Our dear friends the Malhotras have made La Cañada and nearby Glendale their home since leaving Edmonton many years ago. We have kept in touch over the intervening time and certainly couldn’t stop in Los Angeles without seeing them. Anil taught the Malhotra sons for several years at Tempo School and there was a bond former that will be life-long I’m sure.
The senior Malhotra was a professor at CalTech in Pasedena when his older son was born. They eventually emigrated to Canada and the younger son was born in Edmonton. When the professor took a sabbatical back in California, their sons did some of their schooling there, and the older one was drawn back after losing his heart to a sweet young local gal.
Today he works for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of CalTech. JPL is the leading US centre for the robotic exploration of the solar system. His wife is a budding writer of juvenile fiction after working at JPL herself for many years.
We appreciate the fact that the retired professor and his dear wife, our friends for over 40 years live within a few miles of their older son’s family. It allows us to see them together whenever we get the opportunity to visit. The younger son studied medicine and lives in Boston with his family. We have not made a visit to Boston since they moved there but hope to do so one day soon.
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
I probably didn’t need to go into all the detail about our friends, but I wanted you to know how it was possible for us to go for lunch at the famous Athenaeum Club at Caltech. The stunning building is modeled after the most famous one in London, established by Sir Walter Scott and Thomas Moore.
The Athenaeum is so exclusive that only the JPL scientist can be a member; the retired professor is not able to bring guests for a meal despite his former status. Go figure!
It was both a surprise and a delight to learn that we would be lunching at the Athenaeum, and as we walked towards the striking building I remember seeing it in the movie ‘Beverley Hills Cop’. The meal was delicious, and after we declined dessert, our young friend treated us to a sweet tour of the older buildings on the campus. He made a point to show us where his father had worked in his laboratory, decades earlier.
After breakfast the following morning, we headed to Venice Beach. They had treated me to a visit there almost twenty years earlier, but Anil had not been along on that trip and it’s something worth seeing. Here’s is what the Lonely Planet - USA chapter ‘Los Angeles’ has to say about Venice Beach:
It’s a freak show, a human zoo and a wacky carnival, but as far as LA experiences go, the Venice Boardwalk is truly essential. This cauldron of counter-culture is the place to get your hair braided, your karma corrected or your back massaged qi gong-style. Encounters with wannabe Schwarzeneggers, hoop dreamers, a Speedo-clad snake charmer and a roller-skating Sikh minstrel are pretty much guaranteed, especially on hot summer days. Alas, the vibe gets a bit creepy after dark.