Sunday, April 06, 2008

Thought Variation

Too many thoughts went through my mind as usual while I was in India. These start here in a random chain-
- There are way too many men in Delhi..you hardly see women. I saw fat men, thin men, men with beards, men on bikes, men in cars, men in buses, men on carts, bald men, long haired men, men with combs in their back pockets, men with one long finger nail, men picking their noses, men itching and scratching, men peeing on walls, men spitting on roads, men hanging out of buses, men crossing roads, men in auto rickshaws, men selling stuff, men driving buses, men filling fuel. There were just too many men. I rarely saw women, next time you are in Delhi...keep a 10 min track and see how many women you can spot. Sex ratio in Delhi seems to be twisted.
- Malls seem to be competing for space and attention with fly overs. Delhi was previously a city under construction, fly overs were being made everywhere. Now malls are being made everywhere. I must say flyovers do make life easy - they could improve sign posting to prevent people backing up on one way, high speed lanes. Good roads mean more space to speed and I am not sure if its a good thing. Recently lost a lovely 21 year old girl I knew to a high speed car crash in Delhi - speeds are high!!! Lane driving in something people laugh at, drunk driving is cool, people protest but I did not notice anything being done.
- Malls seem to be full all the time. Gone are the days when one would shop before a festival..now people just shop. Which is great, there is never a dull moment in malls. People demand better products and the products appear - well designed, well presented, well priced, often badly packaged..but hey I aint complaining. Products fly off the shelves as does the food. Everywhere I turned I saw people eating - chat, samosa, chicken tikka, chola bhatura, pakoras, momos, chowmein, kala khatta, dosa, idli, pizza, vada, lasagna, pasta, ice cream, kulfi, freshly washed and sliced coconuts..its eat time. I must say though I did not see any FAT people.
- The consumer spending is amazingly high. Little surprise thus happened when I tentatively mentioned the American economy sliding and the British one just about hanging on..and what this will translate to in India. I was told to shut up and stop being a negative NRI and see how 'strong and robust' the Indian economy is and how it can 'live through anything'. So I did shut up. What pray do I know about economics, except that I read the warnings issued by the Reserve Bank of India in the Economic Times and other newspapers, and was foolish enough to believe it. I was also told to think about the 'media' that likes to scare people and thus not believe what I read.
- The magnolia trees in bloom in India made me smile. There were lavender colour trees as well. Also seen were bright red flowers in tall trees with no leaves. Spring had sprung in Delhi with daisies and pansies and lilies and jasmine and roses out in full bloom. The trees were green, though a bit dusty. It looked pretty and welcoming. However I did not see as many Gulmohar trees as I seem to remember seeing as a child. Where have all the Gulmohars gone?
- My travels included Delhi & Jammu only. Delhi was crazy with the number of people I was supposed to meet competing with the people who I wanted to meet who were competing with people I was told to meet, which all clashed with the shopping I wanted to do, shopping I needed to do and shopping I was told to do, which clashes with my standard must-go-to list of Delhi - Dilli Haat, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, walk the entire inner circle of CP, walk along Janpath to Cottage, GK 1 M Block Market & Hauz Khas village. I must say I managed to do everything...but could not get to spend enough time everywhere.
- I was fed, watered and welcomed home as usual. New member in the house is yet another Black cocker spaniel called Scooby who deserved a post of his own. Let me just say a name like Lucifer would suit him well. I spend much time playing with him and getting affectionate licks every 3 mins. I am told I am being missed by him, he sleeps by the door till 3 am these days..waiting for me. {Awwwww!!}
- At my in-laws home I was fed to within an inch of my life. I slept till 10 am each day and also a bit in the afternoon. I woke up to the morning breeze with undercurrents of rose. Roses that grow in the garden outside the window and are carried by the cool air through the open windows. I heard bird song each morning..it was quiet, idyllic and relaxing. Spent most of my time in Jammu talking..non stop. It was good fun.
- Met old relatives and great aunts of the husband. Which was nice yet strange, good job my little 5 yr old nephew was not there or he would have asked his standard question for old people,"Where do you keep your teeth?"
- Jammu is a nice place for a short break..nothing to do. Eat + Sleep. It also has amazingly small tiny alley ways and lanes which sell everything from Amartya Sen's books to Indian Kitsch! Glitzy clothes and garlands made of a notes..real notes, which I had always seen on TV but never up close..so in Jammu I went and felt this garland to see if it was made of actual currency..seems like it does. I now know how to mortify my brother (who is a total city slicker) when he gets married!! Jammu also enticed me with its river side palace which has a superbly located restaurant- service was poor but the location was good. I also saw the old secretariat which burnt down..lovely..amazingly beautiful building. [Shall post pictures soon I am assuming]
- I know no one in Jammu apart from my inlaws + my mobile phone does not work there..which means I got no phone calls and I had to meet / speak to no-one I knew :) I do not pick the home phone as I am new to the house, same reason why I dont answer the door bell...it was peaceful!
- Met cousins and friends..which is always good and comforting. Good to catch up specially since time was precious. As it always is in a short break. Managed to talk a lot, hence sleep was evaded. I now need a vacation to recover from this one on India.

3 comments:

pilot-pooja said...

Welcome back!!!!

Guess had loads of masti...

This line is just so true:

"Malls seem to be competing for space and attention with fly overs"

Dusty Fog said...

I know the "need a holiday to recover from a holiday" feeling....: )

Deepak said...

There are too many thoughts that it is mind-boggling. So I'll pick one and comment on that...

Okay... The Delhi traffic...
In Delhi people drive at peak hours as if there is no one else on the road. I've been mortified sitting in the back seat of a car in Delhi, while traveling from Airport to Hotel. In most Indian cities, despite the traffic, things go a bit smoother, because people know how to improvise while driving. That's not the case in Delhi.