Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

Here she is - my cutie pie Candy!! Missing her tons these days because so many people are going to India except me... sniff sniff... but she does woof on the phone when i call on weekends :)
She is a pom and lhasa apso mix but has more of the apso temperament ie. fiesty and friendly. We used to have another dog, Wendy, and she had a litter and we gave away all the dogs except Candy... she was an adorable pup and really naughty, so we had to keep her!! Candy likes to eat good old home cooked meals, but she has a thing for Nizam's mutton biryani.. because whenever there's a party with biryani on the menu, Candy doesn't leave my mum's side.
We try not to give her sweets because of the fur shedding issue but birthdays are an exception and usually my parents bring her a pastry of some sort. I think my grandma also surreptiously feeds her chocolate sometimes. She sounds awfully spoilt and she is. But she is the building sweetheart and nemesis (the postman is petrified of her) and the best thing i love about Candy is when someone is sick or feeling sad, she somehow knows it and and will come and cuddle up next to you. I could go on and on and ON about her but i'll stop.
About the pics: She's out on a mid-winter morning stroll with my dad. Above, she suffers silently in booties i got from Petco. She promptly took them off after i took the pic.

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...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dancing in the Dark

What is it about some desi men that makes them hover on the peripheries of a dance floor at a nightclub and then try to make a grab for any random woman? Apparently, a strategy they invented called “Identify Target and Impress With Mithun Moves” from I am a Disco Dancer days.
On Sat. night my friends and I noticed this trilogy hovering around trying to do just that. They seemed like regular, nice geeks at first. One was in a suit and all; the other in a studly black and red leather jacket; and the third was in cargos. You couldn’t miss them because they were everywhere and trying extremely hard for any action.
First, the Suit Guy danced with a bachelorette party and got his hands all over the bride-to-be posing for various pictures. Next, he zoomed in on the frat girls trying to be a kabab mein haddi. Meanwhile, Leather Jacket saw his Holy Vision: the modern Bhartiya Nari with long tresses and shy dance moves, albeit accessorizing perfectly with her cosmopolitan and cigarette. She spurred him immediately – but only to provoke him further, since he figured a ‘no’ means ‘yes’ – and as he tried to whisper sweet nothings, he just grabbed her arm. I swear I could hear her say eww! Cargo Pants was just dancing around, minding his own business, until he saw this unfold and did his bit by telling his friend to chill out.
The Suit Guy later discovered our Brown Crowd and thought hmm, 6 women, 3 men, surely I have a chance here. He slowly started to infiltrate – dancing with one of the guys and then coming on to a couple of us girls. At some point when Suit Guy and Leather Jacket were suitably drunk, they were almost coming to blows about some random thing. Again, the tension was diffused in classic Bollywood fashion by Cargo Pants who came between them and told them to stuff it. I don’t know how long they stayed or if they got lucky, but the last thing I saw before I left the place, was Suit Guy desperately trying to make conversation with one of my friends. She looked pretty bored herself, but even she wasn’t that desperate.
On another note: I saw “Babel” and was pretty moved and confused. But it was still a very good movie.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Booker Sightings

The South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival was held on Saturday at the Museum of Natural History. At the Booker Winner's book signing, i was sorely reminded of the Vikram Seth signing last year where i self-consciously stumbled my way through, blinded by his 500-watt smile. Kiran Desai was sweet, too so i gushed something like, "it was really good, just finished and still recovering." She smiled sweetly and said thanks. When i mentioned my father was also one of those people in "Inheritance of Loss" who suffered from a colonial hangover, she laughed and said, "oh i have plenty of those in my family, too." [Maa, who has digested all of Anita Desai's novels, gave me the entire spiel on Desai family and which relatives were in the IAS and who had a house in Mussouri]. But when she was reading passages from her book at the literary panel, she wasn't the best reader. Later, i discovered she had signed my book with the wrong date. Ah well, could've been a lot worse.