4|Matinee Mix                                                                                                             ...
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American Expat Adjusting to Life in Kerala, India


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Sevlin Sebastian a journalist for the New Indian Express interviewed Jennifer Kumar of Authentic Journeys in 2011. She is an American married to an Indian living in Kochi, India.

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American Expat Adjusting to Life in Kerala, India

  1. 1. 4|Matinee Mix MADHURI’S SCHOOL HUNT Following her relocation to Mumbai, ‘Dhak-Dhak’ girl Madhuri Dixit is seeking suggestions for the best schools in Mumbai for her kids Kochi, Saturday, 15 October, 2011 REEL OFF Those Who Ruled on Sanjay on the Mobile Circuit An Katrinacelebrityhasmost Kaif come the world’s be- joke on Kangana Ranaut’s bikini shoot for the movie ‘My Friend Pinto’ American searched in mo- ‘Rascals’, followed by Vidya bile videos, ahead of pop Balan’s two gossip videos star Britney Spears who about ‘The Dirty Picture’. ranked second, according Baba Ramdev’s reply to to the findings of a latest Rakhi Sawant’s wedding in Kakkanad global video insights report proposal also made it to for September, released by Vuclip, an independent mobile video service. Baba Ramdev’s The top 10 celebrities reply to Rakhi globally also include India’s Sawant’s Kareena Kapoor (Global wedding proposal Jennifer Kumar, who is rank 4) and Sonakshi Sinha (Global rank 6), alongside also made it to the top five most Filmmaker Sanjayusual Leela Bhansali, who made a married to a Malayali, is slowly international stars such as Lindsay Lohan,Beyonce watched mobile departure from his intense cinema to try adjusting to life in Kochi and Shakira, a Vuclip videos in India hands at comedy with his statement said. latest release ‘My Friend Back home, Sachin the top five most watched Pinto’, says he would not Tendulkar emerged as mobile videos in India in have been able to do jus- the most searched male September. tice to the film had he di- celebrity in mobile videos Among the top mo- rected it, as comedy is not in India. bile devices people used his forte. Bhansali’s new Among the most watched to watch videos globally, offering as a producer is clips in India, topping the Apple’s iPhone continued directed by his assistantBy Shevlin Sebastian temple, she met Krishna covered a fungus problem at Malayali dishes. She already countries like China, Ireland, charts was Ajay Devgn’s to lead the list. PTI Raghav Dhar and stars Kumar, a Malayali, who was home, if the house was not knows how to make samb- Portugal, Holland, and Prateik Babbar and KalkiO ne night, in 1995, working in the IT industry. cleaned every day. “Where I har, puttu kadala, dosa, Mexico. Right at the centre Koechlin in lead roles. Jennifer Kumar had They fell in love and got mar- lived, in the US, the climate idli, chutneys, and upuma. there is a doll of Bollywood “There is new talent, a dream. In it, she ried in 2005. After several is hot and rainy for a few Since her husband grew up superstar Hrithik Roshan. new way of looking atwas wearing a blue saree and years in the USA, the couple times in a year,” she says. in Delhi, she makes North “I wanted a doll from pop- cinema, new genre ofplacing books in the stacks of have re-located to Kochi, in “Mostly, we have to deal with Indian dishes like masala ular culture,” she says. “The cinema. If it was some-a public library. There were February, this year, where snow and ice.” puri, dal, roti, and Rajma. golu is not just traditional, thing that I would have toa few people present in the her husband works a man- What has been a revela- Jennifer has so embraced but has modern elements.” make then I don’t think Ireading room. She spoke to ager in an American firm at tion for her is how knowl- the Indian culture that she On other steps, there are could have done it bettersomebody in a foreign lan- Info Park, Kakkanad, while edgeable Malayalis are. has made a Navarathri statues of Lord Buddha, because it is something Iguage. Later, she began dust- her in-laws, the Karthas, live “Since many of their rela- golu (an exhibition of dolls Shiva, Krishna, Ganesh, and can’t make. I am not com-ing the books. “I woke up placed on wooden tiers) at a blue-beaded Hanuman. fortable making it and soand felt shocked,” says the her Kakkanad home. On the There is Jesus Christ in a I have produced it. We allAmerican. “I did not know floor, she has written ‘Shub manger, surrounded by his have a genre... it is not likewhat a saree was at that time. Navaratri’ in Malayalam. parents, Joseph and Mary, as I can’t make it,” BhansaliI was thinking: ‘What was I Behind it, are small statues well as the shepherds, apart says in an interview. PTIwearing?’” of the Dasavatar, the ten from a statue of Santa Claus There were more shocks. incarnations of Vishnu, as from Hungary. The Don ArrivesShe repeated the words in the well as a book by motiva- Jennifer’s family is origi-dream to her Indian friends tional author Robin Sharma nally from Hungary. Twoand they told her it was called, ‘The leader who had dolls from Hungary, a boyTelugu. “I have never heard no title’. and a girl, have only one eye.of the language before,” she Malayalis are “As a couple you should see The makers of ‘Don 2’ will be releasing a wittysays. “It was unnerving, to the world through one pairsay the least.” keenly aware of eyes,” she says. one-liner every Friday until the release of the film Her interest in India was When she is not busy at which is on December 23. able to use them as part of of what issparked off and she beganlearning about the history happening in home, Jennifer has a fledg- ling career as a cultural con- E ven as Ra. One promo- tions begin to gather full These quotes will be simul- taneously released across all their daily verbiage. In the movie Don’s character isand culture of the country.In 1999, she embarked on Jennifer next to the Navarathri golu (an exhibition of foreign sultant. “I help people with the nuts and bolts of getting steam, the makers of Shah Rukh Khan starrer Don 2 mediums, including televi- sion, print, radio, Internet known for his sauve attitude, charisma, style and his wittya two-year master’s pro- dolls placed on wooden tiers) countries adjusted to the US or India,” have started a full-fledged and also the mobile platform one liners. For this campaigngramme in social work at she says. “I provide tips on campaign to popularise the and mobile apps. similar one-lines have beenMadras Christian College in in Mattancherry. tives live abroad, Malayalis On the first tier, the theme job hunts, applying for col- Don persona with witty one The idea is to get the audi- written by Farhan Akhtar.Chennai. She returned and It has been a roller-coaster are keenly aware of what is is Africa. So, there are clay lege, setting up a home, liners titled ‘Don Says’ ences to relate to Don’s at- Commenting on this di-continued with her reading ride for Jennifer in the past happening in foreign coun- figures of the zebra, hippo- conversational American- ‘Don Says’ includes a series titude and mannerism, this rector Farhan Akhtar says,about India . few months. “The first thing tries,” she says. “In America, potamus, crocodile, and an English, cross-cultural soft- of 11 witty tongue-in-cheek con- cept lays the tracks “’Don Says’ is a re-intro- “I stayed near Rochester, that I had to adjust to was the the people are only bothered elephant. skills, and how to handle quotes by the Don himself, for all the fans duction for the audiencein New York state, which had climate,” she says. “ Kochi is about their own lives and do A couple of tribal men are relationships.” which will be released every to get familiar to Don’s philosophy of lifea lot of Indians,” she says. not as hot as Chennai, but it not have much of an idea of looking with fixed eyes into And so, Jennifer, who Friday start- ing from with his one- and his opinion on people“I wanted to participate in takes a while to get used to what is happening in the rest the distance, holding spears knows how to wear a saree October 14 right liners and be who are either with him orIndian culture, so I would the humidity.” As she also of the world.” in their hands. and a salwar kameez, is slow- till the re- lease against him.go to the Hindu temple.” learned to adjust to the long Meanwhile, she is busy On the second step, there ly getting adjusted to life in of the film Commenting In June, 2003, at the rainy season, Jennifer dis- learning how to cook new are Barbie dolls from various God’s Own Country. on this, Farhan adds, “’Don Says’ Big B Nervous as Hell Oscar Fever Begins is a fun way to get audiences back into the Don frame of mind and of Motion Picture Arts and enjoy hisA mitabh Bachchan has flown down to Sydney toshoot for his first Hollywood prior to my departure last night...” Bachchan wrote on his blog. Sciences.The Indian entry, director Salim Ahamed’s national award winning wit and sharp repar-project, Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The The actor who will join ‘Adaminte Makan Abu’” is tee be-Great Gatsby’, and says he is the starcast on the sets after a family drama about an fore theynervous and apprehensive. a few days of preparation, elderly Muslim couple and can watch The 69-year-old actor has also wrote that he feels like a their struggle to go on a pil- the film.”joined the cast of the USD beginner once again in front grimage to Haj.120 million film alongwithHollywood stars LeonardoDiCaprio and Tobey of the Hollywood stars. “A few days of preparation before the actual shoot and Asincluding a63Zealand, many as entry from New entries, first time The movie was chosen over 15 others by the Film Federation of India (FFI)Maguire. then onto the floor among have been submitted for to represent the country for “The shoot for ‘The Great stars - Leonardo di Caprio, consideration in the foreign the prestigious award.TheGatsby’ for Baz Luhrmann! Tobey Maguire and several language film category for 84th Academy Awards willButterflies as large and as others. A stranger among the the 84th Academy Awards. be held Feb 27, 2012 and thehuge as the Transformers giants of the International New Zealand has sent ‘The final nominations will be an-monsters in the film that I as the raging thunder and movie world, I feel as though Orator’ as its official entry, nounced Jan 24, 2012, in thebreezed through on the flight. lightening storm that broke I am starting off all over said a press statement on of- Academy’s Samuel GoldwynApprehensions, as fearful over the Mumbai skyline just again,” he said. PTI ficial website of the Academy Theater. IANS