Posted by: rotarytrek | January 19, 2010

Autograph Please

Before I left the US I banished my blond hair, hoping a nondescript brown might blend better into country of brown and tan. I quickly learned that any attempt to just fade into the landscape of the hundreds is laughable. Indians seem to have a supernatural ability to tune out loud noises, speeding cars, free-roaming livestock, and public urination, yet as soon as pale-skinned girl in pants walks by they snap out of their self-induced daze, stop and stare. If they can recover quickly enough the phones come out and they start snapping pictures with their cells. I still have not gotten use to the celebrity-like status our group continually receives wherever we roam.

Most of our travels are to factories or Rotary Club project sites such as schools, parks, and hospitals. We rarely go out into the streets and public places in India, but when we do the crowds slowly begin to form and it only takes one or two bold children to start the barrage of hand shakes and ÒsnapÓ requests. During our stay in Solapur the city was in the midst of a 3 day celebration of the birth of local guru/prophet, Sankreet. The last of the festival we tried to sneak into the main temple in the middle of town for quick look of the festivities. Following our police escorts we slipped off our shoes (strictly forbidden in all temples) and started our tour through the throngs of people. I am sure the 7 uniformed police and the special access (we were allowed pass the barricades to view the statue up close) did not add to our anonymity. We were allowed a close up view of the literally tons of fruits and vegetables that were artfully laid at the foot of this ancient guru. The colors were beautiful but by Day 3 the flies were beginning to assist the god in enjoyment of the fruit. One quickly learned lesson for crowd control is to keep moving, so after the requisite stop by the inner temple (which I begged off, due to allergies and claustrophobia) we moved on to our waiting van where we slipped in and drove off.

Just another day in India.



  1. Just another day in India as a rock star…

  2. Well, I guess we can now say “we knew her when…”. Caroline, it sounds like you are having a really great time, albeit without much abilty to roam about anonymously. Enjoying your blogging
    and pictures, Shirley

  3. Are they paying yet? … I have several “vintage” signatures.

  4. My gosh time must be whizzing by for you. It seems like yesterday when you were mastering your new Kindle to get ready for the trip. In your absence Apple has tried to “one up” Amazon with a reader plus, named the Ipad! We’ll see… I’m quite jealous of your superstar status; when I was in India, and I was young then, no one was hounding and hustling me for autographs. If your hair is disguised, it must be the sparkle in your bold, blue eyes! Thanks for sharing just another day! Enjoy! Bonnie

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