Friday, December 10, 2010

The KhajuAgraYana epic - a further episode in the Ramayana

An epic tale about joining Rama Robert in an month long exile from home (USA) to the distant wild and exotic forests, ashrams, mountains, cities, and cultural monuments of a far off land (north India)

The companions - Sita Suzanne (left at home), Sita Alice, Sita Anne, Sita Claudia, Sita Gail, Sita Jeanie, and Sita Kathy, with Laxman Abe, Laxman Llyn, and Laxman Philip.

Our Hunuman army of assistants and helpers- Uday agents, tour guides, drivers, cooks, hotel clerks, and luggage carriers.

Ravana - in many guises, with one of his ten faces for each of the ten of us personally - to tempt us through beggars, rug salesmen, hawkers; to offer us unclean succulant, tasty vegetables and sweats and drinks; to invade our bodies with colds, and sniffles, and germs, and diareaha; to make us too cold without space heaters, or too hot without air conditioning; to force us to pay extras, or too much, or carry on bargaining or haggling far too long and unbending; to make luggage carriers argue and argue without carrying the luggage; to randomly change wonderful smooth wide roads into bumpy, rough roads for mile after mile; to present us sights of poor, staving, and suffering humans and animals, un-cared for, ignored, left to themselves. These and many more things the evil Ravana presented to us or did to us.  BUT we struggled and overcame all of his attempts through our individual and collective heroic efforts.

The places we went, and saw, the food we ate, the people we met,  -

And what we did, and learned, and experienced, and thought, and

The exotic India trip - topics

The exotic India trip - topics (thoughts in the weeks after the trip)

What are some of the topics, or themes through out the trip







What's new, what's old

21 November 2010 Arrival home

Sunday 21 November 2010

What a trip - long.  14.5 hours direct flight after some hour or more delay.  Almost left my good camera, as my seat rows were called and I started to rush to the line - until someone spoke up and said, you left your camera on the floor.  So went back and got it.  Guy next to me zonked out right away, while aisle guy seemed to be restless.  Then, after supper, I went off to sleep, waking and needing to go to the bathroom.  The next seat guy was wide awake and stayed that way watching a television series on his laptop the rest of the way.  It was dark, really dark almost the whole trip - couldn't see anything up near the pole.

In Newark I had a long wait, from about 5 am to 1 pm flight to Richmond.  Long, long lines waiting to go through customs.  About 1 hour further wait until my two suitcases came through, so I could pass them on for delivery to the Richmond flight. Sat around, and sat around, and sat around.  Toe hurting badly.  Did some Internet as I signed up for a day on Boing at $8.  Checking in with Deej via living room webcam, as she took off for shopping at Short Pump around 10 am.

Flight to Richmond fine - but wonder why they always seem to go south, down along the coast almost to Norfolk, and then turn and head back up to the northwest to get to Richmond.

Arrived early so had my luggage already as Deej came through the door.  Great to see her again. Nice ride home,dosing some.  Stayed awake until about 11 pm.

A long, long trip, but good to be home.

Friday, December 3, 2010

20 November 2010. Delhi and fly

Saturday 20 November 2010

Lunch with Crispin, Aya, and Dr. Datta at the International Center, as arranged by phone calls last night and this morning.

While doing Internet in the lobby, notice Ruth Lacy's sister! and she, Jessie, recognizes me!  She's staying there with her two daughters, coming from their time at Woodstock in the last week with the Class of 1965.  Photo somewhere.

I pack and take my stuff to the lobby and pay off any Internet and other expenses.  Take a auto to Khan Market as the desk says there was no Metro to it.  Walk around Khan Market and end up buying some bracelets from a hall way vendor.  Walk over to International Center.

Very wonderful thali lunch with the three - good, interesting conversation on a variety of academic and non-academic topics.

A tuk tuk with Crispin and Aya to the Khan Market and then I search out and find the Metro station 3 bocks from the market.  Get on the crowded Metro to the Central Secretariat station and then another very, very crowded one to Rajiv Chauk.  Almost stampeded back into the train at Rajiv Chauk - wow, whew!

19 November 2010 Delhi

Friday 19 November 2010 Shopping day

first to the Delhi Haat or Market, down by INA.  Take metro or Rajiv Chauk and transfer to Gurgaon-headed train. Emerge not knowing where the Haat is, and finally ask a auto-rickshaw wallah, who says, right there, around that wall!  Have a momo Sikkim lunch, but frustrated because the ATM doesn't work and I'm out of money.  Buy some slippers and little things.

Metro back up to Rajiv Chauk around 2:30 pm and go down Janpath to the Cottage Emporium and shop for pillow cases, clothes, Diwali brass lamps, etc. On way back to Rajiv Chauk, buy a suitcase on Janpath.  Back to Florence Inn.

18 November 2010 Lucknow tour

Thursday. Deepak gives me a great tour of the city of Lucknow.

Go to the Residency and walk around

Pick up Holly and Anushka and go to the big main masjid and mosque complex, the Imambara.

Back to the city, and get and eat some mithai mukan on the street with Holly near the old Lucknow bazaar gate - really wonderful taste and treat.  Start walking into the main old bazaar lane, but most shops closed for BakrId, so go back to the gate and Holly buys some sweets at the sweet shop.  One of the clerks says he recongnizes me (though I have not been in Lucknow since I was about 9 years old!).

Drive past Isabella Thoburn College, and to a really big, wonderful Mall - just like in the States in many ways - and have a McDonald's lunch.  They point out the net above the first floor ceiling, to prevent suicide attempts for the upper 4th or 5th floor balconies.

A visit with Deepak's uncle and aunt - really interesting folks, with lots of questions to me.

Back to pick up my knapsack, and to the airport for the 2:30 pm flight; but get to wait for the one-hour delayed flight back to Delhi.  Pleasant flight - smooth and not packed.  First flight where one needs to pay for any food or drink.

Get picked up by Uday - and taken to the Florance Inn for my new single room.  Looks nice, but no Interet access from it.

17 November 2010 to Lucknow

Wednesday.  17 November 2010.

Fly to Lucknow on Go Air - delayed flight

Deepak picks me up, and goes and gets Holly

Buy Lucknow famous Chikan outfits, 2 for me, one purple one for Deej (largest size), and Deepak gets his, hers, and kids for his friends.

Spend night at the Singh's place