We want to show you how our typical conversation goes in India.
It’s an unspoken chat, done in universal sign language.
We’re not trying to offend anyone, but we are poking fun at something that happens to us dozens of times a day. And it’s not just in India. Similar hand-waving gestures happen everywhere we have been; India’s version just happens to be the funniest.
It starts likes this.
We walk by a house, a tea stand, a food cart or a shop. Someone spots us, and wants to talk to us. They are curious how these backpack-hauling foreigners landed in their village.
It looks like this.
If we were speaking, the dialogue would sound like this.
Local: What are you doing? Where are you going?
Local: Hi! But, what are you doing? Where are you going?
Us: We’re going ahead.
Local : But, where are you going?
Us: We’re walking, and we keep going forward.
Local: Wait, come here.
Us: No,no, we can’t come. We keep walking.
Local: Come here, come here.
Us: No,no. If you want to talk, you come to us. Let’s do a walk-and-talk.
Local: But, come here!
A few actually get up from their chairs and come down to talk and walk with us for a few meters. When they see we aren’t slowing down, they fall back. Most, though, remain seated, and we remain a curiosity for them to wonder about.