What I've learned about India so far, is that they have over 3 million Gods and Goddesses, have more holidays than you can imagine, and more bare-foot people -- by choice -- walking the streets than any other city I've ever been in.
Muslims, according to some of my friends here, "make the best Chicken Biryani," which is the first food that I took to here; sort of a spicy rice with chicken, a side of curd and spicy sauce.
My apartment sits atop the roof of a house, providing me with a huge terrace. I placed a low coffee table, a rattan sofa and chairs, and some bean bag chairs out there -- along with lots of potted trees. Because the weather is consistently between 75-80, it has become my de facto living room..
Downstairs, the neighbors are Muslims. I didn't know how they would react to an "infidel" living above them, so kept to myself. But the young kids that live there, particularly the 18-year old, likes to come up and hang out; sometime wth his own friends, sometimes just with me. And while the furniture and the area if occupies is mine, the roof itself it common space, so I've told him that when I am not there working he is free to hang out.
One night he asked my if I liked Chicken Biryani, and I told him yes. That night he brought up a bowl of it, along with other assorted items, that his mom had cooked.
He has since hung out from time to time with me, and he is a pretty nice kid. While watching a Jackie Chan movie he confided that he has a girlfriend his older brother doesn't know about. And it appeared he didn't want him knowing: in every culture, it seems, there are always rebellious kids.
What I previously referred to as "Coconut Bread" is actually called Dil Pasand, which loosely translated
means "a thing the heart would like."