Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I'm feeling very grateful for many things today. It's pretty nice, actually. You realizing how lucky you are and savoring in it. As one of my best friends would put it, "Diana, I can see your cat smile right now."

And yes. I am smiling like a cat. I feel so indulgent today. We were sitting in a room discussing state formation, violence condoned by the state, and comparing historical cases. Me with (mostly) Mexico but also some Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia thrown in there. Others with India, and a little France thrown in for contrast too. It was the pleasure of discussing abstract theories. Things brilliant people have come up with over the years. And knowing that right now, at this point in my life I have the luxury of knowing that I can screw up and I'm just here to learn. It's delicious and worthy of a cat smile.

I guess in some ways this is also what pisses me off about academia. I dont want to sit in a room and chat all the time (a good deal of time, yes. I'm a HUGE nerd.). I WANT TO BE OUT THERE AND LEARN WITH MY HANDS!

But it comes with that responsibility of future promises. I know that I can do this now, but I always keep in my mind the next end that it needs to serve. My option to be here comes at a cost to others. If being here has taught me nothing else, I am aware of this. And I will make sure that I am aware of it always.

I enjoyed sitting in an internet cafe reading everything I could find on Dharavi in an hour. And I have that option. I cant help but fear the degree to which I am romanticizing this place. After all, if given the option I know I would not give up the comforts of my home in the States to live there. I am giving up my time I could be sitting in air conditioning in my very clean room in the hostel I live in to sit in public spaces and try to blend into the walls as much as possible when people act like you glow in the dark (I'm seriously considering going running everyday before I go, letting the dirt stick to me, and covering any other exposed inch of skin with clothing to appear less... white and therefore foreign) because I feel better there. I am really looking forward to wandering around there all day on Sunday. SUNDAY. COME SOONER!

But I'm getting the hang of Bombay. And even in that statement I know how wrong I am. I just mean, I feel more comfortable and able to locate things and not jump roughly 45 feet into the air whenever a car skims my ass.

But today when I was walking home, we ran into one of the guys who works at the internet cafe that I have been frequenting while the internet situation was in question. And he smiled and said hello and stopped me on the street. Maybe we are building our own space within the community. It's hard not to like that. He smiles at us with kindness, rather than the usually creepy man thing that happens or else the GIVE ME GIVE ME GIVE ME face we get most of the time in Colaba.

And that, is comfortable. 

No comments:

Post a Comment