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Stephanie’s Blog

December 29, 2009

My Christmas Weekend

Filed under: Christmas, Friends, India, crazy crap, every day life, funny stuff, personal — steph @ 2:15 pm

Well…Christmas just passed, and wow! what a different christmas I had this year. This year I spent it with Indra, his family, and friends. On Christmas night, about 730pm we picked up Devdas Bhagat from Dum Dum Airport, after he flew in from Mumbai to come visit. That is about when the weekend started, and didn’t end until Sunday night.

Well…Friday night, Indra, Mak, and I picked Devdas up from the airport and promptly took him to his hotel in Salt Lake City. Then…we went to get some food, at 777, as Devdas was hungry, and I wanted a snack. Well…it ended up as dinner. We ate **SO** much that night. We had about 3 starters, mutton kebabs, fish tikka, and then tandoori chicken. I had never eaten so much. But then, we had some chicken ra-ra dish, and a sweet vegetable dish with some butter naan. It was yummy. We hung out with Devdas until about 10pm, and then proceeded home.

Saturday, Devdas was scheduled to give a lecture at WBSU - Barasat. Arjun Ghosh and Mak met us at our house and we left around 945am to go and pick up Devdas. We had gotten a Ambassador car for the day, and proceeded to squish all 5 of us in the car. Good times! So then we proceeded on to Barasat, in the process getting lost, since the driver missed a turn, but then Indra corrected him, and we reached the University. Then we sent the car (and Mak) to pick up Susmit who had finished his tasks, and surprise, surprise, they got lost too! =D

Devdas delivered a interesting, and educational speech about System Administration. After which, we ate…and lingered around eating lunch and waiting for others to be done with their tasks. Now, as we were getting ready to continue our adventures, there were 6 of us. So, therefore Devdas, Arjun, Mak, and Susmit all sat in the back seat, quite cramped and squished. Devdas adding, “Its quite okay compared to a peak hour Mumbai local passenger train”. Now we were on our way to Park Street to look at the lights. About 15 kilometers into the trip the brakes on the car started to go out, but the driver kept a cool head, and most of us were oblivious to what was happening. The driver managed to keep the car going and not getting into a car accident by engaging the manual transmission (shifting the gears to generate braking action). When it was realized by all what was unfolding the 4 guys in the back seat commented about using the hand brake, and the driver promptly replied, “What hand brake? That’s the first thing that gets taken out of a car!” The driver then called the owner of the car, and requested for a replacement car, little did we know that the “real” fun was about to start.

The driver managed to get us safely to Middleton Row off Park Street, where we all had tea. We spent our time looking at the church down the street that was decked up in lights for Christmas. By this time Devdas had taken out his camera, and was snapping about a million shots of everyone and everything around him! After waiting about an hour, and about 6 phone calls later, the replacement car showed up…well…it was a Maruti 1000, which was about…you know, half the size of the Ambassador we had previously had. We were all hungry, so we decided to pile into the car and go to Kafulok, one of our regular hang out joints. Well…We had adventures doing this…we had 4 guys to shove in the back seat that was designed for about 3 of them…so…Mak ended up sitting on Arjun’s lap because Susmit refused! LoL!

Once at Kafulok we had some golden fried prawns, chili garlic pepper chicken and prawn chips for starters. Then we had some delicious steamed fish, one with ginger and mushroom and the other with garlic. Then, since I was still hungry, we had some yummy hot and sour soup! =]

After this Susmit, Mak and Arjun took a cab and went home, while Indra and I took the car and dropped Devdas at the guest house.

