I feel at one with India. I used to cringe at the dirt paths, and flea infested dogs, but I don’t mind them anymore.
I can’t wait to come back to India and drive in a car. Or take a taxi. I will see India from a new angle. I will experience beggars knocking on my car door. I will feel my mini Tata cars(which literally is every other car here..) hug the winding, muddy roads.
One day I will come back.
I wouldn’t say I miss home. But being away from NYC has made me appreciate the sounds of the subways and Madison Avenue window shopping.
As much as I feel Indian, I will always be an American. Playing Empire State of Mind made me feel so proud of my city. That’s New York. That’s my city…the BX. It truly is a beautiful place.
I must say I do have American food cravings. I’m craving tuna sandwich right now, or maybe a balsamic vinegrette salad. I’ve gone vegetarian since the plane ride. I might keep it up. I’m guessing crustless coleslaw sandwiches are pretty fly in India. I bought a box of kashi cereal bars strictly for emergencies and so far I haven’t had any.
It’s insane to see slums maybe..a quarter of a mile away from mansions. I cannot get a feel for the rich Indians. They do not seem to be approachable. It’s funny to see a Mercedes interspersed with bicycles, three wheeled taxis, and whole families riding on motorcycles. I try to peer inside them. A man sits in the back while he has a driver in the front. He wears a traditional Indian hat and tunic, talking on his phone. I am not sure if he sees the India I am seeing.
We went to a certified Fair Trade organization called Mesh; Fair Trade basically ensures that the artisans are given equal wages and working practices . Mesh specifically employs handicapped people who make products ranging from hand painted coasters and jewelry, to pashmina scarves. I met an English woman who expressed her concern for selling these absolutely stunning pashmina shawls. Not only are these shawls beautiful to wrap around at galas and events, but they are hand made by a handicapped family. In particular this woman expressed the boy (insert name) hopes to sell this scarf for 5500 rupees (roughly $90) because he hand stitched it with such fine detail. Believe me, I know style. I have an art for finding beautiful clothing, I find what looks good in the most eccentric ways. And this shawl was absolutely gorgeous. I will be taking this back with me and hope to be meeting with a high end luxury vendor in NYC. My cousin Billy who had worked at Dolce and Gabanna used to work in Barney’s New York, and I feel Barney’s might be perfect for promoting exotic products. Or even speaking with high end designers to partner with these organizations and create a stunning product line! Diane von Furstenberg? There might be something to this.
Me in my beautiful shawl:
The one wish I hoped India would grant me was a direction towards my career. I think I might be onto something.