Friday, July 18, 2008

Bhel Puri

It's been over a month since Summy and I got to Hyderabad. In fact, in a couple of weeks, it will be time to leave. Obviously, I had a lot more to write and remember about than the measly two posts than I put in.

Ever since we started on our long flight from Los Angeles to Hyderabad, I've been typing away in my head, but little of it got far enough to make it to this blog (which might be a good thing after all).

I remember only a few of the most interesting details of our travel and our stay.

One day, Summy brought home a couple of small kids from next door, while my mother and I were out. She looked at my father and ordered, "Make Boost, Thatha!" When her grandfather told her he didn't know where the Boost was and to wait for grandma, she went in the kitchen, got out some Pringles and served them to her pint-sized guests. She usually doesn't let any of her friends leave without having a snack.

Another time, while we were with Kiran's parents, she asked Kiran's father to play hide-and-seek. My father-in-law dutifully hid behind some curtains. Summy looked about a little before asking her grandma where her grandpa was. Not knowing what was going on, her grandma replied that she didn't know.

After hiding behind the curtains for as long as he could stand, grandpa came out, and what did he find? Summy had forgotten all about the game and was picking flowers in the yard with her grandma.

Summy's taken to India like she has been here all along.

Summy roams the flats, goes off to find her friends by herself (which was unthinkable back in California), and her friends come home without having to make a date first. This is the way it always was for me when I was a kid, but it is a first for Summy. Thanks to her friends, Summy's English is now more Indian than mine.

I too have taken to being here quite well. I cross roads, go around in autos, talk in a mix of Telugu, Hindi, Urdu and English.

Hyderabad is spicy - a mix of people, traffic, pollution, honking, colorful clothes, shoving, rudeness, and when you least expect it, the kindness of strangers.

The USA, even colorful South California, is much more bland.The orderliness that makes it looks like a wonderful place to live, also makes it taste like Dry Crackers compared to the Bhel Puri that is Hyderabad.

Still, Summy and I look forward to going back home, where Kiran waits impatiently for us.