Sunday, February 11, 2007

a little masala

Whahoo..... it's been a big weekend. Lots of activity and lots of photos taken.... at last!

Busy busy week starting work on Golden Compass, and then the company meeting on Friday night. Jenny sang and was really charming and funny and won the crowd over in seconds. Audie did his crazy white boy dance and had us screaming for more... his last day... he has left India now! sad :( Lots of people sang and danced and a great time was had by all, followed by the big elaborate wedding-style cakes and food and music. Friday night I was out drinking at a bar in Bandra - just a good regular bar with a jukebox, good music and lots of people. Keeping an eye on the cricket on the big screen - South Africa vs. Pakistan. I'm getting used to the smoking inside... my eyes don't water or get bothered by it at all anymore. It was a late night.... only about 3 1/2 hours of sleep before Jenny and I had to rise and prepare for an 'adventure'!

Our excellent guest coordinator Ruchi had organised an Autorider car for us... it picked up Serkan and Burcin just after 6am and headed over to get us. We then had to drive east to the highway - which is the one big highway running north-south down the peninsula. It feels odd to be on it... like being transported back to LA for a moment. We stopped to pick up Prabhav, one of the coordinators who is moving from matchmove to join us in lighting (yay), and then headed south to Sachin's house. The plan was to try and catch the Saturday morning training of the race horses at the Mahalakshmi Race Course right next to where Sachin lives... but we had to get there early. We thought we may miss them... but our timing was perfect. The morning was just magical (that word again)... with dew on the grass and mist in the air. There were lots of people out walking and jogging amongst the footpaths through the horses training areas. It is quite a beautiful and peaceful place. Voices are lowered to not startle the horses...and the atmosphere is very calm. There is something about the smell of horses and the sounds of their footfalls that always takes me back to being a 10 year old horse mad little girl just so desperate to have anything to do with those giant majestic animals. It wasn't to be.... but I can still feel the magic when I'm near them. Perhaps in another life. Not racing though....

We walked through the warm up area through to the track and across to the lovely landscaped gardens in the middle. People were stretching, doing yoga and jogging everywhere. What an amazing thing to be allowed to come in the race course for free and do this! I took lots of photos and drank in the atmosphere. The sky was so dramatic as the sun rose... and when it peaked through the clouds and over the building we suddenly felt its heat touch us and knew the day was going to get hot.

We went back to Sachin's apartment... our mouth's were shaped for breakfast! We were treated to the phenomenal hospitality that guests receive when visiting an Indian house.... and before we knew it Sachin's mother had plates of delicious sweet and savory tasties appearing before us. The cooked breakfast dish itself was soooo tasty.. I need to check with Burcin for the name and description... but it was so tasty and I had a second helping. Just really appetizing food for the morning. We ended with hot drinks... I had a great traditional Indian tea... aaah..... to die for :)

Sachin uncovered his electric keyboard and Jenny played... very well! Some Scott Joplin and then Chopin.... and then Sachin played. He had us in stiches when he turned it on to auto play but mimed along with great drama.... the fact he is a dead-ringer for Jude Law made it even funnier. He then pulled his guitar out and played a bunch of wonderful songs.. some Hindi and many western. We had a great sing-along to Hotel California, more Eagles and Eric Clapton. His sister also entertained us with some beautiful singing.... what a family!! We felt so lucky to be welcomed into the house and so looked after... it was really lovely to just be in someone's home and feel that 'family' feeling.... it's been a long time.

It was time to move on to the next part of the day.... Sachin drove with us the short distance to Dhobi Ghat... which is the giant outdoor laundry area where clothes from all over the city are brought and washed in open concrete wash pans. The clothes are thrashed to within an inch of their lives.... phew. It's dramatic! The guys are standing deep in the water and get very wet... they must be the cleanest people in the city for sure! It's a sight worth seeing.... such hard hard work.

We said goodbye to Sachin and drove downtown to the Prince of Wales Museum. It's a gorgeous old building and although some of the galleries are very hot inside it's full of great stuff to see. We only saw a fraction of the exhibits... the most fascinating being the history of Bombay. Amazing to see how the 7 islands were joined with landfill to make the peninsula... hard to imagine! Some beautiful old Indian coins too. I want to go back and see more... the silk paintings were wonderful.

After the museum Uma, another coordinator from work came and met us. We were tired and hungry at this point, so headed to Khyber for lunch..... the same place that Arun and I had eaten what seems like soooo long ago. We had a table upstairs again. Such a cool restaurant design. The food was delicious... I got these tasty little sweet potato slices with different sweet chutneys on - mango, pineapple and tomato... soooo good! Kheema and cheese naans to round it out.... yeehaa!

OK.... I need to go have a shower.... I have a pinched nerve down one side of my back and through my arm, and it's driving me nuts! Very painful and hard to move. I've uploaded a bunch of photos to the flickr site... and I'll continue this blog and the photos tomorrow night after work. Dial up is slow ;) News is I might be on a new DSL ISP soon.... but not holding my breath... :)

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