Tag Archives: India

Sanjay takes Josh and Arvil to the Delhi Zoo

When children visit the zoo it’s a common to see parents tenderly lifting them to catch a glance at a baby cougar but when you are an adult sometimes you have to settle for your non-English speaking driver to chaperone you through monkey Island and the tiger cages.

Steve Irwin reincarnated

Steve Irwin reincarnated

It appears that Sanjay is no stranger to the zoo, rumor has it he used to live in one. Scientist believes that Sanjay may have once, long ago, been a primate deriving from the chimpanzee family. Evidence suggests that his moustache may be the missing link between man and ape, data gathered today at the New Delhi Zoo further supports this theory.

Sanjay was a huge asset during our trip to the zoo, not only did he guide us straight to all the exotic animals and eagerly point them out, he was extremely talented at communicating with them. I am not sure if he uses these noises to summon his children or if they are an ancient Hindi mating call but at every cage he would start clicking and snapping with his mouth. Sanjay was a natural Dr. Doolittle, persuading everything from monkeys to emus to beautiful desi’s to look his way.

Grand Master Sanjay

Grand Master Sanjay

Arvils stomach pulled a fast one on him half way through the expedition so he walked ahead, leaving Sanjay and I as kings of the jungle. It was a beautiful experience, just me and good ol’ Sanjay, a man of few words but countless clicks. It was an intimate bonding experience, we both took leaks at adjacent piss holes, hollered at the monkeys (he knows the English word) and he even bought me an ice cream cone. What a guy. What a guy.

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Josh and Arvil set out to make Indians the greatest frisbee players the world has ever seen

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Mostly clad in 50 rupee sandals and the latest in designer jeans from Giorgio Armani, we had our first group of frisbee proteges. Today was the first day of the beginning of the greatest dynasty the sport of ultimate will ever see. Ranging in age from 10-18, these kids run like Ochocinco, throw like Brady, and have the intestinal fortitude of a man raised on the water of the Ganges.

Josh and I have been working with a local NGO called Manzil. Here is the link. They are essentially an after school program for poorer children, the sons and daughters of the cooks, maids, and drivers of New Delhi. They teach a variety of subjects, including English, Math, Dance, and Computers.

We’ve gone to attend some of their higher level English classes that aim to help kids with their spoken English. We have been mainly sitting in and listening, but hopefully in the future we can act as facilitators, as their role is to bring the kids a topic that can provoke a good discussion.

While I have been going to these classes, I have been recruiting kids for frisbee. Today was the culmination of those efforts. We met at Manzil in Khan Market, and then walked over to Lodhi Gardens, which is one of the nicest parks in Delhi.

After we found a good spot, I unleashed the frisbees from my bag, and they went wild. Frisbees were flying everywhere, I got hit in the head more than once, and they were loving it. I explained a few basic rules, set up a make shift field with bags and frisbees, and they started playing. While it wasn’t exactly pretty, they were having fun and learning very quickly. Some of the older kids were actually pretty athletic.

The kids were also very smart. After only 30 minutes of playing, they started learning basic strategy, like short passes are better, and the importance of working together as a team in order to score. We played a game to 10, and after a grueling double-game-point win by my team, I thought we were almost done, as it was getting dark. “Let’s play another game to 15!” They couldn’t get enough.

I eventually brought in some difficult concepts like giving high-5’s after your team scores, and lining up after the game and giving the other team slaps. Next week I will introduce the flick, and talk about spirit of the game (my specialty).

We played until well past dark, and all agreed to meet next Sunday for session #2 as we come closer and closer to frisbee supremacy.

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Gambling in India

Last night was a mess; I vaguely remember eating five samosas, half dozen chicken wings and easily a pound of potatoes and paneer all before dinner. It was a cool Sunday evening, Uncle and Massi invited over a couple of their friends for a pleasant session of rooftop knoshing and gambling.

Although we were sitting at a table with a man worth well over 500 crores (he owns mattress factories all over India) each player shelled out only a couple thousand rupees. Before our Vegas-style dinner fiasco Arvil and I small talked with our guests on an eclectic range of topics. After revealing to our guests that we were from Framingham, the millionaire instantly expressed his affection for the Natick Collection and its surrounding stores, specifically Bed Bath and Beyond. Now every kid knows that it’s funny to pretend that you enjoy shopping at BB&B but when you come across someone who isn’t a complete uterus and still wets themselves over BB&B’s selection of shower curtains and bath towels, it’s quiet hysterical.

Afterwards, this one man began to tell an epic tale of how he almost guessed four out of four vodka flavorings at a Greygoose distillery tour, but failed to win the prize. His wife chimed in adding how difficult it was. Little did this man know that another guest of Anil Uncle was once reigning champion at a vodka taste testing, guessing correctly 16 vodkas. His wife threw in her two cents recounting the magic.

