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Returning Home

Welcome home to America. Welcome home to water I can drink, dogs on leashes, and cookie cutter homes and gardens of suburbia. Welcome home to the “same old same old.” It’s hard to believe that just a couple months ago I was in a foreign city halfway around the world. While I continue to conjure up memories from the trip and the images of my daily life there, it gets even harder to find a way to fully express the impact that it had on me. People always ask, “So how was it?” and I can only really say “amazing!” because I know that full recognition of the trip would take earfuls of dialogue mixed with choreographed hand movements and maybe even the visual effect of a photo slideshow. I guess I now understand why a Bollywood movie requires three hours of content! Nothing in India can be summed up with one word, or one picture, or one story. The city operates within a jam packed network, each building, person, and animal coexisting at different layers that all share a common appreciation for their way of life. While I believe this structure can, and does, exist anywhere in the world, it wasn’t until being in Mumbai that I truly saw the product of community. From the films we worked on to the markets we wandered, everyone’s’ individual schedules and goals somehow meshing together towards a common goal that allows the project to be achieved despite repeated moments of wild chaos when the individuality collides. The chaos seems to rejuvenate the work effort, keeping people on their toes, while taking that “same old same old” and adding a whooping heap of Indian spices. Nothing is shoved into organized assembly lines and forced to become “general”. There’s dirt, it’s authentic, it’s real, and it follows traditions that reflect a culture that has continued for centuries. I can’t begin to think of how I can translate the imagery of the city further, I guess that’s what the rest of my time at school will determine. For now the power of the trip can only truly exist in my mind, waiting for its time to be revealed.

My Mac is Fixed

I began this blog by stating my Mac crashed.

So to end this blog with a true full circle…They finally fixed it.

My time without the Mac was surprisingly refreshing. When you’re without something you rely on for so long, usually you’ll go crazy. But I enjoyed it.

I read (how good is the Kite Runner!). I went to the gym. I ate.

It was good being without my laptop. But when I finally got it back, I realized that I missed it. And that I needed it.

Why is Aamir talking about Macs? And why did he just refer to himself in third person?

First off…sorry about the third person thing. I’m on a high horse right now because I defied by mom by bringing home Wendys instead of eating what she cooked. Rebellious much?

As for my Mac. My Mac is what I feel about America. It was good to be without it. And I appreciated the time I had away from the Mac. But now that I have it back, I realized how fortunate I was.

Make sense?

Good to be back home. I’ll always remember the Summer of ’09.

I’ve had a difficult time trying to put into words what the trip and internship meant to me because I’ve been overwhelmed with emotion.

Before I left for the trip, I was gradually getting closer and closer to leaving my culture behind. It wasn’t because I didn’t care about it. I just didn’t see the importance of it.

I’m not going to say the trip to India gave me cultural rebirth. But it put me on the right track. I’m taking more steps towards appreciating my culture. I understand that diversity should be cherished. Our differences make us unique. And in the end, our uniqueness is what defines us.

Thank you to the 9 students who traveled with me and anyone who I interacted with in India. You will never understand what you did for me.

And thank you to Professor Goenka. None of this would have been possible without you. I will never forget this trip. I will never forget you. Thank you.

This list will probably make no sense to anybody who did not travel to India with me.

And that’s ok.

Zenzi
hawaiian hut
legen wait for it dary
hard rock cafe
“Shah Rukh Khan kha office”
totos garage
red box cafe
OM
seeing tatas everywhere
chicken pasta at whistling woods
Rickshaw walas

Bringing India Home

So my India experience has finally come full circle now that I have been able to bring some of my experience in traveling in India and learning about Hindi cinema to my family. This past week my family and I went to an authentic Indian restaurant in Washington D.C. Instead of our usually trip for Indian cuisine at Delhi Daba. At the restaurant I had them try chicken tika (I figured I’d start them out with something easy) and then had them venture in dishes such as. Both my parents loved the chicken tika (surprise, surprise since I don’t see how if at all its any different from tandori chicken), but only my dad really enjoyed the chickpea dish and the palak paneer.

After our Indian meal I had my watch Ghajini, the number 1 grossing film in Indian history. My sister thought Aamir Khan  was gorgeous, my mom wanted more dancing, and my father with the attention span of a 10 year old had to finish the second half the next day. But all three had the same reaction when the credits rolled that the movie was well worth the three hours of their time. The next movie on our family list I’ve decided is Dhoom 2. It  may not have as great of a plot but my sister will appreciate watching Hrithik Roshan for 3 hours (as did I), my mom will like that there is more dancing than in Ghajini and my dad… will just have to watch the second half again the next morning.