The trip to Durg had been planned for months, as my wife’s nephew was getting married in November. New clothes for everybody, including a very reluctant husband, were bought and the children forced into traditional dresses. Not that they minded.
Despite apprehensions of the reported chaos. we flew from the spanking new Delhi’s T-3 terminal, with its squeaking clean conveyor belts for people and baggage. The carpet attracted comments from awe to “ what a waste of money”. The plane was on time, and we took off on time, landing at Raipur absolutely on time. The cars took us away to Durg, an hour and a half away to safely ensconce us in a very nice hotel ( Hotel Avalon). That hotel was a huge surprise. The owner has impeccable taste in paintings, and the walls were adorned with brilliant European style reproductions or photographs, which caught one’s eye.
The marriage was rounds of events and functions- a truly Punjabi wedding, with a twist of Chhatisgarh flavor. The girls enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The return journey was a pain, as Kingfisher flight was delayed by 3 hours, and we landed in Delhi at 2 in the morning. Not a good idea.
I counted Durg as a smaller town of India, and though it is compared to Delhi, all the facilities are available. Raipur is a bigger town, and needs much more civic improvements. All in all a much satisfying experience.
The icing on the cake was: I met Omkar Das Manikpuri a.k.a “ Natha” on the plane. He was one seat away, and between us was his secretary; we chatted amicably away during the flight back. It was a pleasure to see a theatre actor from a small town, being noticed and felicitated by the public at large. Here is hoping many successes for Omkar.
Now that Commonwealth Games are over, and so are the Asiad, it may be time to look back , to see what happened. The opening ceremony was awesome. Compared to the Olympics, which I described as a soulless event, this one was a heart warming experience. We did not have the synchronised acrobatics, in fact our troops seemed to have a life of their own. In total ignorance of what the others were doing, the Punjabi Bhangra-wallas had a life of their own. The mass painting of mehendi brought out lots of “aahs”. A very human experience, with all its foibles and imperfections. Give me this any day.
The airport metro line did not start up on time. It looks like an awful animal, an eyesore, a long snaking beast working its way through the innards of the city and going underground to cause god knows what havoc, and presumably emerging somewhere in the guts of the new terminal. I do not think I will ride this beast.
Odds and Ends
Howard Jacobson wins the Man Booker with The Finkler Question. I will read this book on my iPod. This was the first break out f Delhi where I did not take any physical book. All my books were on my iPod. Times they are achangin’.