The big plan of the weekend was to finally visit with some good friends. But first we all needed some lunch. With Kinjal and Janet visiting, we had to squeeze to fit all seven of us plus the driver in the minivan. Carson sat on the floor some of the time while practicing his spelling words for this week (including glistened and confusion). Kaden worked on math from back home as we drove into the city.
We had dinner at the Lalit hotel buffet. We had a gorgeous table outside and had some excellent tandoori, curried fish, and rice with pomegranate seeds
Because my brother has a great sense of humor, I can share one of the funniest moments of the trip thus far. Kinj filled up a huge plate of food from the food and headed out to our poolside table–right into a plate glass wall. Crash went the food everywhere. His shirt was covered in about five colors and flavors. Given the exceptional service at the Lalit, the waiter escorted Kinjal into the bathroom to help him to clean up, and then insisted on carrying his plate back to the table for him the second time around! Also, when expressing concern that Rasgulla, a traditional Bengali sweet, was not on the buffet, they made up a batch especially for us! It was delicious!
The kids had fun playing in the Lalit Gardens after lunch.
Then it was time to head to visit our good friends Rahul, Sharmila and Ria. Rahul got his Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh back in the early 1990s–during which time he was a regular fixture at our house for holiday gatherings and otherwise. One of my favorite memories was Todd and I going out celebrating and dancing with him and others in Pittsburgh after my college graduation. He was instrumental in my Fulbright plans as well since he provided the much needed introductions to NIAS faculty here in Bangalore which ultimately helped me to secure the Fulbright grant. It is hard to believe that it took over a month to visit the whole family, but they had a nasty bout of stomach flu. Plus they live as far as our Bangalore family–a good hour and a half through the city traffic.
Kaden had a blast meeting Ria, who is the same age and very much the same mischievous temperament. The family lives in faculty housing on the India Institute of Science Campus. It seems like a wonderful way to enjoy Bangalore because the campus is a lush sanctuary unto itself with lots of kids, playgrounds, streets for biking (unheard of in most of the town!), soccer fields, tennis courts, performance venues and more. And no nasty commute like the rest of the city!
Visiting with Rahul in their living room.
The kids FINALLY got to make use of their scooters, sharing their wheels with Ria’s bike. Carson LOVED the speed bumps!
Stopping for a Nimbooz after much scootering at the local convenience store. I love these little shops in India that sell everything from drinks to tennis raquets!
Rahul, Ria, and Sharmila
Back at the house, the kids enjoyed playing the popular India game Carrom, which involves shooting little pucks into corner nets.