KUMAR PALLANA: Wes Anderson came into my place in Dallas; I used to have upstairs a yoga center, and downstairs a coffee shop, Cosmic Cup. And our Cosmic Cup was special because my son is really smart—he is a philosopher. He said, “Papa, I want to have something different.” So, we have the chess night Monday. Just bring your own chess and we hook up the table to play. People heard. So many people come. They hang out on Mondays; that’s how it started. Then I start a meditation.
BLVR: In the coffee shop?
KUMAR PALLANA: Upstairs. That building was a yoga and health center. And I was the first one, ahead of the time, to have the health food. For the Indian community, I used to have all kinds: nuts, spices that I used to get from India and Africa, and then I had downstairs a bookstore. Spiritual books, specialty books, religion and the Kabala—nobody knows in Texas—cowboy country! And nobody knows what the yoga and yogurt are.
But I like show business. So my son started the Cosmic Cup coffee shop and he wanted to have health food juice bar. And I told him I said, “My son, I have news for you. How many carrot juice you drink?” I’m asking him, “How many can you do?”
BLVR: Not very many.
KUMAR PALLANA: No. You know this carrot juice is good. But you’d rather have the tea or chocolate. So, I told him and I said, “No, no, no, it couldn’t survive.” In the United States we start vegetarian, start this chai, we introduced here the mango lassi. So, this place becomes more and more and more. And Wes Anderson starts coming because we have the chess night. On Tuesday or Wednesday we have the jazz music. All the musicians I know, I see practicing at home, I say, “Why don’t you come and practice with us? Let the people know that you are making a noise.” Then we had people like you, the storytellers. They bring their own group, four or five friends. They both came, Owen and Wes. They just finished college, the both of them. They heard that this is the place, every night something different. Wes used to come up and take a lot of pictures. Small camera, you know. And he became a really good friend. We all are, all the brothers.
BLVR: All the Wilsons.
KUMAR PALLANA: We play cards and all the bridge and poker and everything. We became very good friends, and they told me, they said, “We are writing.” They wanted to shoot the movie, the Bottle Rocket. And I didn’t pay much attention to what kind of movie it was. They go to Los Angeles and finally they come and they say, “Yeah, we are shooting the movie. And here is your part.” And that’s where it started.
BLVR: Did they know what they were doing?
KUMAR PALLANA: Everybody was new, everybody was new. Some of them were very nervous. I say, “Man, stop shaking!” And today I’m very proud of them and very happy. They make a very good success. Especially Wes make very good. Still the same honest person. Hard worker. No petty ego there. And same thing with Owen. All the brothers are good friends. Luke, also. Luke, I talk with, he says, “Come, man, come, I am shooting a movie!” [Laughs.] But I have my own life. (via)