We spent afternoons this week at the National Film Archive of India at the Documentary Film Festival Young Heroes for Young Adults. There were twenty-six short documentary films in all, from four to eighty-three minutes in length, from ten different European countries. The films explored borders and friendship, gender and sexual identity, religion and politics. One of our favorites, “Ayla, The Tsunami Girl,” tells the story of a young girl coming to terms with the 2004 tsunami during a family vacation in Sri Lanka. The kids also enjoyed “Wow, Adrian can Dance,” about a young boy with a passion for ballet. Apu and Niks joined us on Thursday afternoon. We then crossed the river to Sadashiv Peth for one more dinner of mutton fry and curry. We picked up a bag of green mangoes, some jaggery, and a round of mango mastanis.
On Sunday morning Apu and Niks drove all over the city to gather one of the tastiest breakfasts I’ve ever had. We sat down to a table with poha, a rice dish from Maharashtra with onion, chopped potato, and green chilies, upama and shira, three different types of dhokla, and bright orange deep-fried, syrup-soaked jalebis. Aparna (from Assam) and Nikhil (from Nagpur in Maharashtra) were R’s students and are becoming among our favorite people in the world. We enjoyed a meal together, and then N taught the kids how to drive a motorbike. They are leaving Pune this week for a summer internship and we shared a tearful goodbye. Th efollowing morning, before we head to the train station, A and N show up with more gifts–an Indian cookbook and a copy of Nehru’s The Discovery of India–and a final goodbye.