2004-05 India trip BLOG

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Dec 2004
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12 Dec 2004: Left LA for Mumbai. Air-India. Good food. Good service when the 'planes leave on time.
13 Dec 2004: Frankfurt was very smokey. Its tough being accustomed to smoke-free flights AND smoke-free airports. In the US IQ-challenged people smoke to lose weight. They are not amused when told that they do lose weight, but one lung at a time.
14-18 Dec 2004: Snehal's apartment is on the 11th floor overseeing the ocean went for morning walks everyday with baba/ashu/anandbhaiyya combined with birdwatching. Also went to BPT one of the days.

Mumbai is still crowded, but the buses seemed less so. Possible reasons that were suggested: There are more buses. More people have their private vehicles. I did not get a chance to use the local (yet), so can't say comparatively.

Driving is, in general, much worse with most drivers fighting for every inch. Honking is more frequent as that has become the default reaction to everything. Seeing our taxi driver honk every few seconds, anu thought back and realized that she had not honked even once during her 4 years of driving in th US.

After we "backed out" of the munj, Chaitanya's thread tying ceremony went ahead with a limited number of people. The rituals were followed with a discussion about it. The broad concensus seemed to be that the details of the ceremony better be changed as per the times. However there still exist people who believe that saying certain syllables can save one from disasters (and we are not talking about "sorry").

Had the usual sallies to Fort. Bought a book or two, but these are in general more "professional" in that they are costlier. Watch repairing was cheap but could not get the thin belt. Coin books are avalable in limited places and they are not cheap.

Started the campaign for MMLA "marathi firate sahityalaya" by going with Anu to Mauj, Majestic and Popular. The Popular people became unpopular as they were rather unhelpful. Mauj folks were very receptive and Majestic were good too. We ended up buying books worth ~2000 in the M places (plus a few for ourselves, as happened elsewhere). Also ordered a few from Akola (Mihir, through Sadhana). These will be delivered in Pune. Rasik's show was on in Pune and bought ~2000 worth there. Was able to pay by credit card something the Air India office in Nagpur did not allow! Have tried not to over represent any author in this first round. Have been asking people for their unbiased lists and then have used my fiat to choose and select. Need to get some more. Have various lists to choose from. Despite buying several, Anu seems unhappy.

More coming sooon ...
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Dec 2004
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