IHOB – LAXMAN SONI
Interview by Olympe Scherer ’21.
There’s a game I used to play as a kid with my brother, “Max Payne.” If I want to remind myself of that time, I just play that game; it’s quick, I can finish it in five hours.
International Humans of Brown (IHOB) introduces Laxman, a third-year student from Udaipur, India. He’s concentrating in Computer Science and Econ. In his spare time, Laxman likes to take and edit pictures.
Q: As an international student, do you feel any culture shock in the US?
A: I was relatively aware of pop culture thanks to my brother, who brought back songs from the UK. English was never a problem. I think English is better for me than Hindi, which is kind of strange. Hindi has these few sounds that I get jumbled up, and writing-wise, there’s a lot of big Hindi words that no one uses, so my writing isn’t really a pure Hindu writing, it’s a mix of Hindi and English.
Q: What do you do to remind yourself of home?
A: I occasionally listen to Hindi songs: it’s my default motivation music. There’s this one movie that’s very inspirational, Udaan [“Flight”]. I like the song “Aazadiyan” (it means “freedom”) from the soundtrack. There’s a few other things, small things. There’s a game I used to play as a kid with my brother, “Max Payne.” If I want to remind myself of that time, I just play that game; it’s quick, I can finish it in five hours. Another one is listening to – what’s that Coldplay song that was shot in India? – “Hymn for the Weekend”? That reminds me of poker time in India, when all my cousins came together and played poker.
Q: How about food, do you miss the food?
A: Yeah, for sure. Indian food I can find here, but my food, my hometown’s food? I can’t, not anywhere in the States.
Q: Is there one dish in particular that you love from home?
A: It’s called dal bati, it’s like a bowl of wheat, baked and served with lentil soup. It’s spicy and it has a sweet side dish. I just get so greedy when I see it. It’s the equivalent of one crepe, and I eat like eight of them, I stuff myself. My mom makes it.
Q: Do you miss home?
A: Days like Thanksgiving, it’s kind of sad that I can’t go back. Other than that, I don’t think being away from home is that big of an issue. I can always call my mom. I think I miss my dog a lot because I can’t call my dog. *laughter*