Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hotel Hilton Manhattan, New York

Last time I stayed here, this Hotel was called Crowne Plaza. This time I am again staying at the same hotel but the name has changed to Hotel Hilton. After Millennium Hotel, this Hotel is also conveniently located near the UN offices. Also, India’s Permanent Mission to UN is just 3 to 4 minutes walk from here.
Yesterday Ranjan picked me up from the airport and we went straight to a South Indian restaurant in Long Island. In the evening I attended his son’s birthday party and met many Indian couples settled here. Life is indeed very different and difficult here but in the last few years I have noticed that the Indians have started living in their own community. It wasn’t so 10 years ago.
I have witnessed that the big Indian communities in London and New York, whosoever they may do their business with, socialise mainly with members from their own community - roaming, eating Indian food, seeing Indian films and watching Indian news. They also talk in Hindi. I don’t know whether this change is for good or bad but it is there.
Went to WFUNA office today morning. From tomorrow the Executive Committee meeting is starting. Attendance may be low due to the Iceland crisis. This time I have come to New York after a gap of five years but it seems to me like I was here just a week back. All my regular food joints, cafes, grocery and laundry shops are there at the same place in Manhattan in First and Second Avenue except for the Indian restaurant, which used to be just next door at the rear gate of the Indian Mission, has changed into an Italian joint. I had lunch with the WFUNA office colleagues at another Indian restaurant Darbar.
I could not see the invitations and mails from Kolkata which are stuck in transit as numerous flights have been cancelled due to the ash cover from Iceland.
ess bee

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