Date: Friday, June 9th
Location: a bougie South Bombay Starbucks
Status: chilling it and killing it, sippin’ an americano like a true Americano citizen
Mood: cool, calm and collected (can only confirm said state for the next four minutes)
Fourth blog post. Here we go. Fasten your seat belts, fellow interns, because you’re in for a wi–oh, wait. Ha. Almost forgot that this is Mumbai. Must be the uniform landscape of capitalism; all these Starbucks making me think I’m back in my childhood, White suburbia studying for the AP Human Geography map quiz! Nope. This is Mumbai, City of Safety Second, where wearing a seat belt is like wearing shoes on your hands. I swear to you that seat belts here are only included in cars for the #aesthetic. Okay, but think about it. A car without seat belts would look like a human without eyebrows. You just gotta have them. Okay. So. Not that y’all are informed of the seatbelt situation here in Bombay, allow me to make a few minor modifications to my previous thought. I suppose I could put it, “hold on tight to the thin, interior walls of your auto rickshaw, or pray to the Muslim, Hindu and/or Christian god(s) that you won’t fly off the back of your motorcycle seat when your local friend who’s driving races over a speed bump because this blog post is about to be a wild ride!” Yeah, I’ll put it like that.
We’ll start with the good news: Melita and I have successfully organized a new computer class at a Christian parish within the community. This group of kids, unlike the other two schools in which I’ve been teaching, is a little more diverse in terms of the ages of the students and their genders. The youngest student is a girl named Anusha in the 5th standard who I speak with in the Language of Laughter while the oldest, Emmanuel, is a boy in the 10th standard with plans to go into the army. Quite naturally, the group dynamic feels completely different from the previous groups of students. There’s more energy and more playfulness between the students and I, as well as more conversation amongst the students themselves. My thinking is that this also has to do with location–the group isn’t from one specific school, and the class has been organized through the church, not a structured academic institution. The result is a more free-spirited and flexible type of classroom atmosphere. I can dig it. I can roll with this. Yeah, challo!
So, here they are: the Noobs themselves.
Selfies with the Newbies!
So, I’ve got a confession to make. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I find it super rewarding to work with these kiddos. Okay, but for real…what type of human being doesn’t feel at least some spark of joy when they make a little kid laugh? …Actually, I know a guy. Yeah, that’s right. I said I know a guy. Her name is Young Bri. I can clearly remember growing up expressing absolute repulsion at the idea of children. Little humans who mindlessly babble and carry literally endless energy stores with them everywhere they bounce, who only stop once an elbow or knee is scraped, a finger is pinched in a door, or a pair of clean trousers is spoiled? Yeah, thanks… but no thanks. Young Bri was observant; she knew (and smelt) the truth. Young Bri could see right through a child’s wide, curious eyes and chubby, chipmunk cheeks. Her premature–one might even claim psychic–ability to process the Truth of the Existence of Children caused Young Bri to confidently declare her decision to any adult who never asked that she would “never ever ever have kids.” The foot was down. The arms were crossed. To this, the adults would gingerly reply, “oh honey, you’ll change your mind when you’re older.” Yeah, yeah. That’s what they all say. The eyes were rolled.
Dear young Bri,
Older Bri here. Got some Bad News Curry to serve you on a round, metal plate with some fresh chapati and white rice. Would you fancy a cup of masala chai with it? Might go down easier… My sincerest apologies, but I regret to inform you, Young Bri, that those adults that never asked your preference on child-bearing and children in general? They were right. Here, have a seat. I know this is difficult to hear, but the truth of the matter is that older Bri thinks kids are bubbly little bundles of fun, and teaching them is such a joyful experience! It’s a tragic turn of events, I know. A Shakespearean Bummer, you could argue. Please don’t hate me for betraying your 7-year-old reproductive decisions. Please. Hate Anusha and Joel. They started it.
Anusha and Joel, Also Known As The Two Who Started It:
Ahh, it’s too true! Scary true! Is it my 20-year-old biology kicking in? Is this the conversation of the once-dormant hormones now throwing an absolute rager in my veins? Who knows! (Google knows.) Who cares! (My parents definitely care.) I love little humans, and I’m no longer ashamed to say it! Babies, babies, babies!!! Give me all the B A B I E S ! ! !
Re-reading that last paragraph, I realize that, not only do I sound a solid 7.6/10 on the scale of creepy-women-who-steal-children, but I also literally just plagiarized a classic Justin Bieber banger! How dare I illegally paraphrase the one, the only JB, who, for your information, made his debut on Indian soil–actually, the probability that it was a wet, Monsoon sludge stands higher–on May 9th in the one, the only…Mumbai! I am happy to announce that advanced stats have predicted only a 72% chance of lip syncing having occurred within the venue of his performance, and die-hard Beliebers have made scattered claims of leaving the show feeling somewhere between “somewhat satisfied” and “casually contempt.” That’s a success story in the Biebooks if you ask me.
I know what you are all dying to ask: did you snap a selfie with Justin!? Psh. Who do you think I am!? A speck of dust which carries no higher purpose other than ensuring the survival of her species in a vast expanse of starry nothingness!? Of course I clicked a photo with Justin! I even have digital proof. See for yourself.
Meet my student Justin Raj, or as the other students joshingly call him, Justin Bieber. Ba-dum, tsss. Gotchya.
Anyway, the moral of this bad joke in my nonsensically-written blog post is this: I’d choose a day of teaching these kiddos over going to a Justin Bieber concert ten times out of ten.
Good moral, yeah? Thanks for reading, folks. ‘Til next week.