Friday, September 9, 2011

Bharat Mata ki Ek Beti

If I have ever been judgmental of gold-diggers or mail-order brides (and I have), then I'm sorry. It will never happen again. I now know how they feel, even in some small tiny laughable way.

I've now been living in India by myself for over a year, and it is solely to that fact that I can attribute my metamorphosis from a fiercely independent and principled pseudo-American career woman to a shrunken Indian version of said pseudo-American who's just waiting to be rescued by the capitalist man of her dreams. Rich socialist bhhi chalega. Do we have any takers?

Don't judge me, my own medicine tastes terrible. Everytime I almost fly off of the cycle rickshaw as the rickshawala decides to speed over a pothole, I miss the shock absorbers of the cars I've ridden in in America (and Canada. You too, Oman). I curse the elements everytime I have to devastate a good hair day by savagely pulling my do back in a behenji ponytail just because it's too damn hot/sticky/windy. Over the past year, I've only ever shopped off of the street because clothes, like people, just seem to fall apart faster in this part of the world. It would hurt too much to have that happen to anything I paid more than 100 rupees for (what is that, like 2 dollars?). I never seem to want to dress nice or comb my hair here anyway. I don't even wear makeup anymore. What's the point? Two minutes on the outside, and either the wind from the autorickshaw ride will ravage the curls that usually set beautifully on their own in a controlled environment, or the monsoon mud will artistically splatter itself all along my calves and precious toes. I now scowl or even fling a dirty look at every car that screams its neverending banshee of a horn into my poor ear. I wonder if the smog and traffic exhaust has formed a permanent layer of hopelessness on my once 20-something-year-old skin. I think of all these things and then fondly remember my vanilla-and-cinnamon-scented sparsely populated existence of the West. What's a pretty girl to do when the shadow of socialism falls upon her?

I'll tell you what she's to do. Visit the parlour regularly, dress the best she can in her budget wardrobe, flash a carnivorous smile or bat a virginal eyelash (both if she's talented), and pray to the gods of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll that Prince Charming (age never a bar) will whisk her away to a capitalist country far, far away. Or at least to the nearest suburb in a nice air-conditioned apartment and car and never let her pretty soles scrape the soil of the motherland again. Inhein zameen pe mat rakhhiyega, mailay ho jaaeinge.

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