Namaste to Bollywood!
Trip Start Jan 14, 2008
41Trip End Feb 23, 2008
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After a delicious pancake & egg breakfast, Brent and I lounged around the apartment. Brent read his Gita books, while I continued my seemingly-never-ending quest to find a homestay in Kerala (a homestay is like a b+b in India). At around 11:00 a.m., we went with Madhumanti to pick up Akanksha from her school, the International School of Hyderabad. (Akanksha's school is close to their apartment, which is why they chose this particular apartment).
Madhumanti and Akanksha dropped us off at a restaurant near the apartment called "Hyderabad House" which Raj had recommended.
Back at home, Brent posted some blogs and I did some laundry and hung out 'til the movie.
We were dropped off at 3:00 at a nearby mall
The theatre looked similar to new ones at home, except for the security and the menu, which was more Indian-ish cuisine. There was popcorn and soda, but also dosas (flat pancake-like crepes) and tuna and "veg" sandwiches. Inside the theatre was stadium seating, like at home, but every seat had a number and row.
The lights dimmed and the previews started, and, though in Hindi, the movies seemed easy to understand and looked funny, [Naresh: I think one of them was a sequel to that hilarious smash, "The Krazees," or something like that.] which gave us hope for the upcoming film. The film was called "Taare Zameen Par" and was excellent! The producer & director also had a leading role. The movie was about a dyslexic boy who is misunderstood, abused, and shipped off to boarding school. At the school, a teacher diagnoses the boy and helps him overcome his learning disability and reach his full potential as a painter. The movie was in Hindi (with no subtitles) with many words in English (and we understood a smattering of Hindi words). Basically, the acting was so good that we had no trouble understanding the plot or any of the scenes. If anyone has a chance to see Taare Zameen Par, you should take it! Superb! [Naresh: Madhumanti later explained that the star / producer/ director is tired of not winning any Oscars, and so intends to secure one this year by inserting a lot more English, covering the topic of a mental adversity, making a tear-jerker, and inserting the musical numbers in a more holistic way than we've usually seen in the Hindi moves on TV.]
After the movie, we walked downstairs to the entrance of the building, where Madhumanti and Akanksha were waiting for us. From
The Novotel Hotel (a Russian chain) was very fancy and upscale, but surprisingly, only had one restaurant! There was a piano bar-lounge and a pastry shop, in addition to an outdoor courtyard. Madhumanti explained that many of the tech company employees stay at the hotel during their time in Hyderabad.
At the restaurant, Akanksha ate some pasta and an egg, while we saw there was a full international buffet, so we snuck some breadsticks for Akanksha. Tapas and Brent arrived soon after, and
On the drive home, we were treated to a duet by Tapas and Akanksha. The previous night, we heard Tapas singing to Akanksha while he was putting her to bed, and learned that he has an excellent voice! You learn something new every day, eh?