Sunday - Started out with everyone supposedly meeting up at our house. Well…that didn’t work out well as people were late…so Indra and I went off to Science City to find Devdas. We met the others at Park Circus. We went out to some hole in the wall restaurant, called Milan Hotel. The people that were eating at the restaurant, all stopped eating and looked up to stare at our group as we walked in. It was merely a light gravy with pieces of beef in it that we ate with tandoori roti. While we were eating our beef stew, since Mak doesn’t eat beef he was eating Mutton. After this we, well…by we I mean *I* decided I wanted some fresh juice. But the others overruled me, as they wanted “joynagarer moya“, so we went and found a sweet shop and had our fill. After a time I got my wanted juice! =] Indra decided he didn’t want any juice, but instead wanted coffee. We went next door to a coffee shop, that for the life of me I can’t remember the name. We spent about 3-4 hours at this coffee shop having many adventures. Devdas and Indra had some espresso, while I had mint tea…well at least I had mint tea after a mix up with some Milk tea. After a while we got bored of sitting outside, and proceeded inside, where Arjun and Mak had something, and Devdas and I wanted some ice cream. The ice cream shop was like Cold Stone, where there were many choices and one had to answer about a million questions about what was wanted and the options. After paying our bill we then went to St. Paul’s Cathedral to see the lights at night. After this we had gone to our usual local joint, Sonar Sansa, and hung out and had some drinks before proceeding to Nirala’s China Town (one of my favorite chinese restaurants) for dinner.

After we all had our fill (and being the last people in the restaurant), we left. We waited on the street and then Indra, Devdas, and I caught a bus that goes close to our home, and Arjun, Susmit, and Mak took a taxi.

October 17, 2009

Princeton, Lost Souls and John Bose

Filed under: Cassini's Division, India, crazy crap, funny stuff — steph @ 1:32 pm

Thursday night, my all time favorite band, Cassini’s Division, played at Princeton. Total good time, you know, except for the fact that they started like 45 minutes late…or maybe they had already started, and were on their first cigarette break? I really dunno. :-) Well…it was fun, hung out with some friends, listened to some totally awesome music. I had arrived with Arjun Ghosh, and *EVENTUALLY* choto Indranil Dasgupta, Brandon (an american from my Bengali class), and Indra showed up (although only to pick me up!).  Also got to meet a friend for the first time, Urmi! It was fun! Little did I know…this was just the beginning of the fun.

Well…so, fast forward to the end of the show…all of us (Arjun, choto Indranil, Indra and I) went out to the street…and they started talking, and talking. And talking some more ;-)!

All of a sudden John comes out to the street with this old guy. The old guy was totally wasted. We were waiting for a taxi, and none were going our way…and the ones that were coming were getting picked up as fast as they came! Well…this guy keeps spouting out, “Am I a bad person?”, “Did I do something wrong?” and (my personal favorite ;-) sorry John!) “You are my god!”. Also, my other personal favorite outburst from the old man was, “Who are these white people standing around?!”. I had to turn away to stifle a giggle, and so John explained that I was a friend of his (the funniest part being the old man used refered to me as “people” when I was the only white person standing there!). John had asked us if we could take a detour on our way home and drop the old guy at Ballygunge Phari where he said he lived.

We finally found a taxi that was going our way, Indra, choto Indranil, and I all got in the back seat. First he wouldn’t get in the taxi because he was busy pissing on the gates of The Princeton Club. Then he had a bit of a fit about getting into the taxi. He finally got in after John reassured him that we were his friends and that we would get him safely to where he needed to go, he finally got into the front seat, with a little help.

Off we went! The old guy was muttering to himself when he was not falling asleep and falling over the front seat, at one point even leaning on the driver! Shortly we were at Ballygunge Phari and it was time to unload our “passenger”. Which proved to be tougher than getting the dude *inside* the taxi!!! Choto Indranil and Indra got out and helped the old guy out of the front seat. He at first refused to get out of the taxi and wished us good night. Finally he was standing on the sidewalk holding choto Indranil’s hand in both of his hands while bending over and touching choto’s hand to his forehead with utmost reverence. After all this time choto Indranil was his “god” and that he was “indebted to us forever”. Choto was concerned about whether or not this drunk old guy would be able to remember his house and get inside safely. On his repeated assurance that he was gonna do just fine, we left, after choto managed to “recover” his right hand.

