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Kids Korner-Going to India is Fun!

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April 2006
Kids Korner-Going to India is Fun!

Summertime is almost here. For some of us that means time for a trip to India. That means time to meet didis, bhaiyas, dada, dadi, time to play cricket, or time to take a trip—maybe to the Taj Mahal, or time to eat yummy food—maybe biryani or bhel puri. Join me as I visit with some kids who, like you and me, take trips to India, too. They travel to different parts of India and do different things, meet different people and have different feelings about what they see, what they eat, and what they hear.

Seven-year-old Amog Phadke cannot wait to go India in the summer. "Going to India is fun," he states, wagging his right index finger back and forth like D.W. "'Cause," he explains patiently, chomping on chocolate chip cookies," I love to eat the Maharaja Burger at McDonald's!" Amog visits Pune and Nagpur. "I like to see Pune-chi Aji and Nagpur-chi Aji," he yells as he zips up the stairs. Skinny and swift, he is Mr. ZipZapZoom himself. "Pune is different from Atlanta," he grins, "they have that?um?that garage thing to close the shops. But it is kind of the same, too," he says, grinning at me from under the coffee table now, "the roads?they are black."

"I hate to take shots before I go to India, definitely!" Eight-year-old Mr. Dimpled Cheeks, Harsha Sridhar, loves to play the piano. "I guess I'm a media person," he chuckles, eyes lowered to the floor, as he pushes back his Harry Potter kind of glasses. "Oh! There is a big difference between Atlanta and Bangalore," he explains, raising his index finger high up. "The streets over there?they have cart shops. Um?you know cart shops? They come to your house to sell onions and cucumbers, etc., etc." Harsha does not think that he has seen any cart shops in Atlanta. "Definitely not?haven't seen any in my life!" He thinks that Bangalore has bulls and elephants on the streets. "No, no, only bulls?cross out the elephant," he rushes to correct.

"It is too hot in India, and my little cousin brother, he bit me when I went last year, and my older cousin brother always played Pokeman. I don't like that," she sighs, a far away look in her eyes. Seven years old, Ankita Das loves Hindi movies and Indian dresses. Her first favorite actress is Ashwarya Rai. "There are some things that I like and some things that I don't like about India," she explains thoughtfully. When Ankita goes to Bhubaneshwar, she loves to meet all her didis and bhaiyas and parties with them. But she thinks Bhubaneshwar is kind of the same as Atlanta because the roses in her grandma's garden are pretty just like the roses here. "They also have a lot of pollen, which is kind of the same, too," she nods, adjusting her black crochet poncho over her pink check dress.

"I will go to Vijaywada and Tenali next year. I love to visit Ammu," explains soft-spoken Varsha Kottamasu. In her pigtails and peach colored Indian outfit, nine-year-old Varsha is a little lady. "In Tenali I love to shop for Indian dresses. Indian dresses are not plain. They are so fancy," she states, her eyes lighting up. She loves to travel in the auto. "They are noisy but so much fun. You don't have to close the doors and all the air comes in and you can see everything." Varsha does not care for Indian roads. "The roads out there are like dirt roads. They don't have concrete and stuff."

Hey, I don't know about you, but all this talk of dirt roads and autos and cart shops and Maharaja Burgers is doing something strange to me—like I want to go to India, too. Right now! Maybe I could just zip away and be back before anyone even knows that I was gone? Aha? brilliant! I might need some help to make that happen, though. Mr. ZipZapZoom, are you there??can you help??please!?hello??

By AARTI NAYAR


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