Sunday, July 3, 2011

Suggestion #2

(PICTURE: The Nandan Complex is near the South Gate of the Victoria Monument. FYI.)

As I mentioned yesterday, my friend Jessica's friend in Kolkata sent Huyen and I some suggestions. The second thing he suggested to us was to "check out a show at the Nandan Complex."

The Nandan Complex is a state-run cultural center that has music, theater and movies. It was hot as hell out so we thought checking out a Bengali movie would be a great way to spend a couple of hours. We got directions to the place and started to walk there. I'll save all the details but it took about three times as long as we were told and had such fun adventures as two naked three-year-old boys trying to climb up my leg to take my bottle of water.

Eventually we got to the Nandan Complex and were surprised how crowded it was. People were everywhere including a hell of a lot of ARMED MILITARY GUYS. Huyen and I smiled at the security forces and walked into the center. One thing we immediately noticed was that everyone was wearing white and carrying flowers. Even stranger was that there were a ton of cameras (still and video) and very good looking people. The Hollywood in me immediately came out and I said confidently to Huyen, "They must be having a movie premiere."

So, Huyen and I walked through the well dressed, good looking people trying to find the box office. After stepping into the main hall we encountered something you usually don't see at a movie theater -- a DEAD BODY!

No, the person hadn't just been killed -- although that's always a possibility in India -- but rather was the the man-of-honor at his own funeral. Huyen and I were about a foot from the deceased, who was covered in flowers, and then started to notice that a lot of people were staring at us. I nearly said to probably some A-list Bollywood star, "Do you know I can buy movie tickets?" but managed to restrain myself. Instead I gave Huyen a lets-get-the-hell-out-of-here-head-jerk and we departed the premises.

Well, I have no idea who died and that's only because I don't speak Hindi. You see, the next morning I turned on the news and there was a story about the funeral. I watched the piece -- not understanding a word -- and kept expecting to see us wandering aimlessly in the background. In fact, one guy who was on TV, gave his interview about a foot from where we were standing.

So long story short, we didn't get to see a movie and sit in AC.