Visiting Cities and Unexpected Visiting

Unexpected guest: Snake in the bathroom. At three in the morning. Imagine that.

To celebrate the end of a week-long orientation and registration, our program directors took us on our first excursion–to the glorious mall!!!! Basic as hell, we all know it (they admit it too) but we had all been itching for some Indian traditional wear and not all of us had even been outside the city. I had walked into InOrbit that day knowing I wouldn’t buy anything but ice cream, because I wanted to save my money for Shilparamam’s local buys. By 3:30 pm, I had negative cash in my bag.

We all ate at Chutney’s in the mall, a fancy vegetarian restaurant. The plan between two of my friends and me was to eat minimally here in order to get some meat later (I had momos on my mind). But I had a South Indian platter with unlimited sample sizes of different dishes and it was so gOOOOOOd. I didn’t even have room for ice cream. (Side note, we also got Starbucks as soon as we got there and I think everyone was embarrassed enough for themselves.)

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South Indian thali

Let me tell you, I fell under the 50% off trap. The shops were all upscale and the dresses bougie but there were some good deals! So I treated myself. And then I treated myself again…yesterday. But damn, ya girl can bargain so why not?? Can you imagine going back to the US and paying $20 for a see-through t-shirt at Gap after bargaining down an elaborate, hand-stiched 3-piece kurta set from 2100 to 1300 rupees? I think not.

That night I went to a music performance on campus. Rainbow Fusion is a symphony orchestra with seven different instruments: tabla, drums, sitar, violin, guitar, keyboard, and flute–hence the “rainbow” in the name. Their music was b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. No Bachs or Mozarts will ever have the same influence on my mind and spirit as much as these guys did. Honestly. Truly. The riffs on the flute and the violin, combined with the voice of the tabla took me to some Himalayan mountains, yo. I was shook. I couldn’t buy their CD because my ass had spent all my cash on itty bitty useless things at InOrbit mall earlier. My priorities are wack. :/

A couple of us went to an arts exhibition at N Convention yesterday. The rickshaw dropped us off at Shilparamam so we were left to find our way to the hall. It was not what we expected. Again, bougie. But 10 times more so. I didn’t even know if I was allowed to take pictures. Stalls were set up just like in the marketplaces of Shilparamam but with less vibrancy and a higher price tag. What we did instead was go outside and take pictures in front of their lake. And then called it quits and walked back to Shilparamam for their night bazaar.

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It was much different this time. For one, it was emptier and quieter. Many shops weren’t even set up at that point. But we discovered different places and sceneries, aka more places to take pictures. I mean we did all glow up for this reason. This time we saw the entirety of the village museum. Everything in this little place was clay sculpture, depicting various aspects of village life.

 

There was a cute puppet show and a gorgeous garden with steps leading up to a Hindu deity. And the sun was beginning its setting stage so everything was basked in this soft orange glow. Ugh, gorgeous.

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More pics at Shilparamam:

We also almost died on our way back to Tagore. Rickshaw drivers are reckless.

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Concluding statement of this blog is: I spent all my money. I ate good food. I almost died. #wheninindia

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