Going Native #1

This, my first posting, is dedicated to the little Indian woman who shaved me clean, and to me, the woman who still wants to believe that getting your “bikini” done is not the same thing as removing all of your pubic hair.  But, it’s kind of like the story about the man who is hit while he’s driving his car through a stale, green light.  He argues that he has the right of way.  He is right, but his car is totaled.  I am arguably right, but I’m still totaled.

    Here are the facts.  My name is Nandi.  I have three sons and an English husband named Robin.  I am a famous Hollywood Filmmaker.  I live in Mumbai, India.  I am here to discover and explore my spirituality and to share in this exotic, global village with my family.


Uh, okay… I would have probably been famous, I am supposed to be famous, but I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and I decided to flee to India with my husband and three kids because I was freaking out and I didn’t know what to do about the chronic illness thing.  And quiet as it’s kept, India is not any more spiritual than Hollywood, it’s just really crowded and often more desperate.

 Okay, here’s the real truth.  My name is Nandi, I am an African American, woman with three kids and one husband and I live in Mumbai, India.  An Indian conglomerate bought the company my husband works for.  We figured that with the sagging U.S. economy and my diagnosis, we should cash out and imagine that we were having an international adventure.  I am exploring my spirituality and clinging to my sanity while I work to navigate this crazy, stinky, city.  I am trying to make some sense of the chaos… in India and in my life.  And I am going to find my inner peace if it kills me.  I have Multiple Sclerosis, which is a crap disease but, I am not giving up and I intend on having that amazing filmmaking career that I have worked for all of my life, even though walking is an issue, and for reasons I still don’t understand, I have no pubic hair.

     It wasn’t supposed to be a tricky ordeal.  I had weighed the pros and cons of laser hair removal and I decided that it would be nice to have a perpetually clean bikini line and smooth lower legs.  I have already done hair removal on my underarms and I am pleased with the results.

     Imagine my surprise, when I am spread eagle on the table with a nice, but strange, Indian woman who is wearing goggles and a surgical mask, removing that which has never been removed.  I bolt upright, “Why are you doing that?” I shriek, hoping she won’t panic and nick me.  “For the bikini.” she says, wagging her head, as she changes directions with the razor.”Oh,” I mumble, as I try to calculate my options.

     It is especially hard to calculate options when you are so vulnerable and there’s a hot light, a sharp blade and a strange lady’s head between your legs.  I should have asked her name, since at this point, she knows more about me than almost everyone on the planet.  “Do you have children?” she asks, making polite conversation.   “Three.” I say, wondering if she is asking me because their big-assed heads have left an indelible birthmark that my husband has been too polite to mention.  Why am I here?

     I lie back down, so I don’t pass out and I chant the Lord Shiva’s name like I do in yoga class during an impossible stretch.  Eventually, I am able to establish the fact that I do want pubic hair.  She assures me that it will grow back and that the numbing cream that she has liberally applied, will wear off within a few hours.

     Robin, who after 23 years of marriage, has probably given up on “intimate surprise”, is very SURPRISED.   Me, I just smile and shake my head.  This is truly a story that only happens in India, a place where even the most kick-ass, American, filmmaker, can lose her pubic hair and her dignity… without even trying.

33 Responses to “Going Native #1”

  1. Erma Elzy says:

    Hi Nandi! What a wonderful surprise to see and be a part of your website/blog. Also a surprise to hear you are challeneged with MS. So know, you are already prayed-up and blessed with positive affirmations for health and wholeness from me to you! You can conquer anything and being in India is defintely the right place for visioning and peaceful meditation. I’ll follow your posts and live vicarioulsy through your adventures there. My best to Robin. Looking forward to your stories. The pubic hair adventure-ha!

    One love,

    Erma Elzy

  2. Shannon says:

    How amazingly funny to be in such a predicament, and terrific that you can share it. I see the waxing places here and there, and can’t wrap my mind around women going to that place where they are spread eagle in front of anyone besides their lover or their gyno. Yikes!

    Wonderful story, and I’m very much looking forward to more!

  3. Gavin Lawrence says:

    Hey, Nandi. Thanks for sharing. I wish I had something poetic, witty, and inspirational to say. I’m just grateful to have you still in my world, distant though it may be, and I want you to know that you and your family are in my thought, prayers, and meditations.

    Much love,


  4. Joe Burke says:

    Nandi! You rock! I am so excited to hear about your blog endeavor! Keep me up on the big city. Your fam pics are adorable. Keep Donna and I up on the cutting trends. We can tell u about how relatively mundane life goes onback here ;) Enjoy and best wishes!!!!