Right before the three card poker started, I remembered that all my money was tied up in the financing of eight luxury hotels, penny stocks, child support payments and my second wife’s new boob job. Fortunately Raju mama was sensitive to my situation and spotted Arvil and I a couple thousand rupees.

The style of three card poker which they played involves the dealer making up a new rule each hand. Regardless of being confused about each respective game Arvil and I decided to bet erratically. Four hours later, without any breaks, we were down a lot and had to borrow from Raju again. It was around 1 in the morning, I was ready to tap out and Didi Massi halted our pathetic attempt at winning money for more food. I blindly ate a plate full of random Indian food, threw down some ice cream and hit the pillow.

Police brutality in India

Auto rickshaw drivers barely make enough to afford a can of beans, which means that if you’re a professional manual rickshaw driver then you probably can only afford a lentil. Also it would be safe to assume that one slip/accident/robbery could set you back months.

On our way to Red Fort (a monster of a palace built in 1638 by the Mughal Empire), Arvil and I witnessed hardcore police brutality. This was straight WWE status; imagine Andre the Giant versus four of the scrappiest rickshaw drivers in Delhi, all weighing in under a buck.

Red Fort

Red Fort

Apparently rickshaw drivers are not supposed to set up shop right outside the entrance of Red Fort, where the majority of tourist traffic flow occurs. But seeing as this is India and traffic/parking rules are ignored nationwide these drivers parked there anyways.

The governments solution to handling these unruly drivers and their illegal parking habits … they hired this man.

Boss-Man

Boss-Man

If an American officer of the law were to act at even a fraction of this man’s madness then a minimum of five years D-Block would ensue. But here in India, from the looks of it, law enforcement enjoys kicking ass without taken names. The only citation this poor shmuck received was a broken axel and a couple swift elbow drops to the face. Seriously, this Boss-Man smashed four rickshaws while elbowing the drivers who tried to stop him.

The gun & stick are purely for show

The gun & stick are purely for show

Introducing…

Yep, that’s right you yuppies, what’s that masterpiece chilln’ on my upper lip … looks like something Michelangelo sculpted huh. That ain’t no Photoshop, that ‘stache is legit.

Moustache ride, 10 cent.

Moustache ride, 10 cent.

Mustachioed Josh

My moustache loves reading.

I don’t know what it is about owning your own ‘stach, but let me tell you, it feels great. Just look at that thing, makes you want to hit somebody.

What is he pointing at? Irrelevant, just look at that 'stache.

What is he pointing at? Irrelevant, just look at that 'stache.

Makes you think “There is a g-d”. Magnificent. Well done boys.

Is that not close enough for you?

Pure authority

BOOM!

There you have it, they have arrived. Arvil and Josh have acquired the two most glorious mustaches on earth. These shpuppies practically pay for themselves. After 1,000 elephants and 2,500 camels hauled in the essential ‘stache supplies and Rithlals entire extended family labored non-stop for three months, (with only two 15 minute breaks per day/no overtime/working for 7 rupees per hour/22 hour days) the ‘staches were eventually styled to perfection.

So, what would happen if we were to somehow multiply our ‘staches?

These four are ready to take over the world, one ‘stache a time. A full length feature film is in the pre-production phases with Warner Bros. starring Sanjay as the girthy boss-man of the group. Josh will play the loose cannon of the group, whose French mustache is a raging alcoholic with a gambling addiction. Rithlal as the wise, right hand man, whose mustache has seen many battles. And Arvil as the protégé whose potential is unlimited, his ability to grow unparalleled.

Arvil and I go on a Bender – Indian Bargaining at Connaught Place

What started out as a low key trip to Café  Coffee Day (the Starbucks of India) for some Darjeeling tea ended up as a free for all bargaining bender.

Cafe Coffee Day

Cafe Coffee Day

Preface: In Dharmasala one night Arvil and I were enjoying this amazing Oscar hopeful of a movie, Jumper. Thirty minutes in we had to abandon its captivating plot and top-tier acting, headlined by a blond haired Samuel L. Jackson. Arvil was hooked; he needed know how the film played out … the emptiness he felt resulted in the kid peeling away at his own skin. In India, the one cesspool vast enough in shitty pirated movies i.e. Jumper, for a price of roughly $1, is Connaught Place and this is where we headed.

