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Emily: Growing a bead in Udaipur

October 23, 2011

All anyone talks about over here is food they miss, movies they’ve seen, what every moment before INDIA was like. Not allowed to mention Chipotle, like the place is a dead grandmother or something.  Giving the benefit of the doubt, I think, “maybe the sugar sweet, bad breath words that puff from pink lips are to keep REAL thoughts from forming sentences?”  beat around the bush so much, the bush may as well not exist.  just beating the minutes by.  easier than speaking of UNCERTAINTY – what am I doing here?  easier than the CERTAINTY of REALITY.  white-haired child outside your gated home, but leftovers go to the Cow.  Powerful people see moving pictures of white-haired men holding children with bloated bellies on top of garbage piles, but Harry Potter is more realistic.  more a part of their bubble situation.

Living in my own “intellectual” bubble, how can i pop it?  I’ve got a program to follow, don’t stray from the group.  try to reconcile with my conscience – shopping trips stimulate the economy?  not just a tourist?  can i be anything but?  try to talk to locals – five minutes later you’ve got their number, a marriage proposal, and there’s a couple hundred images of you bouncing between satellites and Indian cell phones.  just another “girl friend” for them from AH-merikka to show off – another notch on their camel skin belt, trousers, collared shirt tucked in.  so much for being vegetarians – not because it’s healthier for the body, the planet – consecrated by Religion, gods forbid it be Cow flesh.  forget trying friends with the girls – dark eyes dart or stare, silent. maybe they’re screaming inside too? a moth landed on my shoulder.  reminds me of home.  he doesn’t stay long.  miss him already, wouldn’t mind a friend close in proximity to be intimate with.  privileged, i don’t need to spend my hours trying to keep my stomach full.  idle time and idle hands, full of thoughts.


got a boyfriend and a beard to keep the creepers off me

first day of “work” tomorrow.  been settled into Jagran Jan Vikas Samiti for a few days now.  great place, has vibes like my grandma Barb’s home.  days move like minutes, i’m thankful. nothing really accomplished in these hours.  dozens of hands in this place, what work is being done?  couldn’t tell you yet.  i have Hope that visiting villages will introduce me to people. to relate with, work with.  issues i can address.  sounds like i’ll be updating websites, collecting data, researching, writing grant proposals.  should get used to not SEEING progress?  expecting little, hoping for much more.  will make the best of it.

enjoy allen ginsberg, Dec. 1962, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

What vanity? What possible divine
blessing on all this Politics.
What invocation beyond Millions
of Votes for 1960 Hopes
What rat Curse or Dove vow slipt from my hands
to help this multitude
Smirking at the ballot box, deceived,
sensible, rich, full of onions
voting for W.C. Williams with one
foot in the grave and an eye
in a daisy out the window

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