Of the gladdest moments, methinks in human life, is the departing upon a distant journey into unknown lands…
-- Richard F. Burton

Search This Blog

23 December 2010

Final blog entry...

I can’t believe it. I’m sitting in the Mumbai airport, $50 overweight luggage fee paid, last 500 rupees spent on Indian development books and Cosmo and chocolate (I sure love dualism), and I’ll be in the US in 21 hours. Even though my flight leaves at 8:40 pm from Mumbai to Delhi and continues for a 15-hour flight to NYC, with the 10.5 hour time difference, I still arrive in New York at just 6am the next day.
So many thoughts are swirling through my head and I feel many mixed emotions. I did not think it was possible for a person to change this much in four months, but I have. I feel light-years more mature, more patient, understanding, and less selfish than I was in August. Studying abroad in a place as culturally different, challenging, and profound as India stretched me immensely.
Thekkady, Kerala
The way I feel about India is a lot more intense than how I feel about the United States. Of course I have national pride and am very proud to be American. But for India, I feel passionate things. Intense hatred about some parts, and intense love for other parts of the great Indian nation. The place oozes constant juxtaposition. Juggling the good with the bad, and the profound with the profane became a necessary daily exercise.

Munnar, Kerala

I am anxious to not slip back into my old self, pre-India. At the same time, I genuinely await the comforts of my home country, university, friends, and family. Reminiscing over the thousands of photos, thumbing through my well-worn class notes, and preparing the special chai from Kerala-purchased tea will not take me back here.

 I want to be able to, as my blog is titled, seek santulan (balance). I want to share my experiences with others, articulate what I’ve learned, but at the same time I hope I can find new appreciation for my American life.
Jawhar, Maharashtra

I don’t want to remember India as idyllic, because it’s not. In the same way (contrary to popular belief) that America is not all Coke, McDonalds, and Britneys, India is not a country of IT only, mass poverty only, or Hindus only. It is the most stimulating, beautiful, ugly, diverse, dirty, delicious, faithful, and welcoming place I have ever been.
Old Goa, Goa

And I only spent four months here.
recycling plant, Dharavi, Mumbai, Maharashtra
I lived with Indians, traveled more often and farther than ever before, ate more rice in four months than the past four years, learned to cross a crazy street, speak, write, and read Hindi, ride an elephant, spend meaningful time with the poor, teach English to children, befriend students from all over the US, and gain a deeper appreciation for the concept of parivar (family). So many of the lessons I learned here will stay with me beyond Bharat (India).  At this time, that’s all I can articulate. Thanks for reading. Namaste. America awaits.

God's own paradise

December 19, 2010
I'll miss Aditi so much!

Kerala truly is “God’s own country”. In my opinion, the state is the most beautiful, receptive, and breathtaking I have visited thusfar(and for the record, I spent time in Maharashtra, Goa, Delhi, Chandigarh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, AND Kerala).

celebrating all birthdays that DIDN'T happen this semester

After an emotional farewell and final Program dinner, I bid my professors farewell, said goodbyes to the hostel girls, Swapna, Aditi, Nikhil, and my friends. Many of my friends preformed their cultural expression activities learned over the semester. My friend Melissa proved her blisters were well earned with a stellar tabla performance, while others performed bharatanatyam dance, sitar, bollywood dance, singing, and violin. Since my cultural expression activities consisted of yoga and prāṇāyāma (really weird stomach breathing), I stayed in the audience.  However, surprisingly, the program gave me a cool historic stamp and coin collection for coming in 7th in the Pune half-marathon. I looked like such a klutz rather than a runner, tripping over my beloved yellow sari onto the stage.

I packed like a banshee into the night, waking at 4:30 to split a car to Mumbai with Sarah and two girls with early flights to Jaipur. Sarah and I relished lounging at the Mahindra guesthouse, sharing a wonderful but brief chai with our friend’s grandmother before experiencing an incredible bharatanatyam dance show and dinner with Bharat and his wife. We really felt so lucky to attend this recital of 7-year students of the dance. We attended as friends of the family, an experience no usual tourist would earn.

