I'm the most popular kid on Rangbalikhumbha Road. I don't know how this happened but all the neighborhood children gather around my house and wait for me to come home every night from work yelling 'Debbie deedee!' as soon as I pull up. Last Sunday (my only day off) I was doing some much-needed sleeping in, when hordes of them started banging on my gates screaming 'Debbie deedee!!! Debbie deedeee!!' Over and over again until I grumpily got out of bed. We played Snakes & Ladders, Caram board (this Indian game that is sort of a cross between pool and checkers) and this lame card game where each person is dealt one card and the winner has the highest card. When there is a tie, everyone just shrugs and looks at me as if I'm supposed to know what to do. The little boy named, "Honey" is the biggest cheater I ever met in my life and he starts crying whenever he's not winning. I started teaching them poker but they all had to leave for lunch. I feel sort of like an unpaid babysitter. They are pretty cute though.
Another hoodrat is Kalyani, a bit closer to me in age (19 years old). She and her mother accost me every time I pass by their house, insisting I come in for some chai and rock-hard bread. Their house is also a bread factory but for some reason they keep giving me the stale bread instead of the fresh bread. I went there last night for dinner and brought my sketch pad to do their portraits. I was about to start drawing and couldn't find the rubber eraser I'd brought with me. I'm feeling around the bed (which doubles as a couch) asking if anyone's seen my rubber. Kalyani flips through my sketchbook and finds a condom I had tucked in there that I got as a gift at Burning Man. That was awkward.
Then they seat me in the special chair and serve me dinner and watch me eat. We put the TV on and I was so excited because 'Darjeeling Limited' was playing on Star Movies. We are watching and I'm trying to explain the plot to them when suddenly, the scene in the movie is showing one of the Americans having sex with an Indian woman in the train bathroom. Kalyani turns beat red, her mother looks confused and before I know it, movie is shut off and we are watching a horrendously cheesy DVD of the latest family marriage.