We took a U-turn from the crossing ahead, and as we doubled back we saw the old guy still standing on the pavement where we had left him. We wondered who he was and hoped that he would get home safely. We then went home, and sent choto home in the same taxi. Yes, the taxi driver got a decent tip for this ride!

BTW, John, I know you are reading this, and you owe us 40 rupees! =P

September 3, 2009

Does this shock and awe your conscience??

Filed under: Criminal Justice, Manson Family, crazy crap, ranting — steph @ 10:21 pm

I read CNN.com almost everyday and because of my interest in Criminal Justice I also read the CRIME section pretty religiously. Well…I have been following the journey of Susan Atkins for the past few days. Her current story is here. Now, mind you I understand that she is apparently “dangerous” because of the previous crimes commited about 40 years back. But…if you read you will come to realize that Susan has terminal brain cancer, and is paralyzed. She can’t get out of bed, or into a wheelchair. Recently she had a parole hearing…where her parole was *DENIED*. Right…apparently she is still dangerous.

My first reaction was that this is cruel and unsual punishment. Why you ask? Because…it “shocks and awes your conscience. Not only is Susan paralyzed, but she has a tremendous amount of medical bills that are being paid by the US taxpayers money. Now, honestly, tell me where this is fair? It doesn’t seem at all fair to me…

another rant

Filed under: India, crazy crap, every day life, personal, ranting — steph @ 4:45 pm

Sorry all…I’ve just been down a bit these last few days. I don’t get out much, because… 1. I prefer not to go out alone and get into some sort of trouble or get ripped off… 2. I don’t know the city very well, and I don’t want to get lost, and yeah…so pretty much the only time I get out of the house is when I go to my Bengali class, well…unless I go to Barasat or WBUT with Indra (which these days is not that often). But anyways, life goes on. The hardest part is I used to enjoy my bangla class…but now…its just getting irritating because the teacher doesn’t seem to be teaching us *anything* new…its the same thing day in and day out…I mean yeah, mind you, he has taught us the conugations of the verbs, but we are hardly learning any new vocab…we are learning a bunch of verbs…but no words…if you can get what I’m saying…I am learning more at home by asking Indra, Maa, or Sujata what the word means. Its really annoying…and I’m sick of not having a job…I’m really sick of having to depend on others, and I just want to be active again…sorry for the rant…I had to blow up somewhere…and the internet is a safe place because nobody gets hurt.

July 14, 2009

Bangla class

Filed under: India, crazy crap, every day life, personal, school — steph @ 11:15 am

Well…for the next 6 months I will be attending Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture to formally learn Bengali. Then after that there is another 6 month Senior Course I will take. But…tonight was my first class. I was thinking there would be more white people, I mean come on, who else will want to learn bangla?? Well…to my surprise there were 10 students, and ALL of them Indian!! :) 3 spoke Hindi, but no bangla, 3 spoke some sort of bangla, but couldn’t write it. But I was the *only* white person!! So class goes on, and all we do is learn some sounds, and write a bunch of scripts (aka squiggly lines, as I call them =D). So I get out of class and I’m waiting for Indra and there was a group of 3 guys who came up to me and asked me where I was from and such. :) It was an adventure! Now…time to fiddle around until 4am, and then on to Chinese breakfast again with some friends!

June 1, 2009

fun yeah!!

Filed under: India, crazy crap, every day life, personal — steph @ 12:19 pm

Well…tonight we went on a date!!! yeah!!! We went out and saw Angels & Demons. The movie was decent…not the best…but not the worst either. We then went to a restaurant off Park Street, called Mocambo, we both had sizzlers. Indra had the beef one, and I had the fish one. Also, I had a crab meat cocktail, and Indra had a prawn one. Man…that was surprising…I was expecting the normal shrimp cocktail but they were yummy!!! :) We walked around some, had a ice cream cone, and went home :) yeah!

May 28, 2009

more, and more, and more….