Sammy L - Jumper

Sammy L - Jumper

We snagged a rickshaw; guaranteed ourselves a 100 rupee ride, and headed off on a shopping trip reminiscent of the benders my mom endures when she hits up the local TJ Max. Around half way to Connaught Place we were caught by a red light. At most major intersections there are gangs of slum children peddling garbage magazines for 50 rupees a piece and since we were exposed in a rickshaw and I am a cracker-ass white boy there was no hope. Within seconds Arvil and I were gangbanged by five slum children all pushing People Magazine in our faces.

Saying “No thanks” or “I already have all of those magazines” was ineffective. We have experienced the wrath of these mobile magazine stands previously, but it was at this moment when I had an epiphany. I conjured up a strategy so diabolical, so ingenious, so cutting edge that I knew it would ward away these beggars.

I introduce to you the fake cell phone call; it worked so well that I am confident there is plenty of business potential behind this progressive tactic. Basically all you have to do is hold up a fake cell phone to your ear and pretend to sell junk bonds, penny stocks and yell incoherent American slang into your hand fashioned as a phone. I am not sure whether it worked because they actually thought I was on the phone or because they thought I was crazy but I really didn’t care.

Upon our arrival to Connaught place we were greeted by two young Indian boys offering us rickshaw rides, we explained to them that we were strictly in the market for DVD’s and their eyes lit up. We followed them down a set of stairs into a sketchy corridor lined with stores on both sides all selling the same exact crap … pirated DVDs and video games. We thought we hit the jackpot and for most people this probably was the mother-load, but as soon as this kid started asking me “You want to jiggy jiggy movies?” I knew that we had just walked into the largest underground Bollywood porno shopping center in Delhi.

Connaught Placce - Palika Bazar - The underground shopping center

Connaught Placce - Palika Bazar - The underground shopping center

Long story short, we ended up finding the actually shopping center and hard bargained for a couple hours. This underground shopping mall was filled with hundreds of identical stores all selling the same pirated electronics and every fake brand named shirt imaginable … this is a common theme throughout Delhi.

Between Arvil and I we made out with:

  • 2 PC video games
    • Fifa 2010 (which turns out is Fifa 2009)
    • The Ashes 2009, it’s a cricket game (Haven’t played it yet but its probably The Ashes 2008)
  • Seven DVDs
    • Jumper – Arvil nearly spooged himself
    • No Country For Old Men
    • There Will Be Blood
    • 10,000 B.C
    • Away We Go
      • The only explanation for Jims (the office) greatness is that he must be Michael Cera’s love child
    • Transformers  2 – We just tested it out and its of hand camera quality
    • District 9 – Christopher Johnson is the man
  • A 250 GB flash Drive (one of two potential suspects for who gave Arvil trogan viruses after he put it in his computer)
    • Initially the merchants were selling this for 1,500 hundred rupees but Arvil was able to haggle his way down to less than a third of that price.
  • A UK Punjabi Club DJ mix CD – 150 songs (the latter suspect for who destroyed Arvils computer)
  • A sweet hipster T-Shirt of the outline of India in green, orange and white with the small type words “I ❤ India”

    All of this is easily valued over hundreds of dollars … standard greenbacks. Arvils stone-cold bargaining tactics added with my ruthless Jewish heritage ended up being a lethal combination. We paid roughly 900 rupees total, roughly $18. Even though the flash drive/Punjabi mix might have temporarily bamboozled Arvils computer, I think we made out alright.

    Bathrooms in India

    Below is a picture of a typical bathroom in India. When you are provided with an actual toilet complimented with a sink, then you’ve stuck gold. Usually there is a hole in the ground and a bucket filled with water, I still have no idea how to go about using the two effectively without smearing feces everywhere.

    What is even more unlikely when using bathrooms here is when you find a restaurant/store that offers toilet paper, when this rarity occurs you have to look twice because usually its to good to be true. Socks, t-shirts and the Delhi Times doubles as half-decent TP.

    Typical Indian bathroom

    Typical Indian bathroom

    Arvil has been bedridden for the past couple days; his childish immune system couldn’t handle the likes of Rithlals five star chef skills. Surprisingly enough my stomach has held strong … so far. I am writing this in hopes that my words come back to haunt me, I want my inevitably sickness to arrive already. I want a couple ruthless back to back sessions followed by temporarily being crippled.

    You may be confused on why I am wishing for warm foaminess to dribble down my leg but you must understand that this sickness is guaranteed and the sooner I get it over with the sooner I can continue my travels. Last thing I want is to be stuck on a 3rd class train with no bathroom or like a hole in the ground and all a sudden my stomach is ready to shit bricks, which are still in the molten state.

    I have contemplated eating at a road side food stand (garmented squirts) or licking the bottom of Sanjays feet (he drives barefoot) but have yet to build up the courage to do either.

    Stinky ... niice!

    Stinky ... niice!