It didn’t take many minutes after disembarking in Delhi, to figure out that ‘one of these things wasn’t like the other’. In fact it was a young 20-something man that parked himself five feet from our luggage cart and began his stare, which last no less than 3 minutes. A mesmerizing stare that seemed to cut right through me. I tuned to Soan, and said, ‘what the hell is he staring at?’
Thus it had begun, the constant ogling that would follow me for 21 days, from dawn to dusk and beyond. It felt like I was a Rock Star or something. When the stare was coupled with children, it would come in the form of little giggles, like, “hello, miss, how are you?” If it wasn’t so damned cute, it would be just plain annoying.
Once in Jaipur, as I sipped my icey cold sprite from the comforts of my Took-Took, two young men came right up to me, about 1 foot from my face and began the stare. I smiled, unabashedly and continued sipping my soda. They didn’t move, so then I offered to take a picture of them instead.
On Holi day, everyone, young, old and in-between wanted to touch our Western faces; they touched, they groped, they kissed. It was a freebie day I figured.
I asked a few of the drivers about this, and they tell me that it is just because I have white skin and they stare out of a sign of respect, but I think that it is more than that. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but for now, I will enjoy my rock star status.