Account of travels across the world. This blog provides descriptions of travels in different parts of the world. Pictures related to many of the blogs can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/7330879@N05/ and for more information I can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
July 1, 2011
The trip started with Max, Srijoy, Mikku and I driving to Washington DC in a rental car. Drive was uneventful and we reached Washington in good time and stayed at the usual suite hotel and spent the evening with Tejinder and Laurie.
July 2, 2011
The day was spent mostly in getting around DC. The boys went to a museum and we went to a mall and then finally connected up and headed out to the airport after a brief stop at another mall. Flight was a little delayed but worked out OK. Was able to upgrade Max to WT Plus.
July 3, 2011
Reached London OK and took the taxi to Kaju mama’s house. The stay was pleasant and we spent the afternoon going around London. Srijoy was leading the tour with him picking out the places for Max to visit. I had to return to the airport to retrieve one of the suitcases. Got back in the evening for an excellent home cooked meal with Kaju mama and Lenny.
July 4, 2011
Spent the day visiting different spots in London and again Srijoy took the lead. While the boys did the visiting, Mikku and I relaxed at different spots having coffee and stuff. The boys went to the Tower of London and the London Eye among other places. Eventually returned to Kaju house and we had dinner with the family of late Montu da.
July 5, 2011
Took the taxi to Heathrow and got there in plenty of time to be able to relax a little at the airport. Flight to Delhi was uneventful and got there in time. Went over to Saptagiri for the night.
July 6, 2011
Had a car for the day and went to a few spots in Delhi including Akshardham, Qutab Minar and the Select City Mall. Later had dinner with Kinshuk and family. The first student Christie arrived late that night. All were back in Saptagiri.
July 7, 2011
All five of us flew to Calcutta. Max, Srijoy and me were at AC 140, dropped Christie at the house and Mikku went to D-50.
July 8 to July 18, 2011
Calcutta with students, visits and highlights:
Tipu Sultan Mosque
Bira house of Abhijit
DPS visit organized by Sonali and Mikku
Visit to homes
Raichak day trip including the boat ride and the fight at the restaurant
Generally hanging out together
Srijoy and his relationship with the students was certainly worth observing
Anurag and DJ
Rana’s visit and lecture
July 19, 2011
We all left together and flew to Delhi on Kingfisher and got there in time to get to the hotel Saptagiri and have lunch there. Everyone had settled down in the hotel and had the afternoon off. A few of us went over to Ambience mall and spent the afternoon there and eventually had dinner at the Punjabi Nawab restaurant down the street. Carrie, Rachel and Kendall were with us too.
July 20, 2011
All of us left for the airport in the morning and flew to Leh again on Kingfisher. Carrie and Kendall went off to Bangalore first and Rachel followed later. We all went to the Namgayal Hotel. Things were a little different with Mr. Dorje being more busy with his family. We rested in the afternoon and took the car over to the Hall of Fame and Leh Palace in the late afternoon and early evening. Mikku stayed mostly at home as she was not feeling well. We had dinner together eventually.
July 21, 2011
We went off on the day trip towards Himis monastery. Stopped at Thiskey monastery on the way, then on to Himis, and on the way back stopped at Shey Palace and then Sindhu Ghaat where we ate a really bad packed lunch. Evening was mostly in the market with dinner eventually at the Chopsticks restaurant where we had a major incident with the service.
July 22, 2011
Had a shorter day with a visit to the Gurdwara and then the river confluence. Had lunch in the tiny town of Nimu where the food was really inexpensive. Then back to Leh and mostly in the markets. Had dinner at the little restaurant just next to the hotel.
July 23, 2011
Started early and had the arduous (7 hour) drive over Khardung La to the Nubra valley. Went to see the double-humped camels of the silk route and the sand dunes. Students and the kids went on a ride on the camels. Then checked into the organic camp. This was a lot of fun with the kids doing dumb charade and other activities. Had a bonfire and did the story of Ramayan.