The next morning, Sarah and I met Carolyn, our friend from Northwestern at the Mumbai airport to board our flight to Cochin, Kerala, nearly 3 hours south (flying!) from Mumbai. The chai, coconuts, and charming markets of Cochin captivated us. With gorgeous sundress weather and palm trees, we felt in paradise. In Cochin, we visited the Jew town and a synagogue dating back to 1568 AD(oldwest in Asia). We also saw many churches of the 1500s Portuguese and Dutch influence, the oldest traces of Christianity in India, including Vasco da Gama’s grave at St. Francis church.
playing with the Chinese fishing nets at Cochin

We even got to meet Melissa’s wonderful Bostonian parents and sister, vacationing in Kerala. One of my favorite memories was at Santa Cruz Cathedral, one of India’s eight basilicas where an impromptu Christmas concert and bazaar complete with red sweaters reminded me of the approaching holiday. Another nice off-the-beaten path activity involved chomping on jackfruit chips (like banana chips) while stumbling upon a high school track meet, stirring memories close to my heart.

view from our canoe
After two days, we left for Alleppey, a true picture of paradise. The second I have enough money; I am flying back to Kerala’s backwaters! Never before have I been so breathless at my surroundings, from the charming houseboats, sleepy villages, and bountiful flora. Alleppey was incredibly personal, welcoming, and relaxing. The highlight, although we did SO much in 24 hours, was the 3-hour canoe ride with Pushparajan, a Keralite full of sprit, pride, and kindness. I was completely mesmerized by the scenery…an absolute paradise, framed by coconut trees, kingfisher birds, and the quiet lapping of the water. Our ride included stops for walks through the villages surrounded by water on one-side and rice paddies on the other.
We also stopped for the sweetest coconut of my life.

And the most succulent chai ever. It was smoky from masala flavoring and had creamy cow’s milk from a VISIBLE cow just milked moments previously.

We ended up bonding with Pushparajan so much he invited us into his little thatched hut in the village for black chai with his wife. I noticed they had no photographs, even though he had proudly described his six-month-old granddaughter. I offered to take a photo of him and his wife and am going to mail them a copy to decorate their humble homestead.

the famous Kerala chips(banana chips)

Our next stop was further inland, to Thekkady, a city next to Kerala’s Periyar Tiger Reserve. Here we purchased many spices, visiting a spice plantation, ate some amazing street food (dosas and paranthas), had oily ayurvedic massages, rode elephants, walked to Tamil Nadu(only a few meters away!) and embarked on a leech-filled nature hike through the national forest. Though the cold-water bucket showers chilled me, my heart was warmed by the kindness of the Keralites, the raw beauty of the forests, and the charming handicrafts and jewelry available.
leech guard foot covers! with our great driver!

The last leg of the journey took us through the winding roads trhough the Western Ghats to Munnar, a hill station famous for tea and coffee plantations. The fresh air, spiced chai, and exotic passion fruits guaranteed blissful relaxation.

glorious tea stretching for eternity

 I don’t think I’ve ever had a more adventure-filled week in my life.

my traveling-partner in crime, Sarah...with mountain-side chai

We rose early on Sunday the 19th, prepared for a day of travel. Sarah and I made the 5 hour commute from Munnar to Cochin, flew the 2 hours to Mumbai, relaxed for 2 hours, and went to the international airport at 5:30. An 8:40 flight to JFK connecting in Delhi awaits me! 22 hours of airtime later….and I was back in snowy CT.

07 December 2010

Last weekend in Pune!!

After the past two weekends spent flattening my butt on the hard hostel bed/desk/zone of intense typing, I was ready to enjoy my last weekend in Pune. My final presentation of my research paper happens to be scheduled for the second to last slot on Thursday, so I am not feeling too much pressure to do work! I am reading Holy Cow. an entertaining travelogue by an Australian writer who describes India very similarly to the ways I’ve experienced. I’ve also begun to sort things for packing—and realizing how much I’m brining back (and not just my physical samosa love handles and the zillions of trinkets I’ve picked up, but the life lessons too).

some kids in second grade :D
Friday, I spent the morning teaching English to second graders (see my previous post). Coming off that great mood, I used the program center internet to send some emails as my USB stick has run of out net time. Miraculously, I timed my bike ride home to intersect with a bus unloading the Kenyans! For those of you who do not know, Pune held its 25 International Pune Marathon this weekend. Having been signed up for weeks and only seeing billboards and signs sprout up Thursday, I couldn’t believe my luck to meet fellow runners. They spoke to me in English, as I sat stuck in the traffic on my purple Ladybird bicycle, explaining I too was competing. I can’t imagine arriving on a Friday evening and adjusting to jet lag in time for a 7 am race on Sunday. But these Kenyans and Ethiopians are something else when it comes to racing in adverse conditions.

