Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Maxine’s cook and helper, Nanda, seems like a wonderful person. She’s bright, incredibly organized, and, rather importantly, she likes me. Nanda and Maxine have been working together for years now and it shows. She has also made a real effort to make me feel at home for the short time I am with them. We’ve started trading English and Marathi words while cooking lunch [ I am turning into the go-to girl for veggie prep] and we have gotten better at using charades to get our points across. If you look at the post immediately below this one, she was the woman I accidentally referred to as a man, while trying to ask how she was doing. She paused, and then had a good laugh while Maxine corrected me.

Here’s a sampling of my baby talk, with English transliterations for the Marathi:
yes= ho
This is accompanied by a head waggle that everyone in India uses constantly. I even noticed it in Bollywood film before I arrived. It replaces the Western nod. You quickly bounce your head from side to side, right ear towards right shoulder then left ear towards the left shoulder. Repeat ad nauseum.
no= nihi
tea= chaha
brown sugar= gaul

Recently, I got up to help make pasta sauce for dinner --Maxine typically has Indian lunches and Western dinners-- and Nanda made me sit right back down. I hadn’t finished my lemonade yet.

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