Rock Stars ?!? (re-blogged from February 2013)

locator-map-Ahmedabad-273x300Ahmedabad is not a tourist destination. It is a working class city which used to be called the Manchester (UK) of India due to the many fabric mills. It could also be dubbed the Boston of India because of the 42 institutions of higher learning in or around Ahmedabad. None of my India American friends had been to Ahmedabad. Ironically, it was voted the most livable city in India for the year 2012. Mr. Modi, who is the chief  minister for Gujarat, the state around Ahmedabad, has been selected by his party, BJP,  as their candidate  for Prime Minister in the  2014 elections.  This is because  of his  business success in Gujarat.  The young people and educated middle class have high hopes for financial benefits if Mr. Modi should be appointed Prime Minister. India has a Parliamentary System as in Britain.


None of us were prepared for the reception we received when we arrived. Everywhere we walked, people smiled, said hello, and asked to have a picture taken with some or all of us. This wasn’t just the “twenty-somethings”, but David and me as well.  They would motion for us to remove our sunglasses to check eye color. If it was blue, we were rewarded with a huge smile. Two students were particularly popular for pictures.  Tyler, a redhead with blue eyes, a towering   6’ frame, and a gregarious personality, makes friends everywhere he goes.  Erin has golden curls and deep blue eyes. She has had repeated proposals of marriage, to which she sweetly smiles and acknowledges with a polite “No, thank you.”

From these experiences as well as watching Bollywood videos and commercials on TV for skin lightening products, it is evident that light skin is desirable. There are people of all ages with a certain shade of red hair which I image is a result of trying to lighten their hair. I guess it is the human condition that makes people long for something different; such as Westerners working hard to darken their skin even to the extinct of endangering their health in tanning beds.( I have since discovered that the “henna hair” is a sign that a faithful Muslim has made a Hajj to Mecca and is entitled to this sign for all the world to see. I am not sure if Hindus use it on their hair or not. )DSC_0406

The pictures: 9th graders and me at the Modhera Sun Temple

Step Well near Ahmedabad , David and me on the steps. Pictures by Shane.

My favorite picture is of the mother who had handed me her baby son so un-expectantly.  I know now, that she wanted me to touch the top of his head in a blessing.  Mothers’ love is universal!

Many thanks to the gentle, friendly, welcoming Indians of Ahmedabad!

  This Is Incredible India!                                           ImageImage


About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
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7 Responses to Rock Stars ?!? (re-blogged from February 2013)

  1. viewsplash says:

    Loved it! When is the visit to Delhi due?


  2. Henna is extensively used in North India. I do not know about other regions but I have seen the packets lying around at many homes. Also, women apply henna patterns on their hands and it especially holds a sacred significance for married women.
    Nice photographs. 🙂


    • annetbell says:

      I love henna hands and had my done at a wedding just before we came back the US! And I have some blonde highlights that are applied chemically to my hair…so I am fine with whatever. I didn’t want that henna color though, so abstained from hair coloring while in India! 😎 Just a matter of cultural taste, I think! Many thanks for information! Anne


  3. My daughter described similar interest and kindnesses as she travelled in India. maybe I will get there one day.


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