Sunday morning we were up early to catch the Shatabdi train for Meerut. We left the hotel about 6:00 and walked a short distance to the main road. There were several auto rickshaws and we got in one to head to the train station. We were there in plenty of time for the 6:50 departure. The mob of cars, taxis, and autos at the train station is quite amazing. It is a sea of vehicles with no apparent lanes, everyone just squeezing into whatever space they can manage. I know cars get side-swiped and bumped; the evidence shows on many of them. But I have never actually seen one touch another, although 1-2 inches clearance is frequent. These drivers all know the dimensions of their vehicles exactly. and it is quite amazing to watch the dance.
It is wheat harvest time with many ripe fields. We could see people working, squatting, cutting the wheat by hand and bundling it into sheaves. Unlike the few Amish in our area who still shock their wheat, these sheaves are left lying on the ground to dry. Some of the fields are incredibly small, as the second photo shows. We also saw fields of wheat growing among trees; every square inch of land is used.
Brij met us at the station. On the way home we stopped to purchase fresh jalebis and dahi (yogurt)
Breakfast was a feast, with scrambled eggs and toast, jalebis and dahi. Jalebis are terribly sweet (dough is streamed into hot oil into pretzel-like shapes, then removed and put into sugar syrup to absorb the sweetness). Crushing them into a dish of dahi, or even just dipping, makes a succulent combination that cuts the sweetness. One of the maharajahs of Jaipur was known to eat multiple kilos of jalebis and dahi for breakfast daily.
A special lunch was held to celebrate the Lals' wedding anniversary (April 18) and Rita's birthday. Rita, Ajit and and Myna joined us for biriani, mutton curry, and a special chutney Brij made from mint and fresh green mangoes. You may be glad to hear that we didn't have a real supper, just samosa with tea about 7:00 before we left for our 9:00 pm train.
A major change at the house from our last visit is the purchase of raised stands for Brij's plants and flowers. He is quite a gardener and was excited about the multiple flower seeds we brought from the US. The top level balcony is always a pleasant place and it is even more beautiful now.