world? The nexus of family, friends... but more from the point of view of complete strangers who have no background to you and your story and seem to form perceptions basis solely what meets the eye.

Here is why this relationship raises more eyebrows than others.

I am seeing someone.. who is shocking to the Indian eyes on the road ..WHITE. And i remain as brown at the local Brown bread sold in you grocery shop.

The reactions are varied.

Step 1 - No matter where u are guaranteed one qizzical look
Step 2- The bolder ones approach the man and enquire where his native is
Step 3- the women (in this case me) is clearly open for ogling, as naturally this arrangement seems to make sense if I am either being paid for, or in some way getting compensated .. cannot be a natural arrangement
Step 4- Repeated sights of the two of us, leads to the conclusion that I am not from here, am more of an NRI and a very puzzled look results when fluent non accented hindi comes from me
Step 5- Always and no matter where, restaurants, buses, road intersection..... it is the MAN who is spoken to though clearly i belong more to the place.....
Step 6- Holding hands and walking signals that all the above assumptions were correct and a sniggering sneering look is surely allowed!

The above used to make me very ...hmmmmmmmm........ self conscious for a bit and now am oblivious to the entire thing. Like the white noise of crowded places this remains yet one more thing that you drown out from the Indian landscape and focus on what you need to do.

For example. In a recent trip to Pondicherry.. I made the error (??? not sure if i want to call it that) of wearing a skirt with a top that had a halter neck. Sitting down for breakfast at the sea side, resulted in movement on the Promenande slowing down pretty much opposite where we were sitting. Mobiles were taken out to take discreet camera shots.. and no am under no pretensions of looking like a glam model so it was the skin show more than anything else that caused this.

I could have easily changed clothes and blended in. Been invisible and all that. But for some reason,  altering my behaviour to cater to there sensibilities was something I had had enough of. It was time for some of India to start growing up and act like adults not immature 14 year olds.

now.