NOT REALLY KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES
Today's Vocabulary Word:
Mallay = Kannada for rain
I was on Deva Raj Urs Road (a big shopping strip) today and the skies opened and I had a Mysore Moment -- the good kind. The rain was so heavy everyone ducked into doorways. I found myself in a men's clothing store with a woman in a sari, two police officers and a bunch of short men with moustaches. The proprietor indicated that I should sit my arse down on a very dirty white stool, which I did. And I watched the show outside as the rain created a muddy river that ran down the street. To negotiate it women hiked up their saris and showed their ankles (this is considered indecent and usually means you have to go to the bathroom). Some men covered their rickshaw in tarp and took refuge inside. Traffic disappeared. More people ducked in. Those that walked by tried to stay under the awnings. The air became clean and cool and the rain went on and on and on..... but eventually I got up and braved the rain and did what I came to do -- buy some Frooty and whatnot at Food World for a dinner party.
Prior to that I had gotten my nerve up to buy beer for said party. Because Matrika and other women have been barred from ordering a glass of wine at the Metropole Hotel because they were not accompanied by a man, and because the only thing I've seen in front of bars are scores of drunken drink-slamming short men with moustaches, I was hesitant to go. And when I say bar I mean drink dispensary; there's no TV or seating or anything like that; you lean against a splintery piece of wood, drink, and leave. And there are no women. Ever. It's very seedy and most people here look askance at drinking. Anyway I went to the alcohol dispensary near Niru's -- he's the little person who used to do shipping and faxing for westerners but has now moved on, which has left me in quite a quandary. There were only two patrons who didn't stare too much (it helped that I was still wearing my helmet). They were nice, and changed my 1,000 rupee note without batting an eye.
So much for expecting the worst.
My trip to the post office today was equally painless. And I'd been putting it off for months.
I finally learnt the identity of The Blondes. You know, the bevy of blonde women and puberteens who paraded through the studio on the final day of filming, plopped down their pink mats and received many adjustments under the hot gaze of showbiz lamps. Apparently they were the (Aussie) wife, family and friends of veryrich American trader Paul Tudor Jones II. The wife is an ashtangi and apparently the Joneses fly Guruji around in their private jet for emergencies, safaris, etc. and are quite close to "the family." Apparently a verylarge diamond was given to Guruji on his birthday last year.
Yet somehow the $5, battery-free, shake-it-and-it-works very time flashlight I recently gave Guruji did elicit a wee bit of enthusiasm from him.
Or maybe he was just being polite.
I suppose I could offer to drive Guruji around in my 92 Civic, should he ever come to Chicago...
Which brings to mind the image of Guruji, Saraswati, Sharath, Shruti, Sharda, et al staying in my vintage one-bedroom apartment.
Sure, it's not as nice as Sting's or Mike D's place. But it's comfortable and veg and there are even a couple of TV's.
And many fans are there.