Friday, October 29, 2010

Rats,Dogs and me.

"First you lived in a godforsaken village, then you moved to a rat hole, and then to a dog hole, and now you are insanely ill." This is how C described my life recently and I suddenly and self indulgently began to indulge in (the in retrospect kind of) self pity.

Dude, seriously, ever since I moved to North India, I have been facing insane situations 

1) So NINE months ago, I ventured north of the Vindhyas to a village in Uttar Pradesh.The experience to me was almost, well, hate to use the word, but EXOTIC. 
   I loved the err..quaint villages, the quiet Ganges, the long boat rides and of course the daily trips to dozens of villages, collecting data and realising the ridiculousness of government schemes in UP . I  had been frivolously exposed  to what they(who) called real India  - Covering Deprivation trip, Rural School Teaching Program- you know the excesses of alternative education na? Uttar Pradesh was more than I was prepared for. Pradhan Confrontations, teenage girls eloping with boys while pretending to be in school and then hiding in sugar cane fields, milk served warm from buffalo breast, twenty cups of chai a day,"I killed him because he looked at my sister", being told that it was bad Hindus like me who pollluted the ganges, awesome lunches and birthday parties,dawats for the birth of sons, nose ring shopping, squeezing cute children,the best holi ever,salwar kameez shopping, the begining of immune system breakdown etc. Also, long rides on buffalo carts-aiyo how to explain all this without sounding like gora volunteer who flew from Alabama somewhere to Anoopsheher direct? 

2) Now, after my work was done in the village, I had no interest in returning to the comforts of Bangalore.In Bangalore. I had only two real job options- one was working for the features page for a daily or financial reporting for some wire that paid pretty insanely well. Death only. 

 So, I continued at this very generous and amazing NGO in Delhi and considered looking for another journalism job. I lived in their office which was full of rats because it also doubled up as storage space for all sorts of things. Every time I entered the kitchen, a rat would dash past.So, just in order to avoid this sight, I would warn him before I entered.Make a lot of noise, put on the light(while not looking) and then enter the place. Because, if I don't see him, he doesn't exist and his sewaged footprints are not  resting under the dal and rice on my plate, na? (IF anyone has seen Khirki Village, where the office is, they will know the potency of sewage there.) 

3)Dogs.I finally found a job and a house with room mates and  two street dogs.I am animal lover enough to be vegetarian.But these dogs would shit and piss in the living room so much so that in the morning I had to daintily walk an obstacle race so as to not desecrate my Dilli haat chappals with canine urine.Plus one of the dogs was named Pussy and was schizophrenic. Also the drain in the bathroom was always clogged with dog hair and for the longest time I accused C of hair fall because my hair is black and straight and not like the dirty blonde fuzz in the drains.He became vain and started googling hair doctors.

Now, I am a messy girl. I curl up on my mattress in a way that I don't disturb all the magazines and books lying around. But this experience was so traumatic that I seriously began to develop a vulgar form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that according to C makes it impossible for him to travel with me in the third world. Yeah right, only South of France from now on. 

UFF . I want to stop existing with such uncool predicaments. 

Anyway, finally I have clean nice house with nice room mate. 

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