Tuesday, June 17, 2008

so today- and i'm thinking i should write something appropriately snippy and delicious for TFT on this- i'm in the pool where i am a happydappy water baby full of good cheer and yoga litheness and a pubescent girl swims across my lap in that painstakingly slow whale-lumbering style bad swimmers have. i have to stop a very rapid, three-lap momentum breaststroke to avoid knocking into her, and when i surface i snap 'bacha, do you mind?' before swimming on. then said child, or her equally odious sibling, decides that tossing your foam board half a foot away from you and then walking the water (a.k.a pretend swimming where i kind of vaguely flail my arms) to it is a really fun and productive thing to do. she does so, and one of the times she tosses it in my direction, and splashes me. doesn't apologize or anything. i roll my eyes in my goggles and swim, swim swim. in between i help a little blue-goggled, red-capped, fish-floatied little duckling get her feet kicking right, and an auntie stridently asks me if i am a coach. this is the Odious Chillun's mother. i tell her no, but i work with kids her age these days and i swam competitively for many years (she asks me to help her kids with their crap swimming but that's another story).

-do you know where there are ballut lessons? she asks.

for a minute i quickly leaf through my head thinking ballot-vote-no-ballut-that's nothing-ballEt-ohhh tutus and pink satin slippers *ting*

-no, i don't

-i want my girls to be graceful, you know, move nicely

okay, quoth i, why don't you send them to a classical dance class?

-i really don't like classical dancing, it's so weird. and anyway they have it at school but i had them exempted

mina is puzzled. why? she asks, naive thing.

-because there was a male instructor, in a girls' school!

mina thinks back to the dance instructors she knows and thinks there is nothing for this woman to fear from the male ones. nohow, she ploughs on.

-but culturally, dance isn't a gender exclusive thing, i say.

-yes, she says disdainfully, but it isn't our culture.

i raise my eyebrows best i can with a swimming cap on and what i'm dying to say is how is ballet culturally relative to YOU, you ignorant, arrogant fat old cow marinating in chlorinated water and thinking it's swimming? and how do you think your horrible daughters would look in a tutu? reality check: ballet isn't meant for south asian punjabi boobs OR butts. good bye you odious woman with odious children yuckthooooooooo and when your daughters get married you'll have the devdas makeup and tab who'll be thinking it isn't your 'culture' HUH?

but instead i throw myself into a faster-than-average freestyle and float at the other end of the pool for a breather.

Mina at 5:35 PM