Kisna


So I had to write this post for a very specific reason. Over the past few weeks, a couple of my friends and I started to get back into golfing, with the summer at its peak. We typically make it a point to choose a golf course closer to Manhattan, simply due to convenience. Our last two outings had been to a quaint little course in a rather discreet location behind a tiny parking lot  – Kissena Park Golf Course.

It so happens that Kissena faintly rhymes with Kisna – a “famous” movie in Bollywood. And the name stuck. We started calling it the Kisna with of course, a classic bollywood song. to go with our drive to the course.

As I was rummaging through  few of my old journal entries, a habit of mine that I lost somewhere along the way, I chanced upon a gem, which immediately reminded me of this!

So here is to a completely unedited and original musing from February 2005 and to the Golf Course!

Destination America Entry # 4 – “Kisna” in US of A

 This happened out of the blue. It was on the first weekend, after I set foot on this land. I didn’t know what to do over the weekend, when my colleague, who had been here for almost three months, asked me if I would want to join him for a ride to Stanford University. Well, it could have been out of pity, seeing me sitting in my room, staring at the laptop that he decided to call me. Within no time, I was ready and I went to his room where I got introduced to his friend, who held a bottle of masala tea in his hand. Apparently this guy is known for his preparation of masala tea. But my aversion to the item, thanks to the one I tried out in  Kurla Express, on my way from my home to the college two years back, made me politely refuse it, with a “not so convincing” excuse that I hate spicy things.

Shortly after that, we were cruising along the expressway (I keep forgetting the numbers of the expressways, but they do have an interesting way of naming them), at 70 miles an hour (well that’s around 110 km/hr!!!), on a Honda Accord. Oh by the way, Honda Accord happened to be one of the “economy” cars in US!!!  We reached the place in almost 15 minutes, but it took us yet another 15 minutes to find a parking spot. People chose this university as a “holiday resort”, during weekends. All the parking slots that lay empty were for the handicapped. It looked as though there was a 50% reservation for them, everywhere we went!!! At least they provided free parking during holidays; unlike in India where you find parking prices rising sky-high during peak hours.

We got down at the  Cantor Arts Center  on the east end of the campus. Things could not have been more unfortunate, when we realized that the place is under renovation, and we were not allowed to walk around. So we just got to see a few models at the front, the ones by Auguste Rodin, Three shades and Gates of Hell.

Then all that was left was a drive around the characteristic building of Stanford, the one that is seen in every picture of the university. Overall, a great place to be. It gave me goose bumps, even when at the thought of me being a student there!!!  On our exit from the campus, we drove down the <I> palm drive </I>.True to it name, the whole driveway, had palm trees lined up on either sides, which was again quite interesting, because all around the campus, this was the only place where you would find the palm trees!!

A visit to the Fries Electronics, to have a look around, and we were left with no more plans. That’s when this “great” idea of watching a  Hindi  movie came up. A unanimous decision followed, when everyone except me voted for it, and I had to give in. We drove all the way to Freemont, to the only theater where they screened an Indian movie, rightfully called Nas . And then started the series of disasters!!! For an 8 dollar show, I expected a theater in the lines of PVR Gold Class at Bangalore. Instead, what I saw inside was shocking….. a “lecture” hall filled with “chairs” and the screen at just a hand length away!!!  More lurid was the cost of <I> samosas </I>, when I got just a couple of them, for $3. The movie, <I> Kisna </I> seemed to add more to my despair. With no room for me to stretch my legs, and the chairs proving to be grueling for my buttocks, I had to sit through the movie, with my eyes open!!!

Finally after the 3 hour long toil, we were out on the street, blowing smoke into the air (believe me … I was not smoking!!). Then the “masala tea” guy suggested that we go to Udupi restaurant, for dinner. This time I resisted rather strongly, deciding not to have any more “indianism” in US. With an assurance that I get my money back, if I didn’t like the food, I agreed. Well, it was a great food, although the oil tasted more like a beef extract. Back at the hotel, I fell straight into the bed, to get some sleep that was pending at the theater!!!

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~ by Niranjan Nandakumar on August 8, 2017.

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