the scene at "Scream"
Contented, I sped home to change before taking a rickshaw to my friend Carolyn from Northwestern’s beautiful host house for dinner, dancing, and a sleepover. Her wonderfully warm family prepared Goan food like fish curry and onion paratha. Once Carolyn’s host brother, a working mechanical engineer arrived home around 10, we left for the LOUDEST nightclub I’ve ever been too, aptly named “Scream”. Many of the students from our program met there and danced away to our favorite Bollywood tunes, with sprinklings of Lady Gaga and T Pain for zest. At two am, the club closed, but we stayed for coffee (I had decaf—cannot keep up with these Indians!) at Le Meridian hotel. Going to bed at 3:30, I finally slept past 8:30 for the first time this semester. Waking up to a delicious breakfast, I read the Times of India and recipe exchanged with Carolyn. Her wonderful host mom offered to drive me to Nehru stadium to pick up my race registration. Thank goodness she helped with the Marathi! I ended up running into one of the Teach for India fellows running the marathon and felt very small-world-despite-this-insane-crowd. 
I'll miss my internship and meeting the slum residents

Strange pleather-ish shirt bib and free travel duffel in tow, I met Sarah at E-Square to at last see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We ate tons of candy, not exactly ideal pre-race nourishment, but I figured I’ve screwed my pasta and salad plan long ago. Watching a movie in India is great for three reasons:
1) it’s only about $2.50
2) Indians are a great audience who hoot, clap, and gasp at synchronized times
3) there’s an intermission, perfect for those of us with tiny bladders.
I enjoyed the film and for a moment, forgot I was in India. Until a lone cell phone went off, playing BSB’s “Show me the meaning (of being lonely)” upon hearing which Sarah and I died laughing. There is a mild resurgence of Backstreet Boys, at least in our Indian circles.
Using the Wi-fi at our favorite lounge, K-Lounge, we sipped fresh lime sodas and caught up with friends back home. I returned to the hostel with enough time for a stretch, huge dinner of rice, dal, and chapatti (YAY CARBS FOR RUNNING) and immediately slept by 10 pm.

Food that I'm going to miss!!!

My wake up call at 6:05 from my lovely program directors, Uttaaraa and Prashant meant they were outside to take me to the race, aimed to step off at 6:45 am. Finding our way through the mass of people, Uttaaraa and I eventually found group 4—the women’s half marathon. I have several comments about the race.
1)   Who knew it was for government officials to sit on throne like stages and give speeches while the athletes wait?

2)   Cultural performances can postpone a race by 1 hour

3)   Of 40,000 runners, only 24 were female half marathoners, 7 were female full marathoners, and 19 were female 10K-ers. 50 women. That’s it. Besides a Canadian, I was the only western woman.

4)   Sponges are handed out at water stations. Curious.

5)   I high-fived about 1000 schoolchildren throughout the 21 K

6)   Men were either

a.     Pissed I was passing them and would sprint ahead, walk, let me pass, sprint again….etc.

b.     Take cell phone pics (at least I was sort of doing something interesting)

c.      Actually be nice to me from the sidelines and call me ‘Didi’ (sister)

7)   One woman I met was training for the Bombay marathon with her husband, who patiently waited for her because men and women are kept separate
8)   There were absolutely no toilets available at the start or along the course. !!!!!
9)   There were no chip timers; I kept my own time, but the start was sort of like running through pudding; there were so many people trampling through the thick mass of bodies

10)                  Men got tee-shirts with the race logo and we got ones with Unicor (an Indian cell phone company).

