Cristal and Bling Bling
Trip Start Mar 11, 2006
45Trip End Aug 01, 2006
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AJ (short for Amerjit) was an EECS '89 grad and has done quite well for himself in India, with a very large place (especially for India) that was polished and decorated immaculately. He showed us to the guest room that was much nicer than any at the places we'd recently been staying and said he'd be back in a bit to collect us to hang out after we'd had a chance to settle in and freshen up. Back on cue 30 minutes later, he led us to the sleek and modern study where we kicked back on some old school couched with AJ and his wife Namrata and broke out the good stuff from the liquor cabinet. Being somewhat of a caveman myself, I didn't understand AJ's bewildered look when he asked if I wanted anything with the whisky and I said Coke before Ryan shot a look in my direction to indicate that I probably ought not to mix the $100/bottle liquor with cheap soda as I was accustomed to doing with cheap drinks in college. We had probably the most randomly funny conversation ever, ranging from who is inside Oski to AJ's lipid count and then sunk contentedly to sleep.
The evening before I had noticed the security guard patrolling out front but I didn't think much of it. Perhaps he was on watch for the whole neighborhood or whatever, and I certainly didn't think to ponder how many people AJ's family had working for them alone. When I wandered out into the house the next morning, I began my count and didn't stop until I estimated that about 15 people work for these folks just in and around their home! I'm going to assume they were all Stanfurd grads.
As soon as I'd stepped out of the room there was a hired servant (for lack of a better term) to greet me, ushering me to the table, and bringing out plate after place of food until I couldn't any more. There were servants for the kids, servants for the kitchen, servants to clean, servants to drive, there even seemed to be one that took a particular interest in only the dog. I did to be honest find it a bit unsettling and somewhat demeaning, but they assured me as they could that they had good, well-paying jobs, and it's difficult as a foreigner to argue about that sort of thing with locals in their own scene.
Once it grew close to time to catch our flight our, the driving servant took us first to Namrata's kids' clothing boutique and her brother's cigar bar (where we certainly could afford no Cuban) and then to the airport to make like a banana.
Moral of the Story: When I'm as big pimpin' as AJ, I'm gonna have the same spread but also have the doorbell ring "Hail to California"