Out Among The People of India

If ever you are feeling bad about yourself and you want a little attention, a good idea would be to go to a rural area in India.  While we visited the country we were constantly stared at, pointed at, and had pictures taken of us.  It reminded me of when we were in China and a group of kids came up to us and asked for our autographs.  A Chinese -American happened to be walking by and he said, “Are they just getting your autograph because you’re white?” Yep, there is nothing special about us.

To be fair, this happened the most when we were in rural areas or in tourist areas where people from the country were visiting.  They really probably had mostly only seen white people on TV so we were exotic to them.

The reality was, I felt the same way about them.  I was constantly taking pictures of people just going about their daily lives.  Taking care of their kids, doing laundry, bringing water back from the well, getting haircuts and even just driving down the road.  While it seemed weird to me that people would want our picture, I took my fair share of pictures as well and they probably were wondering why.

There were a few reasons we drew extra attention.

First, we have some pretty cute kids.  Luke especially caused a lot of excitement and people were forever rubbing his head and trying to get him to smile.  This, unfortunately, caused Luke to just shut down most of the time, but when kids were around, he almost always had a smile for them.

Second, I have two beautiful sisters that would draw attention in any room, but particularly when people have only seen white women in the movies.  The time this happened the most was when we went to the wedding, we were constantly followed around by a group of people, “secretly” taking pictures of us.

Third, Jeromy is a big guy.  He’s very tall and very strong, especially compared to almost anyone we came in contact with in India.  We had more than one person look at him, point, and say “WWE!”  Or, “You look like the Undertaker.”  Apparently these are professional wrestling terms and Indians are fans of the sport.  Jeromy even had people ask him for workout tips so they could look like him!  You can see how being in India would start to make you feel pretty good about yourself.

It must be tough being so popular. 😉

If you look at this series of pictures it’s a good example of what would happen sometimes.  We would be taking a picture of ourselves in front of something, in this case, The Taj Mahal.

A group of people would gather around and stare at us while trying to take pictures without us noticing, at which point, we would tell them to come join us for a picture if they wanted.  First, the boldest would come up.

Then slowly but surely they would all come over smiling and snap tons of pictures to take home, and I guess, show their friends that they saw a real American.  At times, we would also get our own pictures with the people of India who, as you can tell from my pictures are incredibly beautiful.

While it was fun for a couple weeks, to see the joy it brought to people’s faces just to take a picture with us, I am certainly glad I am not actually famous.  I do not thrive on all that attention.  I will be happy to be back in the US and fade into the crowd as opposed to being the one causing a crowd to gather around me.

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