11)                   What was at the finish for refreshment? Parle G’s of course. And chai and coffee. And the always-welcomed nimbo pani. Oh India.
Although I came in 7th for women in the half, obviously the field was really small. Sure, I was the first non-African, but after conversations with my fellow female competitors, it seemed like most Indian women competing were inexperienced runners. They were shocked I run outside, saying things like “how do you deal with the comments?” and “why not join a gym?” I also learned that this was the first year they even ran a women’s full marathon. The sexism bothered me beyond belief. I hate all these double standards.
Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day, a flat course, and a great workout.
Aditi's dad, a cooking machine
After a wonderful shower, I hopped on the back of Aditi’s two-wheeler for a cooking lesson with her wonderful South Indian dad. Carolyn and I were force fed uttaapa and an incredible lunch. Aditi and I lazed around and played with her pet turtles before I had to return home to start homework. Soon enough, Swapna came down and took us out to dinner at a restaurant famous for pav bhaji, a buttered roll served with pureed vegetables that you garnish with onion and lime. Then I decided to have papaya and mango pulp with ice cream. Last week, right?
Lots to do before leaving Pune, including presenting my epic 45 page research paper but that recaps my busy and fun weekend!

Also, from our group photo: the only true stop light in India:


03 December 2010


I know I have not written in forever, but I must admit these last few weeks have been a little hairy in terms of work. I finished all of those papers--and am most proud of my 45 page,  "Educational access and attitudes in Dandekar Pool; analyzing the effects of micro-health insurance and micro-education loans" written after my 9 week internship with my microfinance organization, Parvati Swayamrojgaar. Here is my abstract and if you want more, email me for a copy.

The pride of this family comes from sending her to private school!

       This study aimed to assess benefits of a targeted health micro insurance (MHI) program and micro loans on youth educational access and community attitudes regarding education. Because current studies lack evaluative research on the effectiveness of similar programs on educational attainment in slum populations, a structured study to determine possible correlation between programs run by Parvati Swayamrojgarr, a local NGO committed to strengthening livelihood among the poor, and educational access was conducted. Twelve Hindu lower to lower-middle class families with average monthly income at about Rs. 9400 comprised the target population. Each family had a least one child, ranging from six months in age to 19, with an average age of 9 years. Satisfaction from participants in the schemes is high, though some gaps in awareness related to making health claims was evident. Increasing preference for both MHI and loans explains the positive community attitudes for these programs. Researchers originally believed MHI participants would show greater protection from health cost-related shock and loan participants would have better financial security, enhancing positive attitudes towards education. However a comparison sample of non-participants revealed Dandekar Pool residents highly value education for their children as a community. In-depth interviews conducted in and around family dwellings found access to public and private schooling is high, with few health limitations and increasing relief of financial burden through rising economic status and loan availability. Supplemental interviews with NGO workers and school officials revealed lingering barriers to educational access as financial constraints, cultural constructions of gender, child labor, teacher abuse, and some poor parental attitudes towards education. Because of the clear preference for private schools, the researcher suggests Parvati Swayamrojgaar examine ways it can improve access to private schools for the poorest of the poor to meet this growing demand.

So I just got to visit my third school in India, this time unrelated to research. Through a few connections developed by students in my program, I was introduced to Ron Howard, a devout Catholic from Bangalore teaching through Teach for India. Using the same model as Teach for America, TFI recruits young graduates to teach in underprivileged schools (of which the demand exceeds supply).  Teach For India, a project of Teach To Lead, a nonprofit organization that brainstormed with Wendy Kopp of TFA, placed its first cohort of Fellows in low-income municipal and private schools in Pune and Mumbai in 2009 only! With only about ½ of Indians making it to secondary school and well-documented corruption in government and private schools alike, the need is significant.

After a few coffees discussing teaching and inequity I’ve encountered in my research, I was invited to teach the second standard on my first Friday morning without class—this Friday the 3rd. I came in not anticipating much from these kids in second standard, ranging in age from 6 to 7. I prepared a simple lesson of action verbs with a stoplight idea of using colored paper for “go” and “stop” performing of the actions. But Ron and his co-teacher have really made progress. The kids know adjectives, can speak in sentences, and can even read my handwriting on the chalkboard (I have Dr. script). More than the intense grammar and speaking skills his kids have learned in just a few months, Ron hopes to instill trust and honesty as values in his kids. The way Ron speaks about his purpose is jaw-droppingly sincere and I felt the energy as soon as I sat down for our first meeting.  Their class name is “Superstars”, every student participates, the “Thumbs-up” signals being finished with a problem, and the confidence and enjoyment of the students is as bright as their sort-of toothless smiles. Both him and his co-teacher were extremely patient and kind, affectionately tousling the kids’ hair or even holding the little second graders in their laps while they explained triple-digit addition.

