Kadama 21: Sorry, I want that Sari

Trip Start Jul 12, 2012
Trip End Dec 01, 2012

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Flag of India  , Andhra Pradesh,
Thursday, August 9, 2012

I realize that it has been four days since my last entry and for that, I am shocked at myself! Usually I am writing every other day but this week has been my busy/lazy/confusing week. My classes have been going well and I have also come up with down time that I have spent reading. I picked up The Marriage Market by Nisha Minhas at a bookstore here in town. Normally, it takes an amazing book for me to just sit down and read. This is one of them; I have spent more than three hours every day reading! I read 200 pages in one day which is a record for me. The book is about an Indian family who now live in Great Britain and it goes through the love, struggles, marriage process, and traditions of Indian weddings and arranged marriages. It keeps pulling me in so once this book is over then will be writing more blogs (until I buy another one of her books).

To bring you all up to speed with my life, I bought my first Sari yesterday! Four of us girls met with Sandy (An Indian student on campus) and she took us to Lingampally which is a small town about 15 minutes away from campus. This town truly was what you expect when you think "India". She took us to Sundeep which is a Sari shop and we followed her up the stairs into another area of the “store”. There had to have been over 5,000 Sari's ranging from simple to extravagant! We went crazy looking around trying to find which one we wanted. I opted for a deep purple with gold and tan Sari for my fancy nights out. I also fell in love with a turquoise, silver and purple outfit which I couldn’t help but add to my collection. Unfortunately, I cannot show you photos of them because they are getting tailored to fit my body! For $8 USD I am getting two Sari’s with fitted tops – you couldn’t even get a button fixed for $8 USD in the states. To complete my get-up, I bought gold, silver and purple with gold bangles as well as matching earrings and bindi’s.

After a wonderful day of shopping, I traveled to Telugu University for a dance performance featuring the main act, my yoga instructor! She has been trained in Devadasi, meaning “servant of god”, which is a dance performed in temples. The performance consisted of four lengthy dances all with different meanings towards different gods. Her facial expressions, makeup, hand and footwork, and her singing were beautiful and very elaborate.

Following the show, a group of us went to a restaurant in Banjara Hills called Far East. The atmosphere was very swanky and the food was amazing (and inexpensive!). I opted for mixed vegetables and exotic rice. Indian is the best place for anyone who is a vegetarian. The food is fresh, delicious and there are so many options. I have been meat-free for 16 days and it does not even phase me! We ended up arriving at Tagore around midnight and I was exhausted.

This morning, I went to my yoga class and entered a deep meditation. I am slowly learning how to control my breathing through yoga, however, my asthma sometimes gets the best of me. At lunch I had French fries which made my day! Homemade, skinny French fries could make any American visiting India the happiest person in the world.

Tonight I worked out to Insanity with Lizzie, Emmy, and Nina on the back terrace of Tagore. I am taking advantage of the healthy, unprocessed food, everyday cardio through biking and walking, and dance/yoga classes to sculpt my body. When I get home, I will be a completely different person, inside and out. It is time to get serious about my health and I will do it with a smile. No pain, no gain!

Until next time, take care!

P.S. - I am spending my birthday (August 15th) in Bangalore! I will be leaving Tuesday, August 14th and returning to Hyderabad on Tuesday, August 20th.
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