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  • Our first evening in Lima, Rabia and I decided to indulge ourselves. We waltzed into a decent looking salon, picked the nail paint of our choice (Glossy white for me; Merlot for Rabia) and perched ourselves on the pedicure chairs.

    Neither of us spoke a word of Spanish. We relaxed amid the hum of the language and the scurrying of the mani-pedi specialists. I was comatose and my body so liquid, I dozed in and out of wakefulness. Towards the end of my pedi, a little girl ran up to me to examine from a distance my Kindle, which I held wrapped in a pink cover.

    "Do you want to see?" I asked her, extending my Kindle towards her.

    She ran to her Mother, who was settling her bill at the counter. She hid behind her Mother's leg and played peek-a-boo with me, smiling intermittently.

    Her Mother turned around to see what was amusing her daughter. When she saw me, she grinned as though we were long lost friends. She scooped up her varied bags and walked to my chair. She smiled again and took her phone out.

    I was confused. Was she going to take a picture of me? Why?

    "Shahrukh Khan? Shahrukh Khan?" She proceeded to chant the name of India's biggest superstar.

    My eyes widened and once she recognized the look of recognition on my face, she launched into two minutes of frenzied Spanish throwing out more Bollywood names that I had grown up with.


    She opened her phone and pressed a button.

    "Ringtone. Ringtone. My!" She squealed with delight.

    A melody emerged from her ringtone and she began singing along.

    Bole Chudiyan, Bole Kangana....Hai mein ho gayi, Teri Sajana"
    My bangles and my bracelets, are saying I am yours. (Sounds much sexier in Hindi)

    "Wow. Wow. Wow. You know this song!!" I exclaimed.

    She laughed. And hugged me. She kissed me on my cheeks.

    "Bollywood sisters!" she grinned.

    "Yes. Yes. Bollywood sisters"

    We connected.

    If I could speak Spanish, I'd tell her the meaning of the song.

    But something told me, she already understood.
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