Indians today feel so much competitive pressure to join these emerging markets of information technology and the like. Did you know the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) have a 3% acceptance rate?  People literally spend their life savings putting their kids in intensive preparatory schools just to do well on the exam.  Of the 384,977 candidates who appeared in the examination conducted in 2009, only 10,035 candidates passed and then even less were selected. Ronald expressed how important it was to change the education system—and how the smartest Indians should be in educational sectors.
We also talked a lot about American comparisons. He was under the impression that most Americans go to college. I explained how only 85 percent of Americans complete high school and 27 percent graduate from college. He was shocked, especially when I shared info about education in low-income America I read about on TFA’s website.
  • By the time they reach fourth grade, children living in low-income communities are already two to three grades behind their higher-income peers.
  • Just half of students in low-income communities will graduate high school by age 18. Those who do graduate will perform on average at an eighth-grade level.
  • Overall, only 1 in 10 students growing up in poverty will graduate from college.
I am so proud of my friends who are serving or who were recently recruited…I hope to join your ranks next year if accepted.

26 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2009
Uttaara, our program director
Happy Thanksgiving. Deprivation of education: a study of slum children in Delhi, India; Background paper for the Education for all global monitoring report 2010: Reaching the marginalized; 2009
This was my first Thanksgiving not around a huge table surrounded by family in cozy, chilly CT. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday since I get to see my entire extended family, eat the most decadent food at the BEST time ever of 4pm (perfect for dessert seconds at 8pm), and run a great race in the morning. Thanksgiving dinner discussion quickly turns into a liberal/conservative battle of the uncles; so I always need to read the Economist and be up on my current events, or at least Washington culture to be adequately prepared against those firebrands. But before we start throwing turkey legs over Obama’s policies, we give thanks. Deprivation of education: a study of slum children in Delhi, India; Background paper for the Education for all global monitoring report 2010: Reaching the marginalized; 2009

We go around the table and reflect on the meal we’re able to indulge in, the wealth we’re blessed with in health and happiness, and how lucky we are to be together.

Knowing I was studying abroad over Thanksgiving wasn’t really something I considered. I pretty much only decided because I wanted to do the government honors program (which starts in the spring—prepared to get my academic butt whipped) and not miss the cherry blossoms in D.C., or my 21st birthday in March.

some of the spread: cheese toast(note the Maggie ketchup), mashed potatoes, green beans!
  Deprivation of education: a study of slum children in Delhi, India; Background paper for the Education for all global monitoring report 2010: Reaching the marginalized; 2009
But as this day approached, I wondered how I would re-create or if it was even possible to recreate the spirit of Thanksgiving in India.
It was.
Our program, the Alliance for Global Education, sent out an interest email last week—and asked for cooking volunteers. Living in the women’s hostel, I benefit from great communal dinners and laughs with the other girls, but I have REALLY missed baking and cooking. An uptight Deven in the kitchen is happier than an uptight Deven in other rooms. When I bake, it is a halfhazard process that usually leaves me a sweaty mess, but satisfied. And there is no better feeling to watch someone enjoy something I’ve prepared.

there are the apples!! MMM cinnamon
  Deprivation of education: a study of slum children in Delhi, India; Background paper for the Education for all global monitoring report 2010: Reaching the marginalized; 2009
So I signed up and decided to make a simple dish—some cinnamon stewed apples to counter balance our mac n’ cheese, sweet potato casserole, butter (oh I mean, mashed) potatoes, and (butter) green beans. From the therapeutic peeling to the creative chopping (knives aren’t exactly easy to come by in India), I huddled over a tiny stove as my friends checked the creatively baked sweet potato pie and coconut cream pie. Cooking for 30 is a little hairy, but we grooved to Motown and brought a little Americana to our Indian diets—even bringing in an imported turkey (which my veg self did not eat, but it looked marvelous!)
Dressed in a sari, I marveled at the intermixing of cultures. Eating American food on giant Indian plates, sipping guava juice, American students and our Indian friends of the program chatted, laughed, and ate.
I asked Uttarraa Mam if I could share a tradition.

