Sunday, December 18, 2005

haveli and barbecues

so the kooseriah showed up again today asking about whether my cousin's had a son. ameen said yes, so even more drama ensued. ameen misunderstood them, and thought they were referring to veena's ( our cook) daughter's son, who indeed was born the day before.

today has been a relatively uneventful day. we painted in the morning for a few hours, then went to niko park, a local little kiddie park.

last night we went out to eat at haveli and rangala punjab. i suppose if anything represents the progress of india, it might be this place. some local entrepreneurs decided to make a restaurant w/ decor typical of old punjabi villages. the design work was extremely well done. they had handmade munji's that many of us remember from our pre-capitalism visits to india. the restaurant was so successful, that the founders expanded the company to reproduce an entire village. they went to villages and bought bricks and doorways from old houses being demolished. they also created a complete village using clay and other interesting materials. it has a bunch of random stuff thrown in, like the monkey guy that has 2 monkey's that do this ridiculous but engaging rendition of a monkey wedding, a magic guy, an entire bazaar, camel's and horses, bangra dancers, and my favorite, a parrot that predicts your future. what i thought was great about haveli was the quality of the execution. in punjab its pretty rare to see someone meticulously create a service business that doesn't eventually have the equivalent of duct tape everywhere, i.e. wires strewn about, decaying concrete, 70's foam ceilings, paan spit, bands of dudes staring blankly at you. here the bazaar was well done, the items for sale were all handmade crafts that are a dieing trade and tough to find, surdars serving food (an absolute rarity in india) with a smile and really great customer service. the place was also hopping w/ people.

of course it was topped off only by nayan screaming that it was a terrible place and he wanted to go home (we made the mistake of waking him up from his nap). the tantrum lasted well into this morning. it ended only after we brought out the usual "cops here beat little kids that cry with really big sticks." trick. to which he replied, "there's a cop, bring him over here, i want to barbecue him." after our driver, while laughing, agreed to go get him, nayan declared that he was just joking. so, it appears, our certain-to-psychologically-impare-our-son tactic of using the police threat to stop tantrums, appears to still work.

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