    Mrs Donna’s husband, Joe

  5. Zida says:

    Hey Nandi, just talking to your mom and she directed me here…I love the modern world. You can talk to somebody in Mumbai and it sounds like they are in the next room. Love yr blog. And you!! Many kisses to all the boys and Robin.

    At least you didn’t go get stringing on your pubes!

    xoxoxo Zida

  6. Yvonne says:

    Nandi, you know I loved your stories when you first arrived in India and this is equally as good, I will enjoy coming back to read more. Surprised to hear of your MS and wish you well.

    Lots of love and hugs,


  7. kris kahrs says:

    Congrats on the new blog Nandi. I enjoyed your first post and am looking forward to reading all of the family’s adventures in Mumbai. Love the look of the blog too. So pretty! Hugs to all.

  8. clea says:

    Hi there, just came on your post by the FB cross network thing: it’s a nice surprising and daring post for a first post i think ! I have been living in Bombay for the last 5 years as a journalist and doing currently something about perceptions of cinema… would you like to connect on the topic (my email is there I guess)? anyways keep it on, I want to read more of your adventures :)

  9. Mykal Knight says:

    Hey Nandi! Thanks for sharing your journey with us! I am looking forward to reading more of your postings…
    We miss you here in NYC- USA… Love you always…
    Mykal Knight
    Howard University brother for life!

  10. Nandi, just the right touch of hard facts and humour. Some of life’s experiences leave us with no option but to laugh (and when you think of it, it’s far better than the alternative). Keep writing.

  11. Frank Dawson says:

    Hey Nandi, Greetings from the distant past. Your blog was forwarded to me by a mutual friend and colleague, Salvador Carrasco. I really enjoyed reading about where you are in your life through your descriptive comments and humorous meanderings. My sister Afiya in New York has been enjoying her life to the fullest after being diagnosed with MS more than 10 years ago. She adopted a very strict diet and other holistic practices that have allowed her to remain active and vital. She has also been very supportive of others who have been diagnosed and I would love to put you in touch with her if you have an interest. Best wishes always, Frank Dawson.

  12. nand2688 says:

    Lovely to hear from you. Would very much like to be in touch with your sister. I am on FB and easy to find. I look forward to being in touch with you both. Thanks for reading. More to come. N

  13. cynthia says:

    Oh dear, your bikini wax story is too funny. You sure don’t mince words, girlfriend! What’s your advice about tiny blonde facial mustache hairs?

  14. nand2688 says:

    I think that a little upper lip hair is sexy.

  15. harjyot says:

    Oh it was awesome to read all of this,please continue to write.Its amazing.

  16. Judy B. says:

    Hi Nandi,

    I love the blog and I am not a blogger. Keep them coming. It is nice to learn about your life I still remember playing together as children on McClellan Ave.

  17. 在你博客很多都是没见过的东西啊!收藏了
    http://www.businesstraveltours.com is my blog.

  18. Suzanne Jones says:

    Ha! This is so great, Nandi. Love hearing and seeing your adventures. Look forward to reading more and seeing you guys soon!

  19. nandi bowe says:

    Thanks for reading and enjoying. Wish I could be there now with you all.

  20. Becky Amos says:

    Oh, here is another one:

    Do you have children?” she asks, making polite conversation. “Three.” I say, wondering if she is asking me because their big-assed heads have left an indelible birthmark that my husband has been too polite to mention. Why am I here?

    Girl, you so funny!

  21. film website says:

    Just desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity to your publish is just nice and that i could think you’re a professional in this subject. Well along with your permission allow me to seize your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  22. Crystal Jackson says:

    Hey Nandi,

    I have been so caught up in my own world and duties and struggles. Being strong became my name and reading your blog has made me realize that I am not, cause there is no way I could have spread eagle and let someone clear my pubic hairs. LOL! You give me strength and I thank you my friend. I love you and yes, you will become that Famous Filmmaker!!

    • nandi bowe says:

      thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Fortunately for me, I am all for the good story and so even while it was happening, I was thinking, no one is gonna believe this. Crazy. Please keep making time when you can. Love from here, Nandi

  23. D.J. says:

    I am proud of you. You have been blessed with a beautiful family. March on!

  24. Ok I am back. I now have read all of the letters. They are fantastic. I was totally transported and I “See” the movie I want you to write. Oh Nandi I want to know more about your corner of the world.

    • nand2688 says:

      Thanks so much for reading, There is so much more to come. Please subscribe and stay tuned. Warm regards, Nandi

  25. Luisa says:

    whoah this blog is magnificent i love studying your articles.
    Stay up the good work! You already know, lots of people are searching around
    for this info, you can aid them greatly.

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