sweet potato and coconut cream pie! mac n' cheese! apples!
Deprivation of education: a study of slum children in Delhi, India; Background paper for the Education for all global monitoring report 2010: Reaching the marginalized; 2009
And I said what I was thankful for: this new Indian family and the way in which we celebrated my favorite holiday.
Things I’m thankful for in India…
-my bicycle helmet
-sugarcane juice
-witnessing strength and hope against all odds (sounds cheesy and general, but so evident)
-being able to buy fruit anytime from a street vendor—from 5am to 11pm, I can have a pomegranate, coconut, pineapple, guava…(just have to wash it first!)
-my incredibly engaging professors who encourage questions and curiosity
-chai (need an I.V. It’s that good.)
-$2 movies
-smoked lime corn
-great newspapers with personality, human interest stories, and spiritual guidance
-the beautiful greenery of Maharashtra (and trekking in general)           
-visiting schools and meeting students
-my brown hair(I can’t imagine how much attention I would get if I were blond.)
-the kids (under 10 are the best---all smiles and laughs when they see me)
-eating with my hands
-the way Indians force-feed me, comment on my “expansion”, and then serve me more
-the peace of an early morning and watching the vendors set up their produce
-being treated like a queen when shopping
-getting chai when getting a paper photocopied or money exchanged at the bank
-understanding Hindi, especially when it’s about me
-ancient stuff and glorious architecture
-wearing sari
-feeling like family even when I’m not

Happy Thanksgiving!

13 November 2010

It's been so long

India Gate: Delhi..who needs the Tour Eiffel?!

I know, I know. I haven't written in forever. But I thought I'd wait to compile my thoughts after 10 days of non-stop, stimulating, stretching, and life-changing experiences. I still cannot compartmentalize all that happened over my week of Diwali, nor can the 1000 photographs I took describe what I saw--or how I felt.
Atka's cousin designs for Free People--hence it looked like Urban Outfitters
I went to so many places. I was lucky enough to stay with Indian families through my friend Atka. A window into Indian family life gave me incredible perspective on my own culture and personal development. The phase "as guest you are God" was taken to a whole new level. I was showered with love, generosity, and welcomed into the homes of 4 different families over the week. Needless to say, I was also exposed to a side of India I was unfamiliar with: the wealthy. I was impressed by the gratitude people felt for having achieved their status; many of those I stayed with were self-made and made smart choices in property investment or worked themselves into steady incomes. But....I got to be driven in the Audi A4 2010, a Benz here and there, be served decadent food at all hours by servants, and was pampered with a cockroach free, A/C (!!!), western-pillowed, gorgeous room in every place I stayed. I sort of felt like a princess, especially after staying in an old palace turned apartment at Hotel Arya Niwas in Jaipur.

So I saw (I'm counting the train ride through Haryana) these Indian States (more land than I've seen in the US):
Maharastra-->Delhi-->Uttar Pradesh-->Haryana-->Chandigarh-->Punjab-->Rajasthan
Delhi traffic and some curious eyes

I took 5 flights in 10 days. Airport security(or lack thereof in some cases--my Sikh daggers from Amritsar slipped through carry-on) deserves a post in itself.

I was exposed to several religions, just in this week.
Hinduism obvi(it was Diwali!!!)
the beautiful place for puja in the Chandigarh house

Sikhism-Golden Temple (Amritsar)
Golden Temple--note head scarfs (and souvenirs!)

Ba'hai-Lotus Temple(Delhi)

Islam-Qutb Minar (Delhi)

           Akbar's Tomb (Agra)
intricate!! made the Taj look simplistic.

I'll just add some more photos...and you can view the rest on my facebook albums

Our trip began by meeting Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja at the Mumbai airport

...I am swamped with slum interviews and papers! (topics include India and Globalization, the Impact of GM Foods on India's Development, IndoPak Relations in light of Obama's visit, the Role of Pune's Infrastructure in Public Health....) School goes until December 11th, so it's starting to be crunch time!
Chandigarh's Rock Garden
to Amber Fort (Jaipur), we go!

stunning views from the Amber fort
could stay forever

these are the best pants ever

Lake Palace, Jaipur
running out of money in Jaipur

gorgeous saris in Jaipur
snacking in Chandigarh--jalabies and chaat

too bad I missed him in Mumbai--he flew to Delhi (we were there 3 days before)

Atka and her cousin at the Taj

filing in!

Sarah and I show off our leg room and her broken suitcase on the train home

Thanks for viewing....the links follow for more photos! Perhaps I'll have more time to reflect once this rush of academic work is thru!

Delhi and Agra
Chandigarh and Amritsar