Monday, February 25, 2013

Our Story-III

Moving ahead with the story then…

1st Feb

It was planned well ahead that this day would start with us visiting temples close to SDGH and that is what precisely happened. These visits are basically for untying (symbolically) that pink scarf, which you might remember from the previous part of ‘Our Story’, in front of the Gods and getting blessings from the priests. We left early in the morning and travelled to the 3 temples of His ‘family Gods’ (very much like ‘family doctors’). We were enjoying the GPS functionality of our phones via Nokia maps in the car. It was quite nice to see technology working seamlessly even in such dreary desert areas of Rajasthan. One could find directions to even those small villages around SDGH, which lie along run down State Highways! Here are the 3 temples we visited.

Punrasar:

Punrasar Balaji Temple

Lakhasar:

Lakhasar Bhairav Temple

Tauliyasar:

Tauliyasar Bhairav Temple

We returned back  to SDGH around noon and went to the guest house for lunch. One of His cousins was getting married the same day and so the guest house was still booked and the place to go to for food, otherwise today would have been the day when everyone started making their food at their own houses. We had been eating sweets in all the meals and this was no exception. We forced others to eat too [This is just Her because I don’t share sweets; at least not those that are on my plate! Smile] who laughed at us. They were thinking perhaps, ‘These people are hogging sweets like they haven’t seen sweets ever before in their lives’. [That’s true for me.] But who cares? They are sweets after all. [Yup!]

After lunch, He left to submit required documents for Aadhaar Card (Unique Identification Number for Indian Nationals) and returned after roughly an hour. He told me that there was a man just behind him in the queue, who was chewing paan (betel leaf) and spitting betel nuts every once in a while. This was happening inside that card office and one speck of it even bounced off His arm. How disgusting is that! And we think that our civic standards are rising. Really?

We were asked to participate in that ridiculous curd-pouring ceremony [He thinks that way, not me.] for my cousin so we went to the guest house again in the evening. But events in weddings strictly follow the Indian Standard Time, so we waited half an hour past the scheduled time and then started getting fidgety. She was with my mother and listening to similarities between Her and her (narrated by an old lady, as she puts it) while I roamed around the guest house. After a while, I had to ask my father why so much delay? He said that the groom hasn’t yet reached SDGH so the bride’s ceremony can’t start. I countered, “Her ceremony took place early in the morning before we reached SDSR! How the hell did that happen then?” He replied, “Because we phoned them that your ceremony is done and they can go ahead with Hers too. So ours was ‘computerized’ but for your cousin, it is going to be manual, sadly… Smile”. His wit takes me by surprise even now (for another example, read this)! So we were asked to go back home and prepare for departure.

She was advised on choosing appropriate colours for clothes [these are things that you start learning once you get married, which makes me wonder why did nobody talk about them before?]  and after doing that final bit of packing, we left for Bikaner with my father. Papa bought some Veg Patties and Kesar Kulfi (saffron-sprinkled ice-cream that did not melt till the last bite) for us and left as he was obligated to attend my cousin’s wedding. We savoured those snacks while chit-chatting at the station, specifically arguing about the shapes of the patties. I had seen only triangular & cylindrical ones whereas She had seen only rectangular & square ones. We also noticed the high level of cleanliness maintained at the railway station… quite an anomaly in India.

After we boarded the train and showed our tickets to the TT / TC (/whatever he is called), He fell asleep after a few minutes. I looked at Him a couple of times while He slept just to check if telepathy worked. Guess it works only in books with magical characters like Fairies or Angels.

2nd-5th Feb

We reached Delhi on time and after having something for ‘breakfast’ on the railway station, left for the domestic terminal 1D of IGI Airport via a tempo. It was an exhilarating feeling getting driven around the city in such a dense fog. But we reached well ahead of the departure time so we sat in one of the E-zones, where we could recharge our phones & laptops and work in dedicated cubicles too. I realized later that we could have used the internet for free for one whole hour inside the airport. Instead, He used his datacard and I used mine while also recharging my phone. He showed me a few of the homework problems that He would be teaching to the students in His classes next week.

We reached Goa in the afternoon and the temperature was a bustling 34°C and it was a bit humid too. After getting to our booked hotel, we had lunch with the items Mummy gave us. It was unexpectedly hot at this time of the year. I wonder why do people say that Dec-Feb is the best time to visit Goa. Apparently, the carnival was also about to start in a few days. How do people survive such scorching heat? Guess what they buy most during the carnival is sunscreens. Anyway, we roamed around the resort, which had a beach right next to it and clicked a few pictures.

Beach Resort Rooms

Us and Beach

Waves Reaching Shore

The breakfast buffet was the most unexpected highlight of our stay in Goa. The food was great and sitting beside the beach while gulping it down, (esp. water melons) just felt awesome. Here is that soothing place:

Beach Resort Cafeteria

We visited Old Goa and saw the few historical churches and a Museum that it had to offer. The museum was a small one but had quite ‘interesting’ archaeological artefacts, stamps & coins and ‘not so interesting’ paintings & sculptures. It also showcased a few sketches / paintings done by children (maybe on an educational trip sponsored by their schools) and some really intriguing questions about the state of Old Goa as a heritage site around the exit.

Saint Catherine Church

Highly Saturated Colours

We also visited a few beaches but didn’t walk around much in that sort of heat.

Beach, Shoes, Camera

Instead, we were lazing around in a Café and taking funny pictures of each other.

Camera, Table, Pose

Table, Colours, Symmetry

The dog was pretty much doing the same: [She means lazing about; not taking our pictures. Smile]

Dreaming in Peace

While on the road, we also saw 4 casinos operating purely on ships anchored in water (maybe they move too, don’t know). We also went to a beach-point that was supposedly the point where one could climb up the stairs and enjoy the setting or the rising Sun. We didn’t wait for the sunset; instead, just treated ourselves to some water-body photography (interesting or not is for you to figure out).

A Yellow boat:

A Yellow Boat

A Blue boat:

A Blue Boat

Hmm… someone interesting in that blue boat:

Lost in Thoughts

Anyway, that is pretty much all the sight-seeing we did in Goa and we started back on the 5th. Since we hadn’t done any shopping during the past 3 days, we [again just Her] indulged ourselves in buying a few things right there at the Goa airport. The purchases were made quickly one after the other without any break such that it looked like everything was carefully planned.

We reached Delhi again on time and visited one of His cousin’s house to separate our stuff and put them in separate suitcases. Our suitcases were brought from SDGH and He got His ready for the trip to NY and I got mine ready later on at night. Since His flight to NY was scheduled at 1:35 AM on the 6th, He had to leave in the evening of 5th itself. We left the house around 8:30PM and dropped Him at Terminal 3 of the IGI airport around 10 PM.

It was a little painful to see Him standing there, smiling at us as we walked back to our vehicle. I smiled a bit too much and waved unnecessarily. Well, sometimes we need substitutes for words and I guess these little gestures work just fine Smile.

More Wedding Shots

More from Goa Trip