Saturday, July 14, 2007

touring the north

Our family has been a part of three tours. I mean, long ones. I so hope, we undergo more of these. Futile thoughts...
Father and two enterprising friends planned things well. We three families have visited the north, north-east, and the western parts of India. Those were the days. At get-togethers, most of the time is spent in reliving those moments. Amazing ones.
When we look back in time, it surprises us. Amongst the various surprises thrown in, i realise that i'm grown up, and pretty old.
We visited the north in 1994(?).
Some memories:
We alighted at Agra. Two days and a night inbetween was spent journeying to the north from Bangalore. That was the first time i saw samosas' and jilebis' econsumed for breakfast. Ewwww! How can anybody eat those for breakfast? Moreover people ate them without cleansing their mouths. It made me gag, if nothing else. A first insight into the ways of north-indians, such as this, for a child is not so pleasant.
If i remember right, the first place that we saw was the Taj Mahal. Excitement ruled me, then. One of the seven wonders of the world.... mausoleaum in marble....this and that. The exteriors was maintained in a very shabby state. Red stains, chracteristic of pan decorated the outer side of the compound wall. I thought, 'Do we really have to see this place?' Thankfully, the area inside was comparably well-kept. I hope it is tidy these days.
We were to catch a connecting train to Delhi(?) fom Haridwar(?). While waiting at the railway station at Haridwar, PLG uncle, somebody else and me were watching a nearby cart. The vendor(not older than 25) was selling some mixture, with lots of boiled potatos. A number of people did buy from him. We were jobless. Uncle suggested we buy a plate of whatever-chat that was. The three of us shared it. I guess, i never took to it. We disposed the leaf in which it was served, along with plenty of chopped potatos.
Our first night at Delhi, and we dined at Dasaprakash. Were we glad to eat proper south-indian food?! Ordering full meals for everybody despite the age, we gobbled the puris', rice, sambhar, rasam... like we've never tasted south-indian fare before. Manna from heaven!
From Mussorie we planned to go to Dehradun. I was so adament to visit Dehra and the Garhwals. I wanted to roam on the streets used by Ruskin Bond. To visualise Dehra from Bond's angle is enchanting. Unfortunately we couldn't make it to Dehra due to some reason. It left me upset and disappointed. To a great extent. I still desire to holiday at Dehra. With a Bond in my hand.
One of father's close friends' had shifted to Lucknow. Thus, we headed towards Lucknow. We hired a vehicle. It looks like an auto, and can fit more than ten people. Try imagining an enlarged version of our auto, with more seats in an extended posterior. Gomti runs in the middle of the city, and it stinks!! The water was a dull grey, plastic material, rubbish flowing along with the water. We were shocked to see the Gomti in such a sad condition. One of the many examples of water-pollution. A very good one, indeed!


Priya ( said...

other than the fact that they have jalebis for breakfast, you should also know that in western part of India, they have pakadoa/bajji etc for breakfast. eeeks...

And yes southindian food is such a welcome in north india... :)

manu said...

well i too had stayed part of my life at haridwar way back in 1982-89.
I vividly remember visiting places like dehradun, mussorie, rishikesh agra and many other hill stations out there. Well though the memories are a just a occupant as grey cell in my brains. I have heard from people from that places, that its losing it scenic beauty and becoming quite hot nowadays coz of commercialization.

mouna said...

south indian food prepared in the proper south indian way... the so called 'south indian food' prepared in north indian hotels..nooooo!!!

that's lovely, and yes.. globalisation at it's works!

Srik said...

where a man can enter, there is a spoiling, there is a poluution and there is a derogation.

Apart from it, lets take a place as it is, not putting our thoughts on it as a burden.

Bit Hawk said...

Though you seem to have forgotten some details about your trip, you still seem to remember the magic.
Nice nostalgic post!

neela said...

Your post took me back to 1977..We had been to Roorkee,Haridwar and Rishikesh.The beauty of the hills is probably a grandmother's tale now.
Going on piligrimages has become like visiting the mall/multiplex these days.The oftener you go your 'status' goes a few notches higher. Due to this 'attack' by tourists..religio or otherwise places are losing their sheen.people are no longer sensitive to nature. :(

priya said...

ya mouna..south indian food prepared in north india ...eeks but still a lil better than having aloo paratha or samosa for break fast on a daily basis..since i spent quite some of my life in gujarat..i know how it is to wake and be told that the breakfast for the day is bajji or oily pakodas :) (in hostels)

mouna said...

true. but can't we maintain the sacredness of a place? soem of the pther tourist spots are kept so well.. anyways we have to rest of the world to dirty... :D

bit hawk,
yes, the magic remains, aabraca dabra!! ;)

u said it right, a new race has begun to visit pilgrimage centres, over and over again. is it really the belief or simply, the hype..

that is BAD! thank god those days are past you.