Unless you're Elizabeth Gilbert, a free trip to India is hard to come by. So when the Wonder Twins heard about India Day 2010, an event celebrating India's 63rd Independence Day, they decided to try to do in a day what Gilbert did in a year. After attending the event, they completed their 24-hour Eat, Pray, Love experience by stopping at a gelato shop and buying Balinese wall art at Pier One Imports.
D'Anne: I think it's best to start off by disclosing the fact that you secretly wish you were a Bollywood film starlet.
Laura: It's more like I wish my life were a Bollywood movie. Because then all of life's most dramatic moments would culminate in mass choreographed dance numbers featuring impeccably dressed men and women.
D'Anne: I really don't see how that's any different from your current life.
Laura: Well, considering how many Bollywood movies I've seen, it does sometimes feel like that. But my love of Bollywood has extended to a love of Indian culture in general.
D'Anne: OK, Elizabeth Gilbert.
Laura: I am not Elizabeth Gilbert. I have never made out with a tree.
D'Anne: Wait, what? She made out with a tree?
Laura: Yes. When she was on her little devotional escapade in India. She was so overcome with emotion that she threw her arms around a eucalyptus tree and kissed it. Deeply. She can call it an expression of pure love but I call it tree rape.
D'Anne: I hope that scene made it into the movie.
Laura: If anyone's got a mouth big enough to kiss a tree, it's Julia Roberts.
D'Anne: Well, there were no trees at India Day, which I guess makes sense since they promised it would "feel like [you're] in a metropolitan city in India."
Laura: Well, since it's unlikely that I'll ever get to go to India, I figure the Rock Financial Showplace is probably the next best thing.
D'Anne: You should totally go to India.
Laura: That would involve going on an airplane for an extraordinarily long period of time. And going to a country that has cobras.
D'Anne: It's India, Laura. Not Snakes on a Plane.
Laura: Shut up. The first thing we saw when we entered the India Day festivities was the marketplace. There were a lot of things you could buy.
D'Anne: Yes. If you came with enough cash in hand, you could get a new car and framed gold-flecked portraits of all of your favorite Hindu gods and goddesses.
Laura: Not to mention an elaborate sari wardrobe, ornate gold jewelry, and hundreds of Bollywood DVDs and CDs.
D'Anne: And you are now the proud owner of several new movies and a Bollywood dance remix CD, which you forced us to listen to on the ride home. And a giant marble statue of Ganesh that had to be roped to the roof of your car.
Laura: That last part isn't true. But if I would've had enough cash, that statue would be in my living room right now.
D'Anne: I spent my money on Indian children's books.
Laura: A lot of the kids' books were about the Hindu god Krishna. Like Krishna Rocks and Krishna Loves You. But the best title was Krishna Photocopies Himself.
D'Anne: I'm pretty sure that book is about Krishna's short-lived employment at Kinko's.
Laura: They also had comic books. Though I was a little disappointed that they were basically folk tale and religious in nature. I was kind of hoping to find something awesome, like Super Shiva: Badass Destroyer or something.
D'Anne: The entertainment portion of India Day didn't quite live up to my expectations. But then, I was totally expecting the ending of Slumdog Millionaire. What we got was more like a grade school dance recital.
Laura: And although it's cute to see kids wearing ornate traditional costumes, and scampering around the stage in a slightly choreographed fashion, it's only cute for about a half-minute.
D'Anne: Unless it's your own kid. Then it's cute for five.
Laura: There were several ladies doing henna tattoos. I kind of wanted one, but wasn't sure about it.
D'Anne: But then you asked yourself, "WWEGD? — What would Elizabeth Gilbert do?"
Laura: Right. So of course I had to. Plus I don't think that lady was going to take no for an answer.
D'Anne: She was very insistent. I loved the look of horror on her face when after she completed applying the dye paste you asked if you should wipe it off with a paper towel.
Laura: It was too loud in there and I couldn't understand her instructions. All I heard was something about lemon juice and never washing my hands again.
D'Anne: That's right, Laura. Never. You're supposed to leave your hand unwashed until bacteria eats the henna ink away.
Laura: OK, that's what I thought she said. Well, it looks pretty sweet. She did a nice job.
D'Anne: I'm really glad you did that after we hit the food vendors.
Laura: Yes, there was lot of tasty Indian food from local restaurants. Even though we both went to different booths we both ended up with a vegetable samosa and a dish made of chickpeas.
D'Anne: It's the twin thing I guess.
Laura: I could eat Indian food every day for the rest of my life and be happy.
D'Anne: Is that a secret to happiness you learned from your friend Elizabeth Gilbert?
Laura: No. Actually the "eat" portion of
her book takes place in Italy and you're supposed to eat a lot of carbs and get fat. You know, happy fat.
D'Anne: The more you say about this book the happier I am that I never read it. Why did you read it again?
Laura: I don't know. Just opening it and reading random paragraphs it's very clear to me that when I read this book I was in a bad, bad place. Because now all I want to do is rip it in half. Even the cover fills me with rage.
D'Anne: And feeling filled with rage is, after all, the best way to tell that you're in a better place. Maybe seeing the movie might help you.
Laura: I won't be seeing it. Instead of exalting a woman who had the extremely uncommon luxury of taking a year off to traipse around the world and find herself — and who got rich bragging about it — people would get more out of exploring the rich cultural diversity right here in southeast Michigan.
D'Anne: Wait a minute — I thought we lived in a race-blind society now, Laura. Hello? Barack Obama? Skin color is just a construct that divides us and keeps us from unifying around our true race: American.
Laura: That is probably the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
D'Anne: That's impossible. You listen to Morrissey.
Laura: First of all, you are an asshole. Second, Morrissey brings people together. He's totally crosses cultural boundaries.
D'Anne: You're only saying that because that Bollywood DVD vendor liked your Morrissey belt buckle.
Laura: I rest my case.Wonder Twins cuddle up bi-weekly. Send comments to [email protected]