I had a nice time in the last four days. Suraj reached my home on Friday late night. Sunil and Kunju came to my home on Saturday afternoon and we went to "Lakshmi Temple" some 20 miles away from here. Actually there is a big hall in which lot of small temples are there. There is a Gopuram in the style of Tamil temples (not so tall) which is painted in cream or white color. There were a few people sitting inside the temple. We also sat inside for a few minutes and had a Masala Dosa from an "Udupi restaurant" nearby (Here too...!)
Later we went to Sunil's home at Nashua, NH. We watched a movie "American Desi". I remember seeing the posters of this movie at Bangalore prefixed as "A landmark film" etc. It is watchable for once, even though there is some cheap humor like an Indian teaching assistant in American school asking the students for "rubber" etc. It is termed as the story of the so called "American Born Confused Desis" (There is another movie ABCD that is released recently). After seeing the movie I cant realize what is the director planning to convey, or it was just a movie meant for a two hours time pass.
We (Sunil, Suraj and myself) went to Boston on Sunday. We went to Riverside in Sunil's car, parked the car there and took the train to Park Street. I had the sweet memories of travelling in the beautiful railways of Singapore, so I felt these trains as disappointing. The railway stations were much like India with lot of littering, spitting etc.
We walked around in Quincy Market, a kind of food mall and shopping place there. Had Nan Kulcha etc from an Indian shop. It costs $10, and it tastes slightly more horrible than the worst food available in Bangalore. The eating place was too much crowded, and we had to roam around to find a place to sit. People were waiting for us to finish our food so that they can take our seats. Suraj told that there is a place called "Fennel Hall" which is very "ancient" (made in the 18th century, that is), so we searched for it inside a kind of shopping complex. Suraj went and asked an old lady, but she also didn't know where the place is. Finally we found a kind of map somewhere and guessed that we just might have come out of that building. But we were not sure of that.
We took few snaps there, and near to Benjamin Martin's (If I remember correctly) statue. The statue looked like having the same fate as the numerous Gandhi and Nehru statues in India, thanks to the pigeons. Weather was getting colder, so we cut short our trip and returned back. Sunil prepared Vegetable Biriyani which was nice. Looks like he has become a good cook. We watched the new movie by Nagesh Kukkunoor called "Bollywood Calling". It was a funny movie, about the making of Bollywood movies.
In the movie, a Hollywood actor comes to act in a Hindi movie (movie inside a movie). There is a scene in the movie being shot. The hero goes for exile (?) and all the village people start the mourning ceremony. The Hollywood actor can't digest this scenario and asks why should the villagers cry when somebody leaves the village. This is natural since even a mother has to explicitly say "I love you" hundred times to a son or daughter in many western countries. That is a cultural difference between India and the west.
But there are few things we should note. The Indian people appreciate movies like "American Beauty" etc. which actually require some kind of background of the American lifestyle and cultural values. But, There are not many westerners who could enjoy watching a so called "Indian family movie" as the Indian ways look very alien to them. This is okay. But the funny thing is that the Indians make movies in which a Westerner thinks the Indian ways funny, and we watch and enjoy these films as well. I wonder whether this is a healthy self criticism or it is just the hangover of being ruled in the last many hundred years that is coming out in the form of Art.
We had planned to visit MIT on Monday, but since it was very cold outside, we cancelled the trip. Sunil called us for lunch. We had Matta rice, Sambar and Cabbage Thoran for lunch which confirmed Sunil's cooking abilities. later, we went out for shopping. We visited the famous "Barnes & Noble" book shop in Nashua. The shop was large (as large as Gangarams, Bangalore) and beautifully arranged. I asked for two books, "Bridge on the Drina" and "The story of San Michele" which are MKrishnan Nair's favorites that I wanted to read. But they were not there. I bought "Metamorphosis and other stories" by Kafka, "The Last of the Mohicans" and "Life in Ancient Egypt" by Adolf Erman (Translation: HM Tirard). Suraj was searching for "The Diary of Anne Frank" as per my recommendation, but it was not there. Finally he bought "Autobiography of a Yogi".
We went back to Sunil's home and had Idly Sambar. Then we watched "Parassala Pappan Payyannur Paramu", a comedy movie. Sunil has started marimonial matters seriously and we talked about those things and many other GECT stories which took us back to the old days. Suraj is planning to do his Masters. Looks like even after being in US for almost three years, he is still feeling "financially insecure" and is worried about future. This seemed funny to me, since I have hardly any savings and had been a big failure in the money department so far, compared to the many other GECTians of my batch. Probably the more money we make the less secure we feel.
Suraj left today morning and I am back to my office work. Also need to see the code of Vivek from DONLab who has done some modifications to my Linux patch. Anyway it was a nice vacation.