July 24, 2011
Stopped at Diskit monastery and the large Buddha facing Pakistan (which is about 50 miles away) and then drove back to Leh. Jay was ill and it was quite an unsuccessful feat trying to find medicines in Leh on a Sunday. Eventually had dinner at the Tibetan Kitchen restaurant. All through the time in Leh the electricity was turning on and off and Internet connectivity was minimal. We had the lecture from the Buddhist scholar in the evening as well.
July 25, 2011
Took the morning flight back from Leh to Delhi. Arrived in good time and took off with the family to give Max a driving tour of Delhi eventually ending up at Rohit’s place. Spent some time there before driving back to the hotel and meeting up with the students for dinner at the Punjabi Nawab place again.
July 26, 2011
Mikku, Max and Srijoy left for the US. The students and I had two cars (Innova and Xylo) and we left for Jaipur. Drive was uneventful and settled down at the hotel. Had already eaten lunch on the way and so went off to see the City Palace and after that the students wanted to rest so back to the hotel. Later had dinner at the Indiana Restaurant which plays the interesting Rajasthani music.
July 27, 2011
Morning to Amber Palace, lunch at the usual place near the palace. Stopped by Jaal Mahaal and saw the kid perform magic, it was really quite impressive. Then on to the Gopal and Ram/Sita temple near Galta where the number of monkeys has certainly diminished. Finally drove on to Agra and stayed at the Howard Portico hotel which was really quite nice. Dinner at the Only Restaurant.
July 28, 2011
Headed out for the Taj Mahal at about 5 am. It was an interesting experience but was somewhat dampened by the rain. The students enjoyed being there early. Hung there for about a couple of hours and then headed back to the hotel and had a great breakfast. Eventually started the drive back to Delhi with lunch on the way. Got to Delhi in good time and Carrie and Rachel were back too. Had the evening off.
July 29 to August 8, 2011
On July 29 all of us including Carrie and Rachel moved to the houses in CR Park. The move went smoothly and then the visits and highlights of Delhi were:
Driving tour of the main area
CP and Pallika Bazaar
Jama Masjid where Jay lost his shoes
Moti Mahal Lunch
The Delhi Metro
Trip to Rohit’s House
Movie together (Zindagi Na Mile Dubara) with Anurag
The Delhi boys and trip to Taj Palace bar
Meals at Kebab Factory, Oh Calcutta, Pind Baluchi, Mainland China, Chung Wa, Swagath, etc.
Jamia lectures and visit
Rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk
Dinner from the guest house
July 9, 2011
All the students were gone by the end of the day and I came to Calcutta. Spent the evening with Dada bhai and Phuchku da and family.
July 10, 2011
Did most of the stuff with Ma including a trip to Tea Board. Had Pizza Hut lunch. Spent some time at City Center, later went to D50 and then the evening was mostly at home. A few people came to visit. It was really raining hard in Calcutta
July 11, 2011
Most of the day was running errands and getting stuff. Went to D 50 for a bit, then evening was at DDP. Raja came to visit and that was nice. Continuing rain.
July 12, 2011
Took the morning flight on Indigo to Delhi, spent some time at the Café Day outside the airport and that was quite nice (no toilet though). Afternoon was at Jamia and it worked out well.
Tejinder and Laurie
Rohit and family
Kinshuk and family (including a lunch at their house)
Panky and his son and his son’s friend
Several CBS folks at Raja’s father’s niam bhanga
Mala Boudi and her family including Sampurna
Baro mami and family including Pintu
Namrata and Babli including lunch at their place
Samrat and family
The people at MOP Vaishnav when I went to Chennai for the day on August 5, 2011
Khuku Mashi and family
As in the case of 2010, this was an eventful trip with the students keeping us all active. What was different was the presence of Max and the way in which Srijoy connected with the students. I too connected with the students, but this year the students also were much more independent (or I gave them more independence) and thus the general sense of doing things together was not as prevalent. The experience was more akin to truly teaching a class as opposed to the “family” that could also happen in such cases. The interactions between Carrie/Rachel and the class and me was also quite complicated and needed some negotiation. The process was as tiring as ever, but some of the logistics worked out OK and thus was less of a concern.