Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A woman on the deck at Tim Horton's is reading the Hindi-Bindi Club. Dressed in a sari, she is Hindi-Bindi just for August. Norton Shores, MI


Her daughter lives in Muskegon and practices as a physical therapist. She has traveled from Mumbai to stay with her daughter until August. She couldn't stand sitting in Tim Horton's air conditioned interior. 80 degrees might be a cool day in Mumbai, and so she reads on a cafe table, her page bright with early evening sunshine. Daughter is taking a belly dancing lesson while her mother reads. There's belly dancing going down in Muskegon? Our all night Timmy's is giving our cosmopolitan metropolis a chance and places to show up.

The Hindi-Bindi Club is a novel with recipes. So I should go back and ask her if she's cooking her way through the book? I would might an invitation to a dish of jasmine rice and a good curry vindaloo. A Hindi-Bindi woman has an daughter living in America who comes to America to start her life over and create a new relationship with her daughter. Hence, the plot machine accelerates upon the thrust of India and American mismatches.

Why does this sound like a plot with a tangential relationship to Woody Allen's "Whatever Works?" To quickly summarize, a young woman shows up on the steps of an older physicist played by Larry David, who is depressed. The young woman gives the physicist a reason to live and keep a Viagra prescription filled. Mother shows up on the steps, looking for her daughter. She takes up photography and begins a menage a trois with two male friends. Her father shows up on the steps, looking for his wife and daughter. Played by Ed Begley, father takes time in New York City to explore a relationship with a man. The Hindi-Bindi book club is mild compared to Whatever Works, but the theme of bold new world is explored in both. The only recipe Woody grants us: a method for timing the length of a hygenic hand washing.

When I asked where she lived, she answered very kindly, "In India. It's by Pakistan". I wanted to say I had just enjoyed a showing of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I asked which city and I was delighted to learn she hailed from Mumbai. I had worked with a team of Business Intelligence analysts from Mumbai, graduates of the India: Institute of Technology, which has a branch there.

Her daughter just picked her up in a Yaris. She was wearing faded, snug blue jeans under her sari. Maybe she's Hindi Bindi, but just until she catches her flight in August.

The rest of my evening has filled with beyond Muskegon encounters. A woman in Taco Bell was working her bible with the assistance of a guide book. We started talking when she had dropped her iPhone and I picked it up for her. She worked late at the Hope Foundation, an organization dedicated to eliminating human trafficking. Seems unusual that she's studying Bible and tucking into two Chalupas for dinner.

At the Health Hutt, I saw a friend I made in March, a woman who bailed on an abusive marriage and paid cash to buy a fixer-upper sold for less than 10 Thousand Dollars, a house sold off by daughters and sons settling their mother's estate. I guess she's moonlighting to raise money to renovate her new home, where she lives with her sons and a really lush Zebra plant.

Wonder whom I will talk to next?

Even the school teaching woman sitting behind me has read the Hindi Binding book Club:

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