Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Silk Is Unauspicious This Season"

or, "Zena is unfashionable." =P
Just purchased my first sari, in a pretty deep blue crepe silk with some delicate sequin embroidery. They kept showing me chiffon and georgette saris until I emphasized for the upteenth time that I was interested in silk. Then they spelled out just how uncool silk is this season, but whatever. I think it's gorgeous, it feels amazing, and I don't feel comfortable starting out in a sheer sari.

I have been feeling pretty down the past few days; it feels like so many things are conspiring to make me stressed and unhappy. So many frustrating experiences with men, program facilitators, children, cell phone providers, shopkeepers, food, other students, host family members, travel agencies...RRRRGH. I don't have the energy to relive it all and write it all out. There isn't enough time in the day for me to process everything, do my work, run my errands, and get enough sleep.

This weekend I am traveling to Agra with seven other girls. I turned in my first paper today, a book report on Tagore's Gitanjali. I bought a book today called Entry From Backside Only: hazaar fundas of indian-english which I hope my International Development professor will let me use for my book report for her class. It's about the development and usage of Indian English =)

Today I had a field trip to a national award winning contemporary artist's home to see some of his work. This was my first time in an Indian Muslim home, and some of his pieces were influenced by the Koran and Sufi imagery. They were really beautiful. We got to see a book that had photos of all the works he'd sold, and it was neat to see how his style has evolved over the decades. Tomorrow the other girl on the arts & culture track and I will go see Rekha-ji's (our homestay coordinator's) studio after class.

"Don't think of it as a metaphor, think of it maybe as a similar sort of a situation. Even though it isn't really. And if that sounds confusing it is because it is." -Rima-ji

"If not you might as well shoot yourself right now. Like with a bow and arrow or something." -Rima-ji on whether life has meaning

"He could preach it. And he preached it." -Rima-ji on Buddha

"Americans are satisfied with their system; they are rich enough, so be it." -Kanta-ji on privatized American health care

"You can't have an Iron Curtain or a Bamboo Curtain or any other kind of curtain." -Kanta-ji on life after the dot come revolution

"Professor Jain is actually wearing a disguise, because at heart he is probably one of the youngest that can be." -Rima-ji on our 70+ guest lecturer, Prof. Ajit Kumar Jain

"I am RFG--Ready For Grave." -Ajit-ji on how he feels satisfied in his life, career, scholarship and family

"Zena is eating Rachel!" -Vinita-ji, host aunt and nickname giver, as I was eating a rasgullah

"I'll be a cobra, and you are a little snake." -Vinita-ji, during our dance party

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