Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A week in India

It has been a week since I came to India. I reached Mumbai airport at half past eleven on the night of the 31st of December. The airport at Mumbai is really a very busy one, and it took over 2 hours for me to reach home from there. The new T2 terminal is really well-designed, but I felt that the arrivals area is not as pretty as the departures area which is located on the upper floor in full sight of the sky. The arrivals occurs at a lower level, and one has to then descend to an even lower level to reach the taxi stand. At the time I arrived, there were 2-3 other arrival flights, so the immigration guys were really stretched. The long walk one has to take before reaching immigration, however, really dampens one's energy. It is nearly 2 km long! A few meters here and there have horizontal automatic walkers, but the rest of it you have to walk all the way. 

Back home, I was welcomed by my family in a very glorious fashion. Considering that the time was well past two a.m., that was so nice of them. Not only did I receive a whole lot of hugs and kisses, they even had me cut a cake as a welcome gift. I was thrilled by their elaborate preparations. 

The next few days saw me going to several places, among them, visiting my mom (who keeps well, Alhamdulillah), completing various tasks, and taking my family for dinner on the 1st of January (at a place called The Sassy Spoon at Express Towers, Nariman Point).

On the 3rd, I visited Sion-Koliwada with Nishrin and prayed at the Dashmesh Gurudwara there. Also met Lovely and her son there. From there, we parcelled two plates of Fish tikka to eat at home ... from a place known as Hardeep Restaurant. The restaurant is well-known to everyone in this area and receives hundreds of guests.

On the 4th, we invited Nishrin's brother Pappu with his family, as also Mom and her companion Sakinabai, and Murtuza and his family, to dinner. Kaizar and his family, too, were invited, but did not come. This was my first-time with Pappu's son Devender, his wife Radha and their mischievous son, who entertained us all the way with his antics and his unusually sharp mind. We served catered food: there were chicken legs, Mutton biryani, Gupta's Kulfi, Mutter paneer with chapatis, and carrot halwa. The last two items were home-made by Nish. Everyone enjoyed the food and our hospitality.

We also went for a marathon shopping session to Phoenix Highstreet on the 5th of January, spending nearly 10 hours there as we went to almost all the shopping centers there, including Skywalk, Galleria, Palladium and Courtyard. We ended with a dinner at Mainland China in Palladium Mall.

My studies are picking up, and just 11 days remain before I sit for my exams. It will be a tight race to the finish as I still have so much more to read. The evening Skype sessions are now not taking place, as most of the others with whom I was studying are busy doing other things. Only Dr. Sarita and I are due to appear from Ahmedabad in the next fortnight. 

I am missing my work in Saudi Arabia more than I thought I would. Life there is relaxed, while it is very hectic here in Mumbai. Anyways ... life goes on.

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