Sunday, November 28, 2010


Amet (5 days over): After 5 days of neck-high ‘spirituality’, where I realized that the main ingredient of Jainism is ‘inevitability’ similar to the concept of ‘hitsuzen’ in xxxHolic(!), we left for our hometown,

Shri Dungargarh (7-days stay): It was hot here. My definition of hot is that temperature where spontaneous sweating occurs!

CAH (Charbhuja Road, Railway Station for Amet) to Shri Dungargarh

A simple question: When does a car cruising at 120 Km/hr starts moving at a snail’s pace of 20 Km/hr? A complicated answer: When you switch from a national highway at Bidasar to a state highway connecting Bidasar to SDGH. Now, when I say state highway, I might have given you a image of a road with ‘frequent’ potholes but no, the reality was that there was no road there, just loose gravel! The driver was really pissed at my father’s choice of the route but my father’s (valid) excuse was that it was OK just 6 months ago! Open-mouthed smile It is also worth-mentioning that Nokia / Ovi Maps do a good job at (re-)calculating highway routes (while offline) in India. Had a nice time playing around with its navigational features. Well, after taking at least an hour more than necessary, we finally reached our hometown. I met a lot of relatives here after a span of at least 3 years. The stay here was ‘interrupted’ by two one-day trips to

Lunkaransar & Sardarshahar (1-day each): These were also  trips ‘to get blessed’ but on the latter one, someone stole my sandals so it was more of a ‘cursed’ trip! Smile

SDGH to Lunkaransar(L) & Sardarshahar(R)

When we got down from the bus at SDGH, I was wearing my father’s sandals and he was walking barefoot. Our house was 5 minutes walk from the spot we de-boarded the bus. Two minutes later, someone (from behind us) shot a wisecrack at him (paraphrased): “So you are also training to be a Sadhu?” The general reference is to sadhu’s barefoot walking and the specific reference (highlighted by the use of ‘also’) is to the fact that my mother’s only nephew is also going to become one next year! My father shot back almost instantly (in Marwari, as was the original question), “के Ke कराँ karaan, कोई koi भावना bhaawana भायाँ bhaayaan बिना bina ही hi बैरा baira ली li!” This is hilarious in a Sketchbook-ish way, let me explain why. The humour comes from the facts that a explicit reference to the sandals was never made and his reply (which basically means, ‘someone stole them!’) is brimming with sadhu references! ‘भावना भाना’ is a verb meaning to inform the sadhus what one is going to offer them and ‘बैरा लेना’ refers to the physical act of accepting by the sadhus. So literally, the reply translates to, “…, someone accepted without us offering!” Open-mouthed smile (I never quite ‘believed’ my mother telling me once in a while that my father is a good writer but after this short exchange, that has changed to: I quite ‘believe’ her now!) Anyway, after two more days, we left for

Bikaner (in transit): Had never seen ‘so many’ foreigners / tourists in this part of India(?).

SDGH to Bikaner

New Delhi (in transit:) Once more but not the last yet! This time also (like last year), I was summoned by the Customs Office but the one interviewing me was confused when I said I was going to

Kathmandu (2-days stay): This was more of a transit than a stay because we were not done with visiting India yet! So after two days, we left for

BKN to DEL to Kathmandu

Biratnagar (in transit): ‘Fearing’ the land customs officers, I did not take my laptop with me on this trip to

KTM to Biratnagar

Forbesganj (4-days stay): Amazingly, no one bothered us on both sides of the border and the trip!

BIR to Forbesganj

This was also a ‘spiritual’ trip and by the end of it, I was starting to get bored. But there were a few distractions that helped me to carry on like meeting a few relatives that I’d never met before (or had met ages ago) but had only heard of. Also, there was a debate (topic is irrelevant) organized by the ‘जैन Jain महिला Mahila मण्डल Mandal (Jain Women Council?)’ where there were quite a few ‘good’ participants. But listening to them throwing in ‘common’ English words in a ‘formal’ Hindi event, irritated and embarrassed me so much (was referring to their oratory skills earlier, not their vocabulary!) that I came to a ‘profound’ conclusion: “Uttering English words every now and then in a formal Hindi event, doesn’t show you know English; it shows you do not know Hindi!” Apparently, my mother disagrees… We started our journey back with a resounding flat tyre (once-in-a-lifetime event!) to

Biratnagar (1-night stay!): We were back in Biratnagar at my (eldest) uncle’s house and we were joined by ‘them’. They will be introduced in the next (and last) part of this series! For now, check out all the photos (or a carefully sampled set) of my India Tour 2010.

To be continued…

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