Saturday, December 4, 2010

COME and GONE… (III)

Biratnagar (1-night stay over): We were joined by ‘them’. They were my father’s nieces (father’s sister’s daughters), i.e. two of my ‘many’ sisters (let’s call them B & R). I find it quite irritating that in Hindi (or Nepali), almost everyone (at least of your own generation-al level) can be referred to as your brothers & sisters with a prefix (specifying whose sons or daughters they are) if needed but in English, they are cousins, nephews, nieces, etc. and you’ve got no clue what the relation is at the higher generation-al level. I don’t think that made any sense and that’s precisely my point!Disappointed smile Anyway, the following day, we (after an ‘expected’ delay) boarded the smallest plane, I’ve ever had the fortune of boarding, and landed after half-an-hour or so at

Kathmandu (13-days stay): The first week was the week leading up to Diwali / Deepawali, about which I’ve talked about in an earlier post. I also met one of my brothers (father’s brother’s son, let’s call him S) after a long time. He pointed out that I’m fat and I pointed out that it needn’t be pointed out! We obviously went to Pashupatinath temple and also to Panchmukhi Balaji temple* (Google maps can now show the exact location of this temple. You get near it by searching for ‘tinpiple’ and zooming on a 360° turn in the ‘Arniko Highway’.) like last time but did not go to the Garden of Dreams, which I do regret.Panchmukhi Balaji Temple

Apparently, B & R were lucky enough to visit it after I (& S) left. I’m also told that in their 3-weeks stay at KTM, they took nearly 750 photos which is quite astonishing but when I think about it, it’s not that impressive. They are wasting a lot of ‘time’ & space on the memory card! Here’s why: After their 2-weeks stay, they had nearly 420 photos, which I brought with me. As I’m ‘fond’ of organizing my photos on ‘Windows Live Photo Gallery’ (or ‘wasting time’ as B & R put it!), I started sorting through their ‘mess’ and after I was done with that, I was left with 253 photos ‘only’! This huge reduction is due to two reasons: (i) Their Sony Cyber-shot takes dual shots if it ‘realizes’ that the lighting conditions are unfavorable like when indoors which was most of the time and when there is strong backlight outdoors which was also most of the time at KTM while we’re there! So one can safely delete one of those two snaps; (ii) One of them (R) does not press the shutter-release button half-way to check if the ‘subject’ is in focus! She just presses the button all the way taking the phrase ‘point-and-shoot’ a little too literally! So some of the snaps she ‘shot’ were out of focus and ‘had’ to be ‘pointed out’ of my laptop(s)!

So, to summarize my stay at KTM: I got some shopping done, ate sweets, met with other relatives, got my eyes checked, ate sweets, postponed my wedding, celebrated Diwali @ Home, watched Sketchbook with B & R (they were neither impressed nor repulsed by it!), ate (pieces of) a huge heart-shaped cake that somehow reminded me of sweet potatoes, attended a picnic, played badminton, tweaked AcBook & Sudoku Solver, ate sweets, taught something new (like how to convert feet to inches and there are 8 planets now!) to a kid, gave my mother ‘golden jewellery’ as a gift for the first time and ate ice cream labelled ‘Blind Love’ after a long time. After having so much fun, I had to leave KTM due to my ‘doctor’s’ advice: “Too much fun is injurious to my well-being”. So I left for

New Delhi (in transit): This is the last one at least on this trip! I came up from the Arrivals Terminal to Departures Terminal and stayed for nearly 6 hours in an enclosure named ‘Visitors’ Lounge’ just besides the check-in counters. But I had to go out of the building and come back in through a different gate for check-in! Anyway, no hassles this time around when I boarded the flight to

Abu Dhabi (in transit): “Wow! Didn’t we take our shoes off when we entered this terminal?” exclaimed a guy when we were asked to take them off once more to enter the waiting area for gate xx, from which we were supposed to board the plane. He seemed pissed but I just found it amusing! Open-mouthed smile We boarded the flight to JFK and after 14 hours in-flight, the ordeal was not over yet. We had to stand in a queue so long that it took us nearly 90 minutes just to enter the immigration area (we’re still in queue) and then it took me half an hour more to get to a counter and get cleared. After that, I fished around for my luggage and made a beeline to the AirTrain, to LIRR Train (in spite of two faulty ticket machines: one didn’t let me select my destination and the other didn’t accept cash!) to

Stony Brook (14th Nov): Railroad Route bus to Chapin Apartments was running on that (Sun)day and I’m back safely and soundly to tell you about whatever I’ve told you in the last three posts! I present to you now the final album that captures almost every aspect of my

Nepal Tour 2010

*Two albums linked in this post are not accessible to / by everyone. If you don’t see the photos, try logging into Picasa using your Gmail ID. If you don’t see them even then, tell me and I’ll send you a personalized link after assessing your eligibility! Thank you for your understanding…