Indian Music: Singing Songs and Swimming Swamp

Leslie Woodford

NoteIndian music is part of a travel blog that I wrote during an extended business trip to India. I spent two months in New Delhi as my employer implemented a new business unit in two of its call centers. In addition to my professional work, I took time to study Hindi, an effort that fostered greater co-operation and trust among my Indian business associates. It also helped me better understand the culture. We believe that language opens a gateway to understanding culture. These pages focus on my observations and experiences in India. While I was there, I practiced Walkabout Language Learning. See the list of "More India Stories" on this page to explore how culture and language intertwine.

Whew! I have been working long hours. 13 hours yesterday, 12 the day before. The training isn't going the way that we expected. I feel that I’m really running up against cultural differences about manager employee relationships. Managers here seem more harsh than we would be in the US. I wonder if this style will be effective. We’ll see …

On a lighter note. Yesterday, I started learning some Indian music, a song in Hindi. It is a love song but it starts off to the tune of "The ants go marching two by two, hurrah hurrah." Anyway, I learned it because I liked the tune, only after I asked for the words did I find out it is a love song.

So today, I sang it for Sethi-ji (the cook) and Deepen (the steward) they laughed a lot and then started teasing me asking who I was in love with. Only been here three weeks, they said, and I've already fallen in love. They laughed and laughed and now are sure that I'm in love with someone at work. I hoped that my face didn't show what I think of Sexy Sudhir--the driver. Sudhir was out of the room when I sang it, but the first thing he wanted to know when we got in the car was what song I'd learned and would I sing it for him? I sang it again, and prayed that he didn't think I was singing it to him. I'm surely not in love with him, but in lust ... whew ... maybe.

Other than singing embarrassing Indian love songs, things for me are going well. Aside from the normal Indian hiccups: things being late and hard to get done.

The Swimming Swamp

The swimming pool at the apartment complex turned a deep green color over the weekend, but they drained it yesterday and it is back to its lovely aqua color again. That shows how quickly algae grows in this hot Indian sun. One day the pool was clear aqua, the next day, slightly cloudy, and the third day jungle forest green. I haven’t been able to swim all week, but now I can again.

--Posted by Leslie, Thursday, August 28

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