Days 5, 6, and 7 – Mussoorie, Delhi, Meerut

On Thursday, the morning was spent readying Hill Haven for our departure. My parents spent two months there on this visit, and still we were all pretty much ready to go at 8:30, four hours before our taxi was due to take us down to Dehradun. Since I was still rather under the weather – I slept little due to being so congested – I was happy just to chill out, read, and chat. Unfortunately, the Internet was acting up, so I couldn’t post my latest blog entry or catch up on email. The porters arrived at noon to carry our luggage up to the road where the taxi was meeting us. It’s absolutely incredible how much these men can carry up the steep hillsides of Mussoorie.

We waited by the road for the taxi, which was 25 minutes late. Luckily, it was an Ambassador with a roof rack, so all the luggage fitted handily. The trip down was much like the trip up – narrow roads, sharp turns, lots of traffic. This picture is taken from the back seat of the taxi, just before one of those sharp turns:

When we arrived in Dehradun, we met our longtime friend Ajit Singh at his home for lunch with him and his sister. My father and Ajit have been friends for over 40 years – Ajit is a wonderful musician and owns a music shop in Dehradun (he also provided all of the Beatles’ Indian instruments). Here is a great picture of Dad and Ajit:

 

After a delicious lunch (yes, every meal we eat is delicious, be jealous), out taxi took us to the train station, where we boarded the 5pm Shatabdi Express bound for Delhi. We got in around 10:45 and tried to get some rest.

Friday morning, Domingos was not well, and I still wasn’t feeling 100% either. It was a very short night, since we were taking the Shatabdi back to Meerut. We left the hotel at 6. At least this train ride was fairly short, and when we go to Meerut, family friend Brij Lal was there to meet us. We had a lovely day visiting with the Lals – Viola and Brij, their youngest daughter Deepa, and her young son Jason. We spent most of the day at their house, and Domingos was able to rest a lot, which he really needed. Mom and I took a walk to the chemist, and we got a lot of stares – not as many foreigners in Meerut. I was worried some of the guys on bicycles were going to wreck, the way they’d turn and stare at us while still riding forward!

We went out to the bazaar for a quick trip:

It’s really hard to describe the sheer insanity of city streets in India.
In the afternoon, I got an excellent lesson in cricket rules from Dad and Brij, and I think I mostly understand it now! I was able to watch some of the India-England test match and actually follow the action. It’s quite interesting once you know what’s happening. I’d like to go to a match in person someday.
Linds and Lals
We headed back to the station in the evening to catch the Shatabdi back to Delhi, and it was almost 30 minutes late! We were all flagging by then and really ready to get back to the hotel. We had the most insane taxi and driver from the train station; it was quite a wild ride, to put it mildly!
Saturday, we finally got to sleep in! Bliss! Domingos was feeling much better, thank goodness. We dropped off laundry at 10:30, then headed out to spend the day with my oldest friend in the world, the Lals’ 3rd daughter Anju, and her husband Sandeep. It was wonderful to see Anju after 13 years, and we had a great day with them catching up. Anju made us lunch at their house, and then we all went to Dilli Haat, a great crafts market.
Anju and me
We had a very light dinner back in Karol Bagh and turned in early.

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