New Delhi Femme

April 16, 2010

Goodbye five feet of snow, goodbye winter. My first thoughts as the plane touched the dusty runway: Has something gone terribly wrong with the air filter? Windows fogged up and slowly the smell of a chain smoker’s toxic and stale abode filled the cabin like a gassing chamber. There was never a sight so welcome as the smiling and laughing Maya, my hostess to quell my anxiety. Maya is the co-owner, ultra-femme entrepreneur of the Naari Guest House For Women in New Delhi… otherwise known as her home. She and Betu, her partner run this little oasis of refuge and cultural rebellion. Born and raised in Austria with Indian heritage, she makes a perfect hostess for the newcomer because of her distinctly western style upbringing and attitude. She sees India from both inside and out. Their home acts as a refuge for women of all sexual orientation specializing in LGBQ assistence. Women running away from their families and homes come here to start a new life. When meeting the two sweet dogs, I was introduced: ‘all women in this house!’. Maya is also paving her own way with culinary delights from Austria she sells as lunch boxes and special catering requests. Betu is infused with Indian mystique, a karmic healer and reiki master she follows the old old ways of India. Living and eating with these wonderful two makes me forget what lies beyond the gate. Last night over dinner we rejoiced in the power of the female, laughed like hell over rule-breaking icons and sang sorrow for the extreme pressures this society places on men and their endless responsibilities.


Days are hot, sun is powerful and saree’s flow brilliantly in the wind against the city’s dusty backdrop. Shock of the day yesterday: scooter carrying man and woman. Woman driving pulls her darkly colored scarf over her face while driving. From the outside she looks like a dadaist sculpture in motion. In the midst of the chaotic hustle of Delhi drivers, here this woman upped the ante. Even my rickshaw wallah turned his head in agape in surprise.

Today: Second class to Rishikesh in the high heat of day. Om Shanti.

Much love,



5 Responses to “New Delhi Femme”

  1. maria luisa said

    Cara Raven,bravissima…. ce l’hai fatta!!!
    Sei una forza della natura!!
    Com’è stato l’arrivo a Delhi?La collana serviva o sono balle?Ho letto che ti trovi bene e che ti stati adattando con entusiasmo alla realtà della casa…a cosa ti dedicherai?Dacci notizie perchè noi ti pensiamo intensamente!!
    Un abbraccio Maria Luisa

  2. maria luisa said

    Non sono sicura che tu abbia letto il mio messaggio…Tutto bene allora ? La salute come va? Abbi cura di te!! ciao maria luisa

  3. raven said

    Ciao! La collana ha gia servita tantissimo! Un ottima idea. Prendo piu rispetto nella cultura perche una donna della mia eta’dovra avere gia 3-4 bambini!!!

  4. maria luisa said

    Cara Raven cosa stai facendo?Cosa hai visto ?Stai sempre nella casa di NaarI ?
    Un abbraccio….per fortuna la collana!!!
    Maria Luisa

  5. raven said

    Cara mia, é da una settimana che sto in Rishikesh. Non vedo tantissime cose per il motivo del calore- solo di mattina e sera e possibile muovere senza rischi di fare troppo! Gia ho conosciutto tante persone- specialmente le donne che hanno una perspettiva particolare ed unico. Sto qui almeno qualche giorno, doppo di che non lo so ancora. Sto aspettando vedere un’ astrologista (? corretto?). Le stelle mi giudano! -e il cuore! Un abraccio fortissimo!

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