|Shubhra and I|
The following day, our last Friday in India, we took a day trip to the film archives and film institute in Pune. The archives made me want to cry – film cases stacked on the floor in no particular order and with no particular care; posters and photographs, some of them decades old and probably one-of-a-kind, shoved into corners, and everything covered in a nice, think layer of Indian Dust – a substance which appears to be one part dirt, one part fine sand and one part glue. Seriously, it sticks to everything. It appears that an attempt is being made to improve the state of the archives, as shown by the amusingly worded sign below:
The Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) made me want to cry too, but for very different reasons. Actually, first it almost gave me a heart attack – I was minding my own business, staying out of the way while Nya took a picture of a tree or something else equally interesting, when something touched my hand. A wet something. A TONGUE something. After leaping into the air and screaming like Ross Geller (DANGER!), I discovered a dog looking at me as though I was the crazy one. How would he have reacted if I had licked his paw, hu? Probably would have given me the same look.
The facilities were unbelievable – sound studios with state-of-the-art equipment, camera to die for, and huge warehouses where students can build their own sets. Oh, did I mention that the tuition for a foreign student is 225,000 rupees per year? Does that sound like a lot? Convert it. That makes a grand total of $4,500. Not $45,000, $4,500. Like, a tenth of what we pay to go to Newhouse. Actually, an eleventh, considering the recent hike in tuition prices. When I told one of the tour guides that our tuition translates to 2.5 million rupees per year, he almost peed himself laughing.
*SIGH* On the other hand, there are only two spots open for foreign students every year, so the competition is fierce. One would also have to put up with the Indian heat, and as much as Syracuse winters get old by the time April rolls around, I would take the snow over the heat.
Now to pack, then Delhi and Agra, then HOME!!!