Last weekend was the 4-day holiday over Gandhi’s birthday. It marked the end of the first quarter of the academic year. Some staff took a break away from Mussoorie, others just relaxed at home. And one of my co-workers cared for another staff member’s two children aged 1 and 4. A brave soul!
Dan and I spent the weekend in Dehra Dun, where we relaxed, did some shopping, and spent some time with our old friend Ajit Singh.
I’ve been thinking about the same break we had in 1969. Our son was 6 months old and my parents came to visit us from the US. We had a pleasant week or so here in Mussoorie then we headed to Delhi and Agra for the holiday. My memories from 40 years ago are a bit muddled, but two things stand out: walking through the Delhi Zoo in the heat, my father paused, wiped his sweaty face, and muttered “Mad dogs and Englishmen…” I always thought this was a quote from Kipling, but just learned that it is from a song by Noel Coward.
Another memory was while we were staying at the Clark’s Shiraz Hotel in Agra (very posh, above our usual standard in those days). We went to the hotel dining room for dinner fairly late (I suspect they didn’t even begin serving until 8:00 or so) and left our baby sleeping in the hotel room. There was a bearer in the hall and we asked him to call us from the dining room if he heard crying. In the US these days, we would probably be arrested for child endangerment, but it seemed OK at that time in those circumstances. (And he evidently didn’t wake up or cry while we were gone.)
I know that first sight of the Taj Mahal was wonderful, but I can’t remember it now separately from the times I’ve been there since.