Friday evening at rush hour we made our way through Bangalore. The jerks from the stop-and-go traffic, speed bumps, and potholes left me feeling a bit queasy—the smells of the city didn’t help much either. Two hours later we were on the other side of the city. As we entered a residential neighborhood, the bus pulled off to the side and Christina and I got out and made our way into the house to meet the family that we would be spending the next two days with. We shook hands with Athif and then sat down on the couch and made small talk while we waited for his wife, Samitha to return from her parent’s house with their children. Samitha soon returned with her daughter, Nashitha and son, Zaeem.
The kids were quiet at first, though as the night went on they became more outgoing. Zaeem spent most of the weekend at his grandparent’s house, so we didn’t see much of him. However, we did spend quite a bit of time with Nashitha. She asked us all sorts of questions that led us to talk about traffic and lane discipline, sports, school, food, clothing, and holidays. Christina and I offered the American perspective while she gave us the Indian perspective. I tried my hand at explaining Valentine’s Day and the difference between American football and the football that the rest of the world plays—though I’m not sure I did either much justice.
Most of our weekend was spent in the home—although we did get out and see the neighborhood a couple times. We spent our days watching movies and playing games with Nashitha. When we weren’t doing either of these things we could be found perched at the table eating. We had chapatti, rice and sambar, dosas, idli, veg biryani, and so much more. It was all wonderful—I’m going to need to learn some Indian recipes.
All in all, it was a successful weekend. It’s nice to get off campus now and again.
A huge thank you to Athif, Samitha, Nashitha, and Zaeem for being such wonderful hosts and showering us with Indian hospitality.
(Pictures will be posted later.)