Monday, November 27, 2006

Back in Beantown


As I packed my bags for the annual glutton fest that is the Thanksgiving holidays, i thought about any impending family strife: around 16 family members were coming under my uncle and aunt's roof in North Andover, which is 30 mins. outside of Boston, and the possibilities of a clash happening between any 2 headstrong Banerjis was very likely. But first we indulged in the East-West fusion of turkey and stuffing/malai chicken and kofta, cranberry sauce/achaar, corn and mashed potatoes/biryani and dahi vada. We were stuffed. Then we split up into 3 groups of movie watchers who went to see Dhoom 2 (3 aunties, one Abhishek-crazy sister), The Departed (2 uncles, 4 brothers and 1 Jack Nicholson-crazy aunt) and Casino Royale (3 James Bond-crazy sisters). Watching Danny Craig in speedos was definitely one of the highlights of the holidays.

The weather was such a tease but it really lifted spirits by Sunday when i headed into Cambridge to see some old friends. I was seeing one of them after at least 3 years and she is now a brand new mommy of little munchkin of 4 months. It was so admirable to see how she's put her dissertation on hold for the kid and really putting in so much time to actually be with him.

Before i met her, i was trying to find a decent present for the baby and ventured into a "Curious George" toy shop. So it's not the first time I've bought a present for my friends' offsprings, but they have lazily been bought through online registries or the Baby Gap or Baby H&M collection... all fabulous, btw... but I was really having a tough time figuring out what to get a new-born (esp. since her in-law visits just got over and she must've got a ton of stuff from them) in this toy store. I was filled with amazement about what a kid actually sees for the first time... everything from colors to letters to animals is new for him... i eventually ended up getting a Curious George monkey and the book "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (i love singing that song).

The other hard thing was finding a decent coffee shop in Harvard Square (no Starbucks, please) so we eventually ended up at Dado Tea, a specialty tea house on Church St. which has a nice variety of Asian teas, and was apparently started by a couple of Harvard Ph.d. students who complained about the lack of chai in the vicinity. Needless to say, they have chucked their academic careers and are doing booming business.

Later, I met up with some high school friends in Davis Square at a Tibetan place and of course, I had momos :) Chhavi put me up for the night and i had to make friends with her new housemates - two cats with two different temperaments - and even though i was told they would be all nice and friendly, Mini jumped me like a dog in the morning. i think she just wanted my chai. or so i tell myself...

6 comments:

Sumit said...

Shilpa, Was gonna meet you with Chhavi on Sunday. Sorry missed out! Was ill. :(
-Sumit

shilpa said...

hi sumit, ya i heard.. hope you're feeling better now. chalo next time - haven't seen u in ages!!

chhavi said...

mini wanted a HUG :D and you spurned him :( tsk tsk ;-) It was fantastic to have you over. Next time ... longer!

Shilpa said...

i did not spurn him! we had a nice, long chat before he decided to "hug" me... shudder.

cookingchat said...

What was the Tibetan place? Was it good? I've had Tibetan food once or twice and would like to know of a good local spot for it. On another note, saw your comment on Quick Indian Cooking and thought you might be interested in this article I posted re: pairing wine with Indian food:
http://cookingchat.blogspot.com/2006/12/pairing-wine-indian-food.html

shilpa said...

cookingchat: i believe it was called Martsa's on Elm. it was pretty good and they give huge quantities. thanks for the info on wine, i'll let you know how it worked out!