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#InternInIndia: Week 5


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This week has been a sad week. The group of interns have disbanded and only a few of us remain. Last week, I was so in love with Bangalore but it seems our honeymoon period is over and we’ve had our first fight.

The traffic gives me a banging headache, the smog makes it hard to breathe and the half eleven curfew is frustrating when the New India Express interns often don’t leave work till 9 as we did yesterday.  The rick drivers demanding preposterous amounts of money for a ten minute journey which they will inevitably get lost on is no longer comical or charming and the stress of the anniversary issue is starting to show on all fronts. This week has been a long, long week in comparison to the past month I’ve spent here- but, thankfully,  it’s not been all bad.

Stuart, one of the interns, had invited his girlfriend Jenny over to spend a week in Bangalore and then travel so it was nice having our group a little bigger than its usual four.  We showed her the high life Bangalore had to offer and she was as surprised as we were to discover the cosmopolitan hub of the city compared to the India she was expecting.

Whilst she was here, and Stuart working for the marketing company he was interning with, Me and Claire made Jenny an honorary intern and brought her along with us to some of our assignments.  It was quite an exciting week for us as we got to attend a press film premiere at the Garuda Mall complex in Bangalore for art film Lunchbox.  The film had Indian and international star, Irrfaan Khan of Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire and newcomer Nirut as leads.

Settled down with some very sweet Indian popcorn, we all was quite nervous about the film since our Hindi was hardly fluent and we would have to write up a review and possibly interview the stars of the film.  The first line was in Hindi and me Claire and Jenny all looked at each other in disbelief- how we’re we going to come up with insightful questions about the film when we wouldn’t have a clue what was even happening?!

Thankfully, a large part of the film was actually in English, as it wasn’t a Bollywood film, but a film aimed at international audiences and was quite arty. It had been shown at Cannes film festival as well as others and had been opened in Canada, Germany and other non Hindi speaking countries too.

The film centered on two lonely Mumbites, one a housewife who’s husband paid her no attention, and the other an office worker who’s wife had died a long while ago.  The housewife, who’s day centred on cooking her husband’s lunch which would be packed in a tiffin (an Indian lunchbox that is stacked)  and sent to his office after a lengthy transportation ends up having her food sent to the lonely  office worker by mistake and a correspondence and relationship ensues.

The story, though actually not very plausible as tiffin wrong delivery in India is actually almost foolproof, was quite sweet and the depth of the lonliness and human relationships conveyed, touching.  It was also very beautifully shot, and was effective inn conveying a very true image of India too.

After the film, a very glamourous Nirut and dashing Khan entered the cinema for a question and answer session. It’s crazy to think that we would be interviewing them! It was a pretty big deal. Although I wasn’t too familiar with his work, I understood that Irrfaan Khan was a pretty big deal in India, so getting the chance to interview him was a massive honour.

After a day on the red carpet, us interns enjoyed an amazing meal at UB City. UB City is full of very high end designer stores, bars and restaurants but we found a wonderful Italian restaurant, Tuscano’s, that offered a three course meal-including steak- for under 600 rupees without the sneaky service tax charges too! Me and Jenny also became ladies that lunched and went out for a lovely Indian Nando’s, A Krispy Kreme and a pedicure! Definitely living the life of Riley!

The following day was a nerve-wrecking one. I had my final stage interview with Penguin-Random House Publishing House for an editorial position via Skype and this one was going to be entirely based on my personality- nowhere to hide with that.  It was my perfect job and the internet connection was hardly one that could be called reliable so I was in a bit of state all day.

The interview didn’t go horrendously, but i felt all I talked about was India, and how much I loved it and as soon as I ended the call, I wondered if they thought that I actually didn’t want to leave this place and that it would make more sense to give it to someone else.

Thankfully, to stop me going crazy, we had a trip to Pondicherry planned and it meant I would be away from a computer and wouldn’t have time to constantly refresh my email till I had to be sanctioned!

I’ll update you on Pondicherry soon!

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