Friday, June 17, 2011

More about my Faridibad Family

This week seemed to go more quickly than last.  We are still teaching, and it seems to be going a little better every day  We’re not sure how effective we are, as the kids that understand what we are teaching usually already know the information, and those that don’t know it, don’t understand what we’re teaching.  Oh well though, I think just talking to them in English is probably helpful.  Plus, they’re fun.

Not to beat a dead horse, but my favorite part is obviously still the family.  Having lived with them for 2 weeks now, we are getting to know their personalities a bit more.  Let me introduce you…
Mowgli with his "toy box." He took great care to cut a window and gate into the side of it. 

This is Mowgli, the youngest.  Fast fact, his real name is Harry, but everyone calls him Mowgli.  He is a feisty one for sure.  I’ve discovered he is not as much of a morning person as the others.  When he wakes up he usually just wants to watch t.v., and doesn’t really care where we are.  When he watches t.v., he really concentrates on it.  He tilts his head and furrows his brow and almost looks angry, like this:
Intently watching his cartoons.
 Being the youngest, I think he is also probably the craziest.  Anytime we’re playing with any of the other boys, he’ll usually jump in.  He’s also hilarious when we “fight.”  He’ll participate the whole time, but then at the end he’ll always sit on us and says “I win I win!”  His laugh is hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. 

Ely's beautiful grin.  Please tilt your head to properly see it. You'll be glad you did.
Ely, the second youngest is so sweet.  In the morning he’ll come up to us with a huge toothy smile and say “Good morning sister,” kind of quietly.  This boy definitely has me in the palm of his hand and knows it.  He gets “mad” at us easily, which really means that he pretends to be upset with us so we chase him even more and give him extra attention.  It works almost every time.  He has such a soft heart too.  The other night, after we mistakenly gave the boys Mt. Dew, they were extra crazy.  It was during bath time, and they were all fighting and trying to open the door on each other so everyone would see the other one naked.  Side note, Sharlini (aka Mom), was encouraging the whole thing.  Anyways, the boys ended up pantsing Ely because he hadn’t gotten in the bath yet.  He got so upset and starting bawling, standing in the corner.  He wouldn’t look at any of us and ended up running down the street to the park he was so upset.  Gil had to eventually go get him.  He still would barely look at us that night.  It was one of the most heartbreaking things I might have ever seen.  The next day, he was still very upset with us (not totally sure why, as it was his brothers who pantsed him).  It took all day, and lots of coaxing with cell phone games and cameras, but he finally liked us again last night.  It made for a very rough day for me though.
Here’s a video of them fighting, pre-Ely-pantsing.  Notice that he is fine to try to pants Mowgli.  There’s no reasoning with a 9 year old though.
Please listen for Mowgli's laugh at the very end. 

Simon laughing during our "Mt. Dew" night.  Again, I can't rotate the picture,so you'll have to turn your head.  So much joy in his face. 
Simon is the 11 year old.  Well, we think he’s 11. We get told different ages every time we ask.  He was a little harder to break at first.  Like when we would be fighting with the other 3, he would just be watching t.v. in the other room.  He was also out playing a lot more and went to bed first, so we didn’t see as much of him.  But he’s come around, and now we are good friends.  He loves music and dancing and I have so many videos of him dancing.  He particularly loves Shakira and the “Gasolina” song. Again, at first I thought he was more standoff-ish and didn’t like us much, but now he is so loving and affectionate.  He is more likely to just sit around or lay around with us, instead of having to play all the time.  And those are some of my favorite times.  He has also come to school with us a couple of times.  He obviously walks around like he runs the place then.
So that leaves only William in the brother department.  He is the oldest.  I guess he’s 12, but he seems much older than Simon.  His English is quite good, and he helps us to translate a lot.  He is also just so enjoyable to have around.  Sometimes he is clearly the older brother and acts more mature than the others, but often he’s right in the thick of it, messing around with all the rest of them.  He is also a big fan of chess.  We have yet to beat him.  When we walked to the internet café the other day, or sometimes when we walk to get pops down the road, he’ll go with us.  It is so cute to have him there, half protecting us and half translating for us.  One of the funnier things that happened was earlier this week.  He came in, probably about 9 a.m., from playing in the park that morning.  He sat down in the living room and screamed “Mammi, khaanaa!”  Now, we don’t understand much Hindi, but we did understand that to mean “Mom, food!!”  He said it in such a way that it was like “Mom, I can’t believe I’ve been sitting here for 20 seconds and I don’t yet have food!” He didn’t realize that we understood him, so when we started laughing and he got that we thought it was hilarious, he of course repeated himself.  It actually reminded me a lot of my real brother.  His demands were met with a slap, and then a big plate of food.

Velma is the only daughter, and she is 15.  She helps us out a lot, and usually will go with us to help us get to the market or internet café.  We also brought her with us to Delhi last weekend.  Again, probably not our best idea, but it was well intended.  She can be a nice break from the boys, if we’d rather have some down time.  She is also our go-to for Indian pop-culture.  We sure have seen our share of India’s MTV and all their music videos.  At first it was fun and interesting to watch, now it’s getting a little repetitive.  Like any other 15 year old girl, she complains about her mom.  She says that her mom is crazy, asks too many questions, and is always bothering her.  Brings back such great memories.

Sharlini and Gil are hilarious.  Sharlini doesn’t speak much English but she still tries to communicate with us.  The other night, she came into our room and asked to have some of Katy’s Malibu Rum.  She was able to signal that it was too crazy out there, and she needed a drink.  They are a very liberal Indian family.  It’s also funny to see that they don’t care at all what the kids do.  The whole house is a play room.  The kids climb all over the furniture, walls, doorways, everything.  They hardly get yelled at for anything, and when they do it’s usually funny for everyone.  The boys are always fighting with each other.  Always. It’s funny to see and then to see Gil and Sharlini just ignoring them and letting it go on.  We tried to explain to Gil that, in the States, kids aren’t usually allowed to go at each other like that.  They’ll usually only get one or two good hits in before being separated.  Gil’s response was “It is good for them to use their muscles.”  I think their philosophy has some merit…we have yet to see a long-standing fight or offense between the kids.  Any problems are usually resolved pretty quickly with a kick or punch.

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