Tuesday, September 20, 2016

First Weekend in India

I didn't get any of my pictures loaded in our hotel in Delhi, so I'll start with a few of them. I was able to get an amazing picture of the Chicago skyline as we took off from O'Hare.

In September the festival of Ganesh is celebrated. I'm not sure of the exact dates, but something was still going on. I heard drums from our hotel room and saw a procession with a statue of Ganesh going by on the street below.

We were only in Delhi one day and it was very hot, so we didn't go out much. Around 3:30 we headed for the Metro to visit Anju and Sandeep. We had a good visit and went to a Noida mall for an early dinner. They recently found a restaurant called Marwari Bhoj. It serves a Rajasthani thali meal, similar to one we had in Meerut some years ago and more recently at Suruchi in Delhi. Sandeep grew up in Rajasthan and enjoys the taste of home. As you can see from the menu board outside, the cost is about $5 per person.

When we arrived, the tables were set and ready for the waiters to fill our dishes.

Our dishes were automatically filled with a variety of vegetarian dishes, from salad of cucumbers and carrots to dal and curries. The center of the plate was soon filled with missi roti and chapattis. Near the end of the meal rice was offered to finish off the curries, but I was finished well before that. Each curry was tasty and quite different from the others.

In the morning we left for the train station at 6:00 to catch the Shatabdi to Meerut, just over an hour away. I always enjoy the colorful clothing of the Indian women.

Deepa met us at the train station. Her father, Brij, was waiting in the car for us, which was very unusual. It turned out that he had a viral illness that acted much like chikunga\unya, a mosquito-borne illness (which Sandeep had just recovered from). However, the doctor said this was viral and would pass. During our stay he had a high fever and very painful joints and muscles. We were glad that he seemed better by the time we left.

On the way from the station to their home, we stopped to pick up some fresh jalebis and yogurt for breakfast. 

We had a very good visit, in spite of Brij's illness and the high heat. Anju and Sandeep came for the weekend, too, and we had good times and good food (always important!).

Monday morning we took a taxi to the Meerut train station and headed for the hills. For some reason we were stopped on the tracks between Meerut and Muzaffarnagar for an hour; otherwise the trip was fine. Kulwant's taxi driver was waiting for us in Dehra Dun. After some time struggling through the traffic, we hit the Mussoorie Road and headed up. The cooler air was very welcome. Mussoorie was shrouded in monsoon mist, which felt good. We got unpacked and settled into our regular place, Guest Room #1. Tuesday morning I'll start work in the Alumni Affairs Office.

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