My wife, the movie star

Or maybe a rock star. Or some other sort of star. At least in India. Seriously, if you’re ever looking for some attention I highly recommend being a six foot tall and very pale skinned woman in India. The experience is incredibly exciting.

We first had a brush with the phenomenon on our prior trip, where both her and her mother were here. That was nearly chaos as there were two of them. People wanted to touch them, to say hello, to simply be nearby. Babies were pressed up close and school kids smiled and giggled. It was pretty insane.


Fast forward six years and we got to do it all over again. Only one star that I was lucky enough to be with on this trip, but it was still pretty awesome. The kids we ran in to at most of the sites were cute but too shy to say much more than hello. The older women, however, had no such reservations. They were on her in a heartbeat. And as soon as the floodgates opened – that is, she agreed to take one photo – the crowds flowed.


I wanted to be able to send them copies of the photos somehow, either via email or the postal service. Sadly, however, the ability to communicate that was entirely too difficult and it did not come to pass. Most were still quite excited to see their photos on the LCD screen of my camera and that will have to be good enough. They certainly seemed to think it was.

I’m told the paparazzi effect can get tiring at some point. We did eventually have to turn down a few latecomers to the party as we never would have managed to leave the first of many sites had we not. Still, it was rather remarkable just how excited and happy the folks were for the opportunity. Such a fun and easy way to brighten a few folks’ day.

Oh, and we did get a bit of payback at one point. We snuck into the back of a family photo at the Shore Temples of Mamallapuram. There’s going to be one confused group of folks when they finally see that one.

Read more from the India/Sri Lanka New Years adventure here.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Our party of five will be in India in a couple weeks, including our 21-year-old six-foot-tall blonde niece. Thanks for the heads-up.

    1. Indeed, Fredd, she’s likely to be quite popular. The folks are pretty respectful when you say “no” but I would expect that she’ll be the subject of much staring.

  2. Hi
    yes, are we talking of the rural parts in india, indeed the flock follows the foreigners, of any colour. Indians are much curious to have a pictures with other country’s natives, for the heck of it and yes, want to feel like a movie star, come here, where the humility is beyond the understandable limits for the natives of other countries. The scenario in cities, isn’t shown here in the picture. The real picture of India, the whole of it, is yet to be posted.

    1. This was definitely a somewhat rural area and more an experience we’ve had with other tourists at the sites rather than in the major cities. That said, there are still plenty of folks in the cities who are looking on in amazement or bewilderment, even in the cities.

  3. That’s pretty neat. Last spring at ORD one time we were talking with some ladies from an African-American tour group who were just returning from China. They related that local youth often ran up to try and touch the heads of the boys in their group, fascinated at their hair.

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