Today, I went to Shekhar’s friend house so that the grandma would teach me how to make Kheer, Indian rice pudding. It has quickly become one of my favorite Indian desserts.
When we were ready to go, the girl wanted to ask me something but she was shy. I saw Shekhar and her talking in hindi infront of me for a while. From their body behaviour I could tell Shekhar was telling her to tell me, and she would giggle and make shy eyes. Eventually they both asked me if I had time to stay, and I said sure.
So Shekhar told me that they were going to dress me up in a sari. They took me inside, and the girl and her sister chose a sari and grabbed a bunch of jewlery. Then we went upstairs so that I would have some privacy while dressing up.
I was in underwear in front of these girls who are still kind of strangers to me, but it was alright as we were all girls. At first I was like “hmm..”, but on second thought I had no problem with it. They dressed me up in a beautiful blue and green sari which happened to fit me perfectly.
I have been to India maybe 15 times, but this was the first time I ever wore a sari.
I was having fun, but they were definitely having more fun than me. They had a child-like joy that reminded me of the careful attention a little girl gives to her doll when dressing her up.
They put two different necklaces around my neck, two golden bangles on each wrist, an arm bracelet, and earrings. Then, the older sister painted a traditional red bindi on my forehead. They asked if I wanted makeup, and I declined as I don’t think I was ready for the full on makeover. So I wore zero makeup on this shoot.
Then it was hairdo time. The younger sister seemed to struggle a bit as you can see with her great expressions.
So the older sister jumped in.
They called Shekhar, and another woman upstairs to come see me, and Shekhar took some photos with my phone. Besides saying that I looked good, he said: “you look like a married woman now.” I am a married woman, but it was a strange comment to hear. I guess because here in India most or all married women wear saris daily. I am far from doing that. I wanted to change back before leaving as we had driven here on the scooter and I was scared of ruining the sari, plus I didn’t want all the attention that would come from a Westerner wearing a sari in a small town. I am not good with being the center of attention unless I am on stage performing.
I was going to show Josh all the pictures, but both Shekhar and I thought that Josh might want to see in person. So, I tried to be unselfish and gave in to go back all dressed up. Luckily, when I went downstairs (with people already staring), there was Adinath offering a ride in his car because he happened to be doing some errands in town. Perfect.
When I arrived home, Josh was still sleeping from last night’s long night of work, which kind of ruined the surprise a little bit. I was expecting coming in the door and finding Josh in his computer who would then look at me to find a surprise. But instead it was an ungraceful call to the bedroom: “Babe! I’m home, wake up!” (I would never do this in normal circumstances. I always let him sleep.) I heard a faint: “why?”
A couple minutes later, still no Josh. “Baaabe”, I called once again. Not sure how long after, maybe another minute or so he came out in his underwear and the first thing he said was: “is anyone here?”. Then he smiled at me and went back in the room to put on some clothes.
Another couple of minutes later a reaction finally came: “You look amazing!” And we went outside to the backyard to take some more photos.