india selfie

Aw last of my selfies with locals posts, as waiting in Bengaluru airport for flight home, after a sensational (sense sating?) cram chock full month of bedlam and adventure! Wonderful!
A group of affable and affluent students from Bengaluru, outside the Grand Palace in Mysore. ‘what is there to see if I go to Bengaluru?’, collectively they shrug ‘eh nothing?’… I’d met them inside, they were fab, the most snap and photo opportunity obsessed group imaginable… I was hunting for the Holy Grail .. me taking a selfie of an Indian secretly taking a selfie of me!
Bog standard snap, but also, possibly, indicative of change… Most of them are women… equality in India is a complex beast… yet in 6 trips here across 30 years, I can count on the fingers of one hand, the number of casual conversations I’ve had with local women (not business based natters, or people born in the diaspora obvs)… It’s just not done. Not important in itself, natch, but somewhat indicative of the broader, weird disparities in opportunities here. Family. Religion. The astonishing, enduring power of customs and the straight jacket of social mores… Oops don’t want to over indulge in secular, soap box sermonising! A huge diverse land. What do I know.
The boy approached me first, yet the girl was but a nano second whisker behind… They both spoke excellent English (many many Indians do… And a greater number don’t!), these two were knowledgeable about my country, curious to know more, and proudly told me lots I didn’t know about theirs. Travel innit. Smile, chat about stuff, laugh! Warmth. Buoyed up by our beautiful shared humanity X

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