Friday, 29 April 2011

My last day at work! -another long one.. sorry!

Today is filled with a mixture of emotions, on one hand I’m quite happy for it to be my last day and at the same time I’m going to miss little things that have become routine for me. Such as the amazing 8am bike ride in the morning, when it’s not hot and the breeze is quite cool. I found myself just looking at the roads and scenery differently today. I noticed details that I hadn’t for the last few weeks, things such as the shear numbers of mangos on trees that are ripening, two more weeks and they’d be ready to eat! I noticed things like the same people that I pass every morning, going about their daily business of leaving for work and bathing outside their make shift hut homes, and the long line of women washing their clothes at the river bank. They always look so colourful in their saris!

Getting on the main road and picking up speed on the bike and winding through other bikes, cars, vans and buses, following the same route everyday knowing where the bends are and how to lean on the back seat, where the bumps are to prepare myself that I’m about to jiggle about! Then the small feeling of regret when I see we are approaching the bus station, meaning that my last bike ride to Navsari is about to be over!
Today I got the bus straight away and got a good seat and just looked out the window for my entire hour journey, for once I didn’t fall asleep! It all feels so normal now and ordinary. Not like I’m the half lost NRI riding the bus and hoping it’s the right one and that I remember when to get off. It’s all natural now, and I really am going to miss it. Every little bit, from the bumpy bus ride, to getting off and knowing instinctively which rickshaw to take, I feel like I’ve mastered this now! I walk through the first 20, knowing they will charge me more and attempt to take me ‘Direct’ to my destination. I know that if I get towards the end of the line and specify, ‘hum local jaane ka hai’ which basically means they can pick up other passengers on the way and be more like a shuttle service then it costs about ¼ the amount! And then when I get towards my location knowing at exactly which point I have to tap the rickshawala and say, ‘bhaisaab vaa pe rooko’ pointing at the crowded entrance of the hosp! I’ve got all this down to a T now! It’s so true that if you look and act like you know exactly what you’re doing they charge you less! My first few trips from the bus stop to work used to cost my 6rs, now today it cost me the lowest yet, he gave me change to indicate he’d charged me only 3rs!

Plan to do a few little missions in Navsari later as after today I won’t be going into town everyday. So on my list, apart from getting a few household necessities, is to eat a mysore dosa off a ladi again! Oh my it was so yum last time that I have another. Made fresh in front of you! It had the standard potato mixture but also, tomato’s, onions, dhanna, and some masala. So yum! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! (gosh so this is how I put on weight in India!) yes it seems I always defy the rules of being in India for a long period of time, where people usually become stick thin from being here, me, I have in fact put on weight somehow! –well not somehow it’s the yummy food! =)

Oh well I’m in gham now for another week and then off to join bhavik in Mumbai for 10 days! Can’t wait! Going to be proper NRI tourists and explore! Exciting!

The things I’ve been exposed to here in my work is indescribable, I shall do my best to depict every little detail clearly in my ethnographic report, but it will be difficult. Some things I’ve seen are indescribable. Its more than just poverty and helplessness I’ve seen. It’s more than people looking for help. It’s the lifestyles I’ve seen, the conditions of homes. I’ve seen the hopes and dreams of young children; I’ve seen the desires in the mother’s eyes, the desperation to make things better. I’ve met some really great influential people as well. I am actually so lucky to have had the opportunity to interview and work along side such commendable people. I’m taking so much away from these 2 months. I can honestly say this has changed my life, and I won’t forget it.

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