Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Indian Night Life July 14, 2008

Before we left home, an American Indian friend of ours advised us to immerse ourselves in everything that was India—to soak, to saturate ourselves in the culture. This, I believe, we have done with abandon.

After recovering from our sickness the first week we were able to go to a down-town restaurant that served Indian, Italian and Chinese, on consecutive floors. The combination was lovely: hot and sour soup and kabobs as a starter, pasta and aloo mutter masala (potato and peas dish) for dinner, and crème brulee and a very sweet dumpling and gravy Indian dish for desert.

Our first really special outing was attending the opening of one of Jon’s employee’s family’s bakery (if you can follow that). It was the first time that Anna and I wore sarees. As Sheetal draped us in yards of fabric and adorned us with some of her most precious jewels we felt like the crowns of creation that we were meant to be.

The bakery, also, was draped in colorful designed fabric—a taste of what it may have been like to enter the tabernacle, with its woven pomegranate canopies.

Jon got to cut the inauguration cake and afterward we went to an ice-cream parlor and got baloons.
This last Saturday was very fun. After visiting a book store called Crossword (their version of B&N) we went to a splendid Gujarati restaurant (our favorite style of Indian food), where they serve you dozens of little dishes, unlimited, all you can eat.

Afterward the maitre d’ took as back to see the kitchen (this is Anna's first Punjabi dress).

After dinner we went to the lake,
There, the children finally had one of their fondest wishes granted. They got to ride a camel!

They also got to ride a horse, and Jett actually enjoyed this the best, because he got to be “prince Daniel” on his mighty steed.

After much strategizing and reconsideration, Anna and I got up the courage to take a camel ride ourselves :). It was quite an adventure.

We weren’t quite sure how we would mount gentle beast, since standing up and sitting down was dangerous for both the camel…and the riders. But the gentleman who owned the magnificent creature was kind enough to help me up, and Jon helped Anna.
Its hard to look glamorous posing for picture while the camel is unexpectedly turning :).

Two men led us down the street, and I kept leaning to the left because it felt kind-of like we were going to fall off. One guy started to sing to us in English—it was rather funny. Other things weren’t so funny, like the guy who came up and tried to convince our lead to give him the camel rope. We were happy to be with Jon and Vijay afterward. Our butts hurt the next day, but it was totally worth it! :)

Last night, Vijay and Sheetal took us to a family birthday party for a five-year-old cousin. For India, it was a rather small party, with only about 100 guests, dinner and desert catering and great music. The really big birthday parties, like the first birthday of an oldest son, would have about 500 guests. The children played with balloons and ate ice-cream and the adults sat, caught up, and laughed. The young adults hung out in groups and I got to meet several people my own age, which was nice. We wore sarees for a second time, and Anna got to wear her very own, black and turquoise saree, which was just finished at the tailor that day and is absolutely breathtaking.

I stayed a bit later with Vijay and Sheetal, and afterward we all went to Café Coffee Day (Their version of Starbucks) for some drinks, and they told me a bit more about their love story—it is perfectly charming.
Next time…On Nagpur Sojourners! More about the wonderful couple who has cared for us so well here in India.


Stephanie said...

I feel almost like I've been to India with you through your recounting! It sounds like the adventurer spirit in you is finally getting another chance to branch out. I can't believe how fast it's going by. When do you return?

Jessica Masri said...

I return on August first. I love you so much Stephanie and can't wait to see you. I heard that you had an unexpected vacation of sorts at the manor. :D I was so happy when I heard that you got to watch the house. I really can't wait to hear all about it! Hahaha, I hope that the chickens were well behaved.

Stephanie said...

ok.....so it's about time for one last post....I'm waiting!!!

Stephanie said...

are you posting yet? Huh?huh?huh?


Miss you lots!!

Melissa said...

Jessica...Hi..how are you.
Hope you had a comfortable journey back home.
I must say you look beautiful in that red sari..
Looking forward to reading more about your experience in India.