Posts Tagged ‘ entertainment ’

Frro again…and again…

On Sunday night I saw a movie, English Vinglish. It’s a Bollywood remake of a Tamilian film with one of the most famous actresses in India, Shri Devi. It’s about an Indian woman, a homemaker who does not speak English and is either ostracized or made fun of by her family. She is soft spoken and feels embarrassed often. Her sister’s daughter, in New Jersey is getting married so her sister calls her to help prepare. She goes alone and manages to get on the path train to the city, and finds an English in 4 weeks class. She secretly goes to learn English. There are a mix of interesting English language learners including ones from Mexico (who I thought looked less Mexican than not), France, Pakistan, a non descript African country, India, and China. The story takes her through various spots of downtown Manhattan. At one point their at the Sunshine theatre on E. Houston and then all of a sudden they’re walking next to the Flat Iron building. I found that funny, but no one else would know the difference. The movie was sweet. It made me a little homesick. I wanted to fly home for the weekend just to see everything and run, as Gayatri would say, helter-skelter, for a while.
I also just had a great day yesterday as well. It’s always nice to work one on one with kids, especially when they’re the kids who really need the one on one work. It was also due to my FRO experience. Yes, I had a good day because of the FRO!
After four trips to the local police station and only two to the FRO, I’ve successfully submitted my extension papers. Everyone knows me there now. It’s kind of funny. After you walk in the main gate you have to scan your bag, even if you walk out for only a minute. Most people have to walk in and out several times because they don’t have one copy or another or they need to get their paper stamped from a different desk outside the main building. The women officers who sit there just smile at me as I put the same bag through the same scanner each time. While entering my information into the computer at that table, the man at the front desk (which is kind of smushed up on the side of the computer) started talking to me. At one point he yelled at me last year, but we’ve let bygones be bygones and now he asked me how long I’ve been here, what I do, where I live, what I do for fun. The conversations are in Hindi. There was a new woman entering data in the computer and she did something wrong so her supervisor, very nicely took over and did it again. Everyone was laughing. It seemed like some odd movie. The only thing I can think of comparing it to right now is in Coraline when she meets her other mother and everything is eerily amazing. The rest of the day was just as smooth. Even the woman who scans the documents said that my Hindi was getting better. The main woman who has been super nice through this whole ordeal smiled at me as I walked back to finally submit my papers. As she looked through them she already handed me the famous slip of paper that states I’ve submitted my documents, handed me the whole puncher for me to put them all in my folder. When I was done she smiled. I put a little chocolate éclair candy on the whole puncher and said thanks for being so nice and patient with me through all this. She smiled a huge smile. I decided that this would be my thank you to people. They barely get recognized for what they do, and even better, they’re really nice about it these days, even through people who are quite ridiculous. There was a man who came the first day who was particulary not nice to them. He kept saying whatever and just do what I say. I couldn’t believe that they let him speak to them like that. I think they were just amused at his guts to not care about his own paperwork. So I’m done…for now.

Hip hop and grandmas

It’s the little things that keep you going sometimes. Equally it’s the small things that get you down. But I had a good thing and it brought me up on Sunday. I live in the same area as some of the kids from work. One kid in particular, Mayur lives quite close to me. I didn’t work with this center last year, so maybe if I had seen him I might not have said anything to him, nor him to me. But on Sunday, he called out my name Ana didi! And rushed over to me to see what I was doing, where I was going, how was my weekend. It was very special.
I also got to discover a new aspect of Pune. No matter how long I live here, and how small this “town” is, I always manage to find something new. At the dance congress I met a lot of new people. Two of my new friends came to my capoeira class last week and then invited me to their hip hop class this past weekend. I wasn’t really sure about it. I know they’re great dancers but somehow it’s still in my head that India isn’t huge on hip-hop. There are some select crowds that I saw last year and the year before, but it doesn’t fit in my day-to-day picture of India. I sometimes still get very involved in salsa and then catch myself thinking about India as I used to; my perceptions have changed so much – I think especially lately. I also told an American friend of mine that I’d be going to a hip-hop class and she laughed, as in, yeah right, hip-hop in India. So I went and it was amazing! The folks who give the class are super nice and super talented, one in particular. It was quite impressive. We went out for juice and exchanged jokes and stories afterwards as well. This made us late for our evening activity.
Vineet asked us to come over, everyone, for a music session. His grandmother was in town and he wanted us to meet her. I joked with him when he asked that he loves us so much he wants to show us off. He replied with, “isn’t it obvious?!” His grandmother didn’t speak English and he made me speak with her to talk about capoeira in Hindi. In my opinion it was a disaster, but she understood a little bit and he spoke to her in Hindi so that I’d be able to understand. Some of it got lost in Punjabi but that’s ok. It was really special. Vineet spends most of his time with us so I guess it was important for her to know what he does. Apparently he was doing handstands at home and she wanted to know what craziness got into his head. We played capoeira music, he learned a new song which was applied in the capoeira class. We should keep people’s family members around more often so that they learn more. It was a really sweet and nice experience. She sat there and enjoyed our company for a while and then we left.