My friend and roommate went to India last summer. She loved it there and wants to go back sometime soon. Anyways, today on Facebook she posted this video.
Her comment was “craving some good indian chai”. While I have had Chai in the states from how I’ve heard people talk about chai in India, it sounds heavenly. It’s not the first time she has craved “real Chai”. So basically I was just intrigued by this video. It, to me at least, shows how Westerners are video tapping being served Chai on a train. It’s interesting how that can seem so foreign or “Oriental” while I know in America/Western countries they serve coffee and other drinks on trains. Granted its a different culture and is done a bit differently but it just really points out how India can be viewed as exotic and strange even though its something quite simple and common; expect the Chai which is apparently hard to get a hold of the good stuff.
I don’t know why but I was thinking about what my favorite book we read for this class was. I normally don’t like to play favorites but it’s always fun to think about why I liked something so much or more than other things. The top two would be The Quilt and Other Short Stories and Firaaq. I guess for some reason I found those the most intriguing and gripping. They are complex as is everything else we read/watched but I think one of the bigger draws was that they were translated. It’s nice to read/watch something that was actually written/filmed for the people of that culture. I know sometimes things can get lost in translation but I found those works very moving and still got the message across. Also, the Hindu and Muslim people engaging each other, as well as the tensions there, was just something I had never been exposed to so I just ate that up to learn more about it all and grow in a better understanding in general.
Last night on TMC for Cary Grant’s day, the highlight at 8pm was none other than Gunga Din. This was the prime time slot. For some reason this surprised me. Perhaps it’s because before this class I never knew about this movie or that Cary Grant was in it. I had seen the Philadelphia Story and North by Northwest before, which were both being shown earlier in the day. I guess I would have thought that one of those movies would have been given a prime time slot and Gunga Din been played earlier. This is due to what the American culture pushes as a “Cary Grant film” and how before this quarter I had never heard about Gunga Din, meaning it may not be as well known as other films Grant has done. Granted Gunga Din is a very Western representation of India, but it was fun to recognize what the context surrounding all of this was and know more about India in literature/media than what Gunga Din shows. It makes me wonder though how many people saw Gunga Din last night for the first time, or a second or third, and that reinforced their Western outlook on India.