Gang of 6...

This blog belongs to 6 ex COE students of NSIT... Though, now, we are all in separate places, studying or working, we hope to remain in touch with each other lest we forget the great time we had back in college. This blog is an attempt to achieve the same. Here's to us...!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Chrstmas tidings..

Sorry for not keeping you guys posted...here's some news on my Italian Christmas: I had been invited over by a third-year Mathematical Engineering (even he is not sure what that is:) student at Politecnico, to his home for Christmas Eve dinner and then the Vigil mass at a nearby church. Davide's family was very happy to have me over, and there was lots of familiar bantering and leg-pulling (his grandparents and cousins' family were there as well). One of his cousins(Gabriele) had spent 6 months in Australia, and so naturally we ended up discussing the worth of the latest Bollywood potboilers and British sitcoms. I was surprised to find a very well-stocked library - Asimov, Clarke, Clancy, Ludlum..all the latest fiction/fantasy bestsellers..and all in Italian! In fact, I have been generally surprised to see the kind of preference Italians (and all Europeans, I think) have for their mother tongue. Understand, of course, that I come from a second-generation Malayali family settled in Delhi - and hence butcher both Malayalam and Hindi when I try speaking them(ok, Hindi not so much). But, in general, it is rather interesting to contrast an Italian 's thinking vis-a-vis English to the Indian's - it's almost as though we have no national pride! But, as I explain to others (and console myself) here as regards the general Indian facility for English - we do have good historical reasons for the choice of English. But, still, it would be nice to see young people in India love and use Hindi (or their respective mother tongues) as the Italians do their italiano.
Anyway, enough language politics. And what should I say about the food - lots of courses(all kinds of meats I don't recall now), and the Italians do seem to love their desserts more than Bengalis. Apart from the Pannetone(a typical Milanese Christmas cake), we had candied chestnuts, tarts, and what-not-else.
After the dinner, we went for midnight mass at a nearby church(apparently, no matter where you live in Milan, there would be a church within 5 minutes walking distance). Even though I could follow little of the Italian Mass, it was quite the only link I could find with an Indian Christmas; do you know I have yet to sing a single
carol!
On Christmas day itself, another friend, Luca Bergamaschi(3rd year student of Medicine) picked me up from the flat for lunch at his place. Here also, the family was quite happy to have me over. In general, people here have very little idea about India. They know it's huge, and has lots of (poor) people, but little else.
So I got questions like - Why do you speak English? Do they speak Hindi all over India? Why are Indians so good at IT?I hope I gave all of these nice people a good first impression of India (Summarised answer to all: We Indians are all trilingual, adept in English and abstract thinking:)

And on the 26th night, Marcello and Stefano(vice-directors of the residence) returned to Torrescalla(the name of the place where I am staying). So, now I am back in main residence - till they officially reopen the student residence in Jan, when I'll have to move back to the flat for lack of room here. Other students are coming back as well these days- right now, we have Arcen(Cote D'Ivorean), Marco(Peruvian) and Roberto(Italian studying in Paris) here. Nowadays, I just spend all day in front of my comp, following up on my Masters' applications.

We have all meals together - who had known one could tire of meat everyday! - where Snappo (= Stefano Neopolitano!) tries to force English down everyone's throats(while my Italian remains pathetic, I am quite sure everyone here would have near-perfect command of English idioms by the end of Feb:) So, generally, I am having a nice lazy
vacation - at least till Univ reopens...and what are you guys up to?

2 comments:

Bertie said...

what do you mean by follwoing up ur apps??? U can view the stage it is in i guess.. how much info can u possibly garner frm that??? or is it just an euphemism for pointless surfing??? ;-)

Bertie said...

and by the way, ur frst para is all mangled up.. god, ky akhichdi pakai hai tune!!! and u manage to get a 6/6 on th essay... yeh kaisa zamaana aa gaya hai!!!