Thursday, November 15, 2012

20 Oct.-3 Nov. 2012 - Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai

On 20 October, we left our home to go visit friends in Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.  The weather was very cold, and the clouds were sitting right on Coonoor, so we couldn't see anything halfway down the mountain.  Very dangerous driving under perfect conditions.  This time, we couldn't see more than a car length ahead.  Ugh.  Halfway down, the dense fog cleared.  We caught a train at 7:45pm from Mettapalayam, express to Chennai, where we arrived at 5:00am 21 October.

We checked into our hotel and eventually met our young friend Aishwarya, Govindharjan's daughter, in the afternoon.  She took us shopping at a big, modern shopping mall.  Her parents and sister, Apurva, met us there for dinner later.  It was a nice day and a nice visit.  I bought two nice sarees, which I am already wearing.  But, I miss Aishu and Apurva.  Haven't seen them since, although we text message now and then.

At 5:00am the following morning, 22 October, we took an autorickshaw to the train station, where we caught another express train, this time to Delhi.  My only complaint about this leg of the journey was, because of the speed of the train, you are continually shaken by intense vibration, even while sleeping.  My favorite part was being able to see India out the window for a whole day and early the next morning. 


We arrived in Delhi at 11:15am 23 October, where our friend Raju met us, carried luggage, and found us a taxi to his apartment.  It was wonderful seeing him.  I hadn't seen him for maybe a year or so.  We were there to celebrate his completion of his software engineering degree program.  Very exciting.

When we arrived at Raju's apartment, we greeted his mother Krishna and his sister Suman and her son Harsh.  What a nice surprise that Suman and Harsh were visiting, and it was wonderful to see Krishna again.

Early in our visit we went to Nehru Place, an electronics market.
Harsh and Raju.

Another day, we invited our Joint Assistance Centre India colleague, Naersh Srivasthava, to join us for lunch.  He brought a board member, Mr. Harish Sakhuja.
Harish Sakhuja, Gopal, Naresh

Seven new puppies near the entry of Raju's apartment.  (When I took this picture, the street-dog mother came after me fiercely - scared me to death.  Good mama.)

Our friend Tehmina invited us for lunch at the Gymkhana Club.
Tehmina, Gopal, Krishna, Anand, Tehmina's father

Harsh, Raju, Suman, Krishna, Tehmina

At a shopping mall, there was a Skoda car display that included a computer game that Harsh could not resist.

Harsh and Gopal on my Samsung laptop.  (I didn't get near my new laptop til I got home.)

The train ride from Delhi to Mumbai was another express.  I had contracted asthma in Delhi so was coughing and not sleeping well.  The food on the train also didn't agree with me.  It was a miserable ride for me.

Although this was my second visit to Mumbai, this was my first Mumbai tour.  This is the India Gate that welcomes people coming in by sea. 

These beautiful, silver horse carriages are all over the place by India Gate.  I heard on the news that there is a big controversy about them because of concern over animal cruelty.

Here I am with my gracious hostess, Vijaya, who took such tender care of us.  She's a great cook, like Krishna was in Delhi.  This was the first time I had seen the seashore at Mumbai.  So wonderful!

This is the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, right across the street from India Gate.  It is so posh, the cheapest room goes for
20,000 rupees ($363).  We went in to have a cup of tea, but it's not that kind of place.  But they did have gorgeous shops full of gorgeous stuff.  Sigh.

Here's Vijaya having a cuppa early in the morning.


We had good visits with everyone, and the hospitality and cooking could not have been better.  It was a good trip.  Next time I think we will not travel so much by train.  (We flew home from Mumbai.)


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