There is sometimes a certain celebrity for being white here. Indian people are very polite generally and will always defer to a visitor of any sort. And as I am obviously, screamingly, not a local, I am often considered part of the novelty of a holiday.
Often it goes further than that and people from less cosmopolitan areas want to be actually photographed with me. I cannot personally imagine why, but there you go. I don’t really like being photographed, but when strangers ask very politely, what to do?
I’ve been mobbed by small children, been part of school trip photos, even part of the honeymoon memories. Frankly, in this country, it’s a wonder I’m not a household name. There I must stare, slightly confused, out of many photo albums.
Look! Here’s the famous museum, here’s the old building we visited, here’s that white girl…
Make no sense to me, but there you go.
Sometimes it’s a little more complex than just my skin colour. At the weekend, I sat watching the waves on Hawah Beach, sitting in my favourite position, a form of half lotus. I’m not showing off, I just find it very comfortable and it keeps your back nice and straight.
A family walk past, the older father figure does a double take. Speaks to his wife, and then very politely asks if he may take my photo.
Er, ok, says I.
It’s is because you are sitting like that. It is ‘yoga’. He explains, very carefully enunciating the word ‘y-o-g-a’ – as though I’m too stupid to understand what I’m doing.
He smiles politely and indicates all of me; white girl, salvar chemise, yoga pose.
I am liking very much, says he.
So, I smile, and he takes a snap with his mobile phone. He politely shows me the picture, which I must say, did look quite good. But then I’ve always liked that shirt. And off he bounds to his slightly less than impressed wife.
I mean, what exactly is he going to do with that pic. Who will he show it to?
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