Wow! How time flies.. It was only yesterday when I was planning a month long trip to India before starting my Masters and here I am back in Abu Dhabi, packing my bags for London. India trip just zoomed away.
But I’m amazed to think what all I did in this trip. I managed to meet most of my family and a lot of friends both from school and college. Travelled a lot and enjoyed every moment of it.
Abu Dhabi ->Delhi -> Panchkula -> Udaipur -> Cochin -> Mumbai -> Delhi -> Jaipur -> Delhi -> Abu Dhabi
The best journey was Mumbai to Delhi in Rajdhani Express. Yes it takes much longer than air travel and costs almost the same but Rajdhani was an experience in itself. Eat, Chat with fellow passengers, a game of cards, Sleep, Eat and welcome to Delhi 🙂 I boarded the train at 4pm. At 4:30 they got us some snacks, then tea at 5pm, soup at 7pm, dinner at 8:30pm, tea at 6am, breakfast at 6:30, again tea at 7:00 and you are in Delhi at 8am! The most comfortable journey during the entire trip. If I’m not pressed for time I think I’ll prefer taking trains everywhere.
It was papa’s 58th birthday and since 15th august fell during a 3-day weekend we had sort of a family re-union at Panchkula. Mummy, bua and chachi showing all their love through the food. For those 3 days we ate and ate and so many different varieties! Every time we visit my parents home Sikander is amazed at the variety of vegetarian food possible J. Otherwise his belief is “When there is chicken and mutton, why do you need vegetables!”. Bua also held cookery classes for her ignorant nieces and daughter to share her special recipes. I think I’ll post some simpler ones in my next post. Nandini was obviously the centre of attraction. Everyone wants a piece of her 🙂
Udaipur was a different experience this time. We were there for the first week of the holy month of Ramadan. Fasting, praying. I went inside a mosque for the first time to offer prayers. We obv didn’t fast all days but I was amazed to see the determination with which people fast for the entire month in Udaipur’s maddening heat. It’s easier to imagine Ramadan fasts in gulf because the businesses shut shop during the day. They just change their daily cycle. Sleep during the day and work at night. But back in India where everyone is working throughout the day, it’s difficult.
From there we left for Kerala to attend a friend’s wedding. This was my 5th visit to Kerala and each time I’m left speechless by the beauty of the state. After the wedding we spent a day in Cochin and then left for Bombay. Sikander left for Abu Dhabi from Bombay and I went to Delhi. Spent a lot of time with Nandini, shopped and just relaxed while waiting for my visa. In-between went to Jaipur for a day. And now I’m back, booking tickets for London. Just one week to go.