Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A little bit of India in Africa

Last four months I spent in Africa. I met strange people, ate stranger food, walked into juju markets of Nigeria, lost baggage in Mali, danced and sang with Nubians in Egypt, got lost in the medinas of Morocco, dined with Zulus of South Africa, made eye contact with the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda, relaxed in the beaches of Ghana, cheered for the lioness as she pounced on the wilder-beast in the vast Serengeti plains, and managed to completely avoid winter in Pittsburgh. And here I am, kicking myself for not seeing Ethiopia, Namibia and Bostswana. Life is calling me an ingrate!

I may or may not get into all the details of my trip in this blog, but you shall hear snippets for a long time to come. I met lots of Africans and this was their reaction to India:

Nigeria
'Man! You Indian people never part with your money even though you sleep in golden beds. If we get one Naira (equal to $1/150) from an Indian, we throw a party. By the way, if you didn’t get it, we don't like Indians.’

South Africa
'My great-grandpa was Indian; from Madras. Is Aishwarya Rai from there? One of these days, I would love to see what India is like. We Indians have thrived here from generations, keeping our culture alive. If you think Cape Town is infested with Indians, go to Durban. Can I offer you some chai? '

Mali
'India? Hind? aaahh! (glazed far away look) Where ever you are from, your skin color and hair is great. Wish all Malians could have brown skin and straight black hair.' (touches to see if I am real)

Tanzania
'Indians control all big businesses and keep to their own community. They never let their daughters marry localites and are forever suspicious of us. but you both are very different and friendly.'

Egypt
'You know Amitabh Bacchan? You look like heroine! What eyes! What body! Be my wife. I will give your husband 1000 camels in exchange for an Indian bride. He can have my fat sister too for free. '
[I plan to go to Egypt everytime I need ego boosting]

8 comments:

Zoheb said...

Was it 1000 camels or 1000 waffles? Pi might just take him up on it.

Alpha said...

just one comment? that too from zoheb? koi baat nahin...you are building my character.

RK said...

Makes me to want to go to Africa so badly!! My colleague from Mozambique loved the post as well :)

Long time reader (lurker?), first time commenter. Good to see you back.

Alpha said...

Rk, You must make your way there while it is still pristine. Thanks for the comment! Needed that ego boosting myself.

Sonia said...

lol! thousand camels! those don't come cheap! ;o)
and damn! here i was thinking i'm actually good-looking, and now you say it's just the egyptian way?! ( I meet a lot of egyptians in dubai)

Rash said...

what eyes! what body! I almost imagined a quickgun murugan type saying it :)

Rash

Anonymous said...

delurking..
alpha you lead such an exciting life..welcome back to tyhe blog world..write more please

Alpha said...

rash, egyptians are much more upfront than quickgun murugun who'd whistle from 50 feet away.

anon, thank you. I am hoping to continue boring you all..so stay tuned.