Filed under: India, crazy crap, every day life, my family, our girls, personal — steph @ 11:40 am

Well…life has been good :) A few days ago we had Cyclone Alia come through. The cyclone didn’t come close to where I am, but all day the weather was horrible. It was dark and stormy, and *very very* windy, thank goodness Indra didn’t go to work that day. Johnny (our friend from Cassini’s Division and neighbor) had called me up asking me where he was, and was making sure that he was aware of the cyclone and safe. Thanks for good friends and neighbors here!! :) The next day we went out and it was amazing. All the billboards were blown down and there were trees that had been blown over. I mean, it was devastating because some people lost their homes, and there was a *lot* of flooding in certain places, but it was also beautiful. I know…it makes absolutely no sense…but it was!!

I went to WBUT with Indra and Subhodip this past week. It was interesting to say the least. There I met a friend I had been talking to for a long time online, who is also a friend of Indra’s, Najmun Nessa. It was fun to meet her and watch her work and interact with Indra and Subhodip. Najmun brought her son to the college, and he was very cute. It was nice to meet him, although he wouldn’t talk to me at all. Seeing him made me miss Myriam and Jovie. Oh well…such is life and we can not change it, even when I am being thwarted by their father…*sigh*

Its time to get ready to eat dinner, perhaps watch a movie with Indra, and go to bed…later :)

May 11, 2009

India…the adventures thus far

Filed under: India, crazy crap, every day life, funny stuff, personal — steph @ 2:30 am

On the 5th, having not slept the night before, I arrived at the airport at around 7 am for a 845am only to find out that my flight had been delayed. At first it was until 1050am, and then it was 1030am, which was then rescheduled until 910am. Finally I got on the plane. I flew to New Jersey, where I met up with a friend Darshan Shah, whom I had never met before, but had talked to on the phone and online. It was fun :) He bought me a slice of pizza and a drink. Then I got on the flight to Delhi. That flight was the longest flight of my entire life. 14.5 hours. :(   I slept for a bit, but not much. I arrived in Delhi about 30-45 minutes ahead of schedule. I was a bit confused, but due to help from Shalika I managed. I went through immigration where I got my visa stamped. I proceeded to collect my bags and went through customs. I found Indra and we proceeded to the taxi that was waiting. We arrived at the place we were staying to find out that the dining hall was closed. So out we went, with me in my high heels (in the end, stupid of me i know). We walked a bit and found a McDonalds. At some point or another, I twisted my ankle.

Thursday night we went out for dinner with Kishore Bhargava, his wife Jyoti and their son Kabir. They gave us a custom made waterbottle sling made to order in Goa.  :)  We went for dinner and it was my first experience of real Indian food in India. Then we went to the Bengali Market (I think?) for Kesar Kulfi. It was fun and nice to meet them.

We spent 3 days in Delhi and then on the 9th, we took Howrah Rajdhani Express and arrived home around 1120am. Where I met the rest of the family and friends. Yeah!

This has been an amazing journey. Yes, I’m somewhat tired, but it’s good to finally be with Indra. Leaving the US was hard, but being without Indra was harder. It’s all a bit overwhelming still, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. Indra’s family is amazing. :)

May 4, 2009

the countdown begins!!!

Filed under: India, count down, crazy crap, every day life, personal — steph @ 11:29 am

:) less than 24 hours before i leave. w00t!! i will update when i arrive at the airports on facebook, myspace & twitter. =D can’t wait!

April 30, 2009

*sigh* one tough day

Filed under: crazy crap, every day life, my family, our girls, personal — steph @ 6:53 pm

Today was the last day I will see my daughters for god knows how long. The last 2 hours went by so fast. I was fighting back the tears the last 15 minutes with Jovie, and when cuddling with Myriam, I started to cry, and she told me ’stop crying, its okay.’ This has got to be the hardest thing I *have* ever done. It was even harder than walking away from Jeremy and the girls the first time.

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