.. and going strong!
I was glad I could get the Diwali weekend at Bangalore. After many a year did I manage to burst a few crackers. Feels just as good stinking up the environment now, as it did then. What's missing is the massive enthusiasm that would build up to a crescendo in the days leading up to the festival. No such enthusiasm. The current approach is a lot more wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am.
A couple of the so called rockets literally back-fired and got into the building we live in. The neighbourhood gave me a couple of dirty glances. I guess they haven't heard of how I can throw "atom bombs" after lighting the wick. They've not heard also, of failing air/space borne missions like Chandraayan.
Returning to Kerala was a little more difficult this time. 2 weeks ago I packed up with gay (i.e. happy) abandon and set off to the airport. This time it was the train station. Meeting up with Sandy, Rolly and Nidhi, Prashanth and Manasi and staying out with them upto 45 mins before the train left was not such a smart idea. Well, it did eventually work out that I made it to the station well within time and caught the train. And here's a photo taken with my cutting-edge technology, hi-def cellphone camera. If you can't see the faces clearly, blame the absence of light in the room and talent in the steward who shot the photo.
Kerala continues to take my breath away. Not much of a sleeper in moving things that I am, I pretty much stayed up all night. Once dawn set in with gusto, the land lit up. Every nook and cranny of Kerala looks fabulous. The train doesn't take you through every nook and cranny though. Loved the architecture of the homes that dot the tracks (some are hardly 4 feet away from the tracks). And nearly all homes seem to have a massive courtyard / garden with a few dozen coconut trees planted in.
Decided, also, to test the local transport system. Inspite of cajoling, attempted convincing and some coercion, I refused to take the auto / cab beyond the bus stand. The bus ride was slightly disappointing since the driver didn't perform any histrionics that my friends mentioned - driving onto pedestrians, over roof-tops, overtaking anything that moves. None of it! A communication problem led me being thrown off the bus about 5kms prior to destination and I had to do the rest by auto. Not bad a trip.
Not really looking forward to this week in office (in Kerala.. definitely) 'coz apparently there's plenty work lined up. I didn't sign up for that.