Showing posts from May, 2011

Light headed in Mongolia...

Everyone who has known me very briefly even, knows my penchant for short hair. I have always worn it short and every hair cutting session is a tug of war between my stylist and me over how short we can go. She wins, always, but then i feel better nevertheless when the weight is off my head (mind).

The year before last, i had it all shaved off for a very personal reason. It felt great, lighter than ever. It is not very common, or rather sacrilege for girls to go bald in India, with the exception of Tirupati offerings. So the clever person that i am, i cut it first and then showed the new look to my friends and folks. No chance of protesting my decision, the deed was done. No Ctrl+Z there :)).

I wanted to go in for a similar style this time around. The fear of being mistaken for someone else at immigration stopped me from getting a cut before I left. It is great to have a stylist on the team here, Andrea did the honors beautifully with a not-so-great pair of scissors. Faraz…

A visit to the Gandantegchenling monstery and city walk

The day opened to a fine sunny morning, not to cold not to hot. Perfect weather for a walk in town. Right after breakfast, we went out in search of scissors first. Andrea has promised to cut my hair as short as i want them and i needed to get the tools. :) We made a detour to the post office to send you folks out there some cards. We got some really nice ones and the stamps at the same place too. The scissors were easy to locate, easier than a hair salon. A giant coke bottle on the facade of a clock tower is a big highlight. Just as we were returning we met Chris in the driveway, he was just checking in. Peter has still not had his luggage delivered. The team then met at 12 noon to walk to the monastery and have some food. I was planning to not eat much that day. I bought myself some juice and had that all along. The monastery was some way off and the walk to it was pleasant. We waited for a bit at the department store where Andrea and Chris got their mug shots taken for immigration. Th…

Our day in Ulaan Bataar

I woke at 9.30 local time, normal IST time to the first day in UB. The team was already up, some of them early due the varied time differences. We first met everyone at breakfast-- Ripley, Sim, Flo, Faraz, Mike and Lauren. Andrea and Carrie were already with us on your flight to UB.

After spending some time together we dispersed. Breakfast was next for us. The UB hotel serves typical continental fare, complete with cold milk. Funny how people in countries with hot weather want things hot and those with cold weather want them chilled. I would think it was otherwise.

We all agreed to meet at 2 pm to go to the Enzis office for the tickets. Back to room for a quick bath. We needed some water and some chow for lunch. The hotel changed money for us -- 1200 Tugrik per 45 rupees. There is small "super market" about 2 blocks away and we got what we wanted there. Wet wipes, toilet roll, shampoo, water, some y…

Waiting in Beijing...

I am with Sucheta and Carrie at Beijing Capital International Airport awaiting my flight to UB to arrive in the parking bay. We just meet Carrie an hour ago and together we made our way to the departure gate. Beijing is a cool 18 degrees, while UB has snow we hear from one of our other team mates who is already there. Looks like all the woollens we took are gonna come in handy. (Pooja, i have the beanie out and ready ;)) Surprisingly all the flights we took were full, so we could not stretch on empty seats. Right now a little travel weary and sleepy. UB's chill might wake us up! Signing off now. The flight will be called soon and i need to pack up! Carrie has such tiny bags, we are carrying the world and its mother in comparison. :)

A fine time to walk

So it happened that on this Monday we had a lovely overcast sky in Pune. Much like it is in the thick of monsoon. Perfect time for a walk, though humidity was high and I was bathed in sweat. I decided to go through the old parts of the city that I love and say a nice goodbye to the sights I shall miss for some time.

The overcast sky creating a twilight like calm over the river.
My route took me across the famous gardens on JM Road, where there are ample lawns to sit and read, an aquarium for kids, stalls vending Chaat and a walking track. The palms all stood in a row bordering one such route.

From there I went along the old boundary of the city near Nal Stop (literally, the place where the public water works supply ended in old Pune). The traffic is always choc a bloc there at most times of the day. Monday was no exception at around 9 AM.

By this time, it looked like the sun was beginning to win the battle and the cloud cover gave way to the sunlight. I returned via another bridge on the…

A list of things that matter...

When I sat down to make list of things to take along to the Gobi, I came to realize that not everything I was taking had been personally bought or requested. Not everything was tangible. What I am taking with me are gifts, memories, good wishes, benevolence, kindness, help, bravery and a lot of encouragement. All given without being asked for and in ample measure.
Aai and Baba, —the fact that you think that I can do it is 99% of the battle won. It’s been quite a journey beginning with acceptance to the list making, packing plans, tasting various ready to cook food, logistics and a hell lot of patience.
My friend from SIAC, who I know back from 2002, his help in what I am doing is invaluable. The good soul that he is, he wishes to be unnamed.
The shirts/tops that’ll see me through the desert come from dear A, who cheers every tiny achievement of mine. She is completely partial to me and I love it.
S was the first person I called as soon as my back froze back in November. That I can now j…