Entry 05: The Magic School Bus Takes Us Places

Location: Sai Palace Hotel Room
25 May 2014 10:31pm

Yo. The word “day off” means absolutely nothing here. And that’s not a bad thing.
12 people are blogging at the same time about things we do, so hopefully if I skip over anything you can just read someone else’s take on it.
AUGH. Again, SO much is continually just HAPPENING. I wish I could write a higher quality blog post right now but time is fleeting so I’ll just fill you in on some details.

-We finished our beautiful Lungi Dance Bollywood shoot at Whistling Woods at 2ish 3ish am. It was a magical experience. Honestly. There are really no words to describe it. The energy in the air was full of determination, passion, smiles, laughter, but we were also on task, focused, and ready to go. It was everything a set should be and could be, and I look forward to experiencing and creating that magic once again someday.

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Sanjeev is an amazing director and choreographer; Som (Somnath Sen) was an awesome producer/director also; and our DP (who unfortunately, did not catch his name but hopefully can edit this and insert it here) was totally rad. Sanjeev is in the blue shirt (those Western boots doe), Som is on the far right, and the DP is in motion behind Som. Yo, all of us agree the the DP was incredibly cool. He had this sort of hippie-chic vibe and was very chill and his outfit was fantastic. Wayne aspires to be like him someday. I believe in him.

Couple more photos for context:

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Yeah. That happened last night, from 6pm to 3am.

-Then we rested up all day, and went to Blue Frog the next evening to watch some world-class Hindi comedy stand up artists. Gotta give props to Mark E Mark, it was a very cool experience. Blue Frog is a world class classy-hip-modern-chic club. The comedians spoke in English but would occasionally switch over to Hindi. Despite the fact that we didn’t always understand the jokes, just hearing everyone else laugh made me laugh. It was fascinating also that some jokes would start in English and the punchline would be in Hindi, but we’d still be able to laugh along because of the context. We especially understood the jokes about rickshaws and “white people who come to India to find themselves.” The comedians were on point and funny, and (of course) the final comedian is Mark’s friend (ok we all accept the fact that Mark is a lowkey celebrity in Mumbai).

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And all that was yesterday…today was magical. Every day is magical. We went to Juhu beach and I got a Mango Kulfi Rabdi Falooda from my buddy Adi.

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Talking to him was one of the highlights of my day: he’s a 12th year student studying commerce. I was eavesdropping on his conversation with Mark (I was wearing sunglasses so I was being sneaky) and Mark said something like “us Americans, huh?” because we were being typical Americans and taking pictures and standing in the way of traffic. But he was like “Naw, you are guests in our country.” And I was like woah.
While we got a ton of curious stares and crowds following us at the beach, and some people even asked to take pictures with us, that statement made me realize just how accepting they are. Here you can just accept and be let in. In America, in so many different contexts we have to fight for our identities and fight to be recognized. From what India has shown me, just being who you are is enough.

Food for thought: Adi seemed sort of annoyed at his own people (as behind us, other Indians were taking photos of and with Wayne and Erika behind me and totally fangirling over them) and said he wanted to go to the US. We were like, “Why?” and he said something along the lines of here, people don’t think very high of themselves. I don’t want to take what he said out of context, but whatever he said it was something like they don’t aspire to be more than they are.

I asked him where in the US he wanted to visit and he said New York, and that he has a friend living there.

More interesting analyzation: he was a little confused when I asked him where in the United States he wanted to visit, and he also didn’t know where/what the Philippines was. Adi also told me that “Asia” to most Indians is just China or Japan (which explains why he didn’t know what the Philippines was). Veronica also asked some people at the Bollywood shoot if they knew where Puerto Rico was, and they were utterly confused.

I am reminded that India is a country of 1.2 billion people and the USA is only 300 million people, but we have so much influence that people who don’t know much about the US still want to move there. The view of the US from India is probably just NYC and all our Top 40 music (Kanye, Beyonce, Katy Perry, etc. etc.) because somehow at Blue Frog the night before, they knew more lyrics to Kanye West songs than I did. Though I only know the lyrics to like 2-3 Kanye songs anyways.

We’re so cynical and think we have so many internal issues but in a global sense, we’re still seen as the country of freedom and that everyone lives the high life in America. Hmm.

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I touched the Arabian Sea. Woot.

-Then, we went to FabIndia to get us some quality Indian garb. I ended up purchasing souvenirs for people instead of buying clothes for myself…hopefully I’ll find stuff that catches my eye. I want to purchase at least 1 full outfit of traditional Indian garb before I leave.

We take our magic yellow schoolbus to Candies, this incredibly posh place in Bhandra that Mark knows. It was the bomb dot com and had so many levels (we ate on the top floor!)

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-We drive around Bhandra for a bit (our driver got lost) and then also drive past famous actor’s houses, including Shahrukh Khan’s house. People stand outside these houses day and night, hoping to get a glimpse of these glamorous stars…

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Not to mention that James Franco made an appearance but didn’t want any autographs. Luckily I got a good paparazzi photo of him!

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Moving along, we walk through beautiful Bhandra…see the place where Mark and his wife Taapsi used to live (didn’t photograph it though)…jump into the celebration of an Indian wedding (the story: music and dance on the street. Fascination, we go to watch. Like tourists, we take out our cameras. Mark goes to dance with them. One of the celebrators comes up to me, says “come dance!” takes my hand, and I follow. It was a joyous 15 minutes or so of all us dancing among these smiling, laughing, and gleeful Indian people celebrating a wedding. Just one of those total Kodak moments.)

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-random note: the graffiti art is astounding.

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-Like the democratic people we are we vote to go back home because we’re dead tired…until we see a bunch of night shops—Clothes! Brand names! Shiny things! Our inner consumerist awakens and Mark stops the bus, tells us, “30 minutes! GO!” and we scatter forth like ants into the great unknown of colorful fancies. Aaron and I haggled on the street for some rad bags, I got me some shoes, bangles, anklets. When we hopped back on the bus, we let Mark know: WE HAVE TO COME BACK HERE. “It will be done,” said Mark. (note: he didn’t actually say that, it was something like that).

-Now we’re here chillin’ in our air-conditioned hotel.

Woooooooh. For the record, I know my grammar and syntax are terrible (Professor Deppa might have a stroke if she read this blog post) but yo dawg it’s a blog so just accept it. I passed COM 101 last year so that’s all that matters.

 

‘Til Next Time,

Losa

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