Morgan the Glassdiva

Morgan the Glassdiva

After waiting for the train to Varanasi for two hours, we were exhausted. There were people everywhere, children, men and women, sitting, standing or laying. The train station was packed with people, and not just people, but people with all their stuff. Stuff like boxes, suitcases, belongings and merchandise. I was watching a little boy who was being passed around between his mother, brother, sister, father and what seemed to be his uncle, when all he really wanted to do was to suck on his mothers breast. He sounded like my friends little boy when he goes after Hannas boob; a little bit mentally challenged and terribly aggressive in he way he cries for breast milk.

Anyway, when the train finally arrived and we found our cart, it was a nightmare to get on it. No queuing, only pushing, yelling and strange hand gesturing, which I had no idea the meaning of. Romy, Armando and I fought our way through all the people and got to our seats. It made me concerned right away to think that this was where we would spend the next sixteen hours. In the state of apathy we sat down and just watched the rest of the people struggling to get to their seats. I remember looking over at Romy, who seemed like she was filled with the same astonishment as I was. We were all dumbfounded and in a bit of a state, and it was probably really obvious because one of the other passengers kept looking at us, smiling and saying; “This is our India”. And that is when Morgan came.

It was like I was in a movie: Into our cart comes this woman. She is dressed in black, with a veil around her head, but you see her curly red hair going a bit crazy underneath. She leaned against my seat, put her leopard-skinned suitcase up on my armrest, looked at us over her big dark sunglasses and said; “ Isn’t this delightful”, in what I thought was a British accent. It was like going back to the fifties when the British were moving out of India in the post-colonial times. I felt like a traveller not really knowing what I had gotten myself into, young and naïve, and a little bit scared from it all. I asked her politely if she knew what her seat number was. She said she had no idea, and looked casually down at her ticket. It turned out that she was seated next to me, and as she realised this she looked over her glasses again, straight at me and said; “well, this is my lucky day”.

Morgan is a sixty-one year old clothing designer, not from Britain but from Australia, and one of the most delightful persons I have ever met. She has been going to India three or four times a year for the last fifteen years. She gets inspiration from India, and makes lovely garments out of Indian fabric. She takes from India, but she also gives to India. Every time she comes here, she brings a suitcase full of her friends’ old clothes, and takes it to the slum areas around Delhi. She also brought an Indian boy back to Australia with her, and made him a part of her clothing design business. Her designs are called Glassdiva. While I am always afraid of offending someone with my lack of knowledge or understanding of their culture, Morgan speaks to Indian people as she would to anyone of her own kind. She flirts and makes jokes at them, and I was especially amazed by this, and by how the Indian people loved talking to her.

Morgan has a fantastic laugh, like a young girl of fourteen. We spent the night on the train laughing at all the guys who were snoring, and it was great. Meeting Morgan on the train to Varanasi, in India, with people around us singing love songs in hindi, and sharing their homemade food with us, was a once in a life time experience for me. Thinking about it now, it makes me really happy!

The Glass Diva

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