Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Return of the Jaded

So..finally, after over a month, I lift my blogging fingers..The 1st 3 weeks, blame it on a fabulous holiday in India. These past two..blame it on the hangover :)
Since I am a big fan of bullets and point-wise presentation (which surprisingly has gotten me through grad school so far!) I will put down some highlights from my life these past few weeks, most of which will have taken place in India.
1. My brother got engaged. I realized for the first time what they mean when they say a marriage is not between two people only, it's between two families!
2. One of my best friends got married three times - to the same guy fortunately! I was a bridesmaid at the church wedding :)
3. My family and I went to Kerala for a holiday - after years,and possibly for the last time.The four of us relaxed and enjoyed each other's company and felt soo peaceful and had such a good time, I am still in shock! We went to Trivandrum (I saw a giraffe and a zebra in the zoo there - first time ever!! and some Ravi Varma paintings at a museum and all sorts of interesting stuff), Allepey (where 2 days after we left it, about a 100 people died in the tsunami), Kumarakom, Cochin, Ernakulam, Paravur. Kerala is BEAUTIFUL and green (except for the Red which is anything but missing!!) and surprising and utterly calming.
4. The Kerala holiday started and ended in Bangalore, a city which was quite a revelation to me. I had visited it last in 1993, and my, has it changed!! Everyone around me it seemed, was my age or younger than me, a million times richer than me, much trendier than me, with far less restraint on spending than I would have imagined, and far more things to spend on than I could possibly have imagined. India seems to be truly shining, and Indian cities are definitely looking like many Western cities - my eyes popped out at the TGI Fridays on Airport Road in Bangalore! Some things don't change, though - one of my favorite moments was in a swanky mall called the "Forum"...we went to the Food Court to eat and just outside was this message "Outside eatables will be prosecuted"!!
5. On my way to Bombay from here, i had a day's layover in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The airlines gave us a GREAT hotel on the beach..I had a cottage to myself! We went to the city in a tuk-tuk, (auto rickshaw) which promptly broke down 10 minutes into our journey. So there I was, in a foreign country, pushing a tuk-tuk in the middle of nowhere with 3 strange men!!
Colombo city was crowded, polluted and had crazy traffic consisting almost entirely of imported vehicles - BMVs, Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans. They apparently don't manufacture any there, they get them all imported! On my way back to the US, I was in Sri Lanka for a few hours, and by then of course, the tsunami had hit, and as a result, the airport was jam-packed with tourists legging it home!
6. As a result of "refooling" ("refuelling") problems at Colombo on my way back, I missed the connection from Frankfurt and spent New Year's alone in a really good hotel room in a foreign country! Something like this always happens to me on my travels and I end up meeting interesting people and going to cool places for free :)
7. I read some interesting stuff recently - a book called "Einstein's Dreams" which is a really poetic and descriptive look at different conceptualizations of time, a book called "Galileo's Commandment" which is a GREAT collection of essays and works by some of the most influential thinkers of all time, currently reading Dan Brown's "Deception Point" which is much better so far than A&D and DVC.
8. I got some fabulous movies and music for cheap in India - including a CD with songs from almost 40 recent movies for Rs30! Fun stuff!
As soon as I got back, I had to get some work done, with pretty darn good results if I may say so myself! This is going to be a busy year for to start on my dissertation. All that's sustaining me right now is my visit back to India in May..seems like everytime I come back, it gets more difficult! I know, the grass is always greener on the opposite side, but somehow, it seems like there's very little green grass here! Maybe it will grow greener when I get done with my degree and actually get a life! Well, cheers to that, and Happy New Year to all of us!


Blogger Parth said...

I liked the 'tuk-tuk' part the best. I guess if you huff and pant enough after pushing the 'tuk-tuk', it will sound like Sinhalese :-) You made sure the tsunami followed you wherever you went, didn't you?

11:46 AM  
Blogger phucker said...

Hey RT,
good to see u back in action, you were missed in the "Blogsphere" :-). Also good to see that you had a decent trip to India too. I envy you, I've not had the chance to visit Kerala, and it's definitely on my list of things to do! Bombay/Pune is as far south as I have ever been :-( It's also good that you weren't affected by the Tsunami! BTW, your Cricket Team suggestion has been incorporated into the main body of blog!

3:02 AM  
Blogger phucker said...

BTW, I forgot to ask - did any poor "outside eatables" end up in court or get jailed? Just curious :-)

10:11 AM  

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