Friday, February 6, 2009


One of the the things that I marvel at about Indian society is how intimate people are with each other. By intimate, I mean the way in which Indians, family members especially, stay physically close to one another.

While taking a long drive to Colaba one night, Niraj told me that until he was in college, he never slept alone. For as long as he could remember, someone in his family would always be sleeping near to him. He recalled a time in his high school days when he travelled away from his home to stay over at a friend's house. The prospect of sleeping in a guest room alone filled him with so much anxiety, he eventually made some excuse to join his friend.

I think for Indians, the sound of silence is eerie and uncomfortable.

Day and night, life is filled with the movements and chatter... even the breathing of sleep... of loved ones. My Indian roommates would marvel at my desire for privacy or my ability to be quiet for so long. They must have imagined that I was a very lonely person. After spending a month with my talkative and non-sensical roommate from Chandigarrh, I began to miss her sometimes when she wasn't around in the room.