Those of you who have been following my Indian adventures may think that I did not have a good time. Truth is, I did. This is in no small part to the people I was with. I have a feeling that three weeks in
Many of them I believe are now Misssives readers, though, and I want them to know how much Meeester, Indy and particularly Junior Misssy enjoyed their company. They were a blast and given that from time to time they had to endure quite a lot of crap thrown at them by India (sometimes literally), they dealt with it all with spectacular maturity and a unflinching sense of humour.
The trip, unsurprisingly, makes me realise how much I miss working with teenagers. Maybe not too soon, but definitely in the future, I can see myself going back into teaching.
This post, in particular, is dedicated to our lovely, feisty girls.
Our girls found themselves the object of a great deal of attention by local Indian lads. Indian men, it would seem, are in awe of the white skinned lady. To a ridiculous extent.
Everywhere we went, attempts were made by Indian men on their cell phones to covertly photograph the girls. Meeester and his colleagues were onto them like J-Lo's bodyguards on a payrise promise. We are confident that all over Rajasthan there are legions of photos of the back of Meeester’s hand, or an angry shouting, Scottish bloke’s face filling the frame. Clearly, an alternative career in celebrity security beckons, should the whole education thing not work out.
The attention towards the girls really got on my nerves, I must say, as I found much of it to be quite overt and ridiculous. At a Jain temple I nearly swung for a bloke as he asked to take a photo of one of the girls I was with. In retrospect, I maybe was a bit too forceful as at least this particular hopeful chap had the manners to ask first. Still, off he went with a flea in his ear, all the same. I have never pretended to be so many girls’ mothers. One thing these lads did respect was the idea of parents, so a quick “No. This is my daughter” soon saw the buggers off. In one particular case, I laid claim to giving birth to the lot of them. However, this did nothing for my ego, as they clearly believed I looked old and knackered enough. Pah!
Still, the girls seemed to devise their own tactics for putting them off. Indian Bebo is no doubt chock full of pics our lasses making “spazy” faces or giving the Vs. Good on them. They never gave an inch.
Meeester had his own way of dealing with the unwanted attention directed at the girls. He would simply step into the photo frame with whichever lass was being targeted grinning wildly. How’s that for a passion killer? Or worse, he would offer himself up as the sole subject. And when they declined to take his picture instead, he would act slightly offended when the camera got put away. Indian men do not like to be ridiculed. Meeester is an arch ridiculer.
He also dealt with the offer of a piece of jewellery to one of our ladies clearly designed to garner her affections. The man in question had asked the girl not to let on to her male chaperones, because, as one of our tour guides, he knew he was overstepping the mark. Although seventeen and well able to handle herself, the girl in question told Meeester and me of the gift, as she was at a loss as to how to adequately deal with the situation.
Meeester made a show of him in a subtle and quite comic way.
“I’ve just seen the ring you gave X. And I want to thank you, for the gesture of friendship you have made. That really was very kind of you. What a nice thing for you to do. You have extended the hand of friendship between our countries and given this ring to our group as a symbol. Our school thanks you on behalf of our Headmaster and our Country.”
Translation: “I’m onto you mate. Keep your hands off”
Our man was cowed, rumbled and embarrassed.
(And crucially, our girl got to keep her ring which, by this time, she was getting quite attached to...)
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