The Return

So one of my most ardent readers (har! har! I’ve got readers 🙂 told me yesterday that he noticed I’ve not blogged for many months. I agreed and told him that the motivation just wasn’t there. But towards the beginning of the summer, I did have a little bit off ‘josh’ (not to be confused with my ex-roomie Josh) to write. This was mostly because having nothing to do after a hectic year at college was strange and writing provided me an outlet for the pent up energy. But as internet availability was sparse and as the long, beautiful days of my idyllic vacation set in, the motivation was thrown out the window.

So this post is going to be somewhat of a chronicle, summarizing for myself (and my ardent readers 😉 my fantastic summer!

I arrived in Bangalore in the middle of June, knowing that my folks had sold the house that I’d mostly grown up in. I’d lived there from 1990 until 2001 when I moved to Philly. And they’d moved to…well they had no where to move to…so we were temporarily housed in my grandparent’s apartment, where after 3 weeks of living out of a suitcase, we finally moved to another apartment in the same building. Since the ‘rents worked and my sister is lazy, most of the work concerning the move was left to me. That took up a bulk of July, along with a weekend trip to Delhi for Sameer and Divya’s engagement. I had a great time there, spending time with Divya’s family. I started playing some golf, watching cricket, TV shows that I’d brought with me, reading a fair bit and hanging out with friends. I had some aspirations of doing social-work over the summer but those were quickly squashed by my mom who kept me plenty busy getting the new apartment in order and by my own desire to be able to play golf in the mornings!

A few days before my birthday the family and I went to Sri Lanka for a holiday. Two days at Bentota, and 3 in Colombo was an excellent vacation from a vacation. Sri Lanka is incredibly beautiful and if I weren’t so lazy, I might have been motivated to see more of it. I got my first experience at water-skiing, which is great fun but hurts like hell the day after. We spent 2 days at a the Galle Face Hotel which is the same place that Arthur C. Clarke lived, while writing some of his best books. Life in Sri Lanka has, unfortunately, changed irreversibly after the Tsunami of December ’04. Everyone remembers it and the way it has affected them. Being such a small nation, there are many things that struck me as fascinating about the country. One is the lack of public advertisements about their cricketers. Even though they are one of the best teams in the world currently, they don’t hold the same God-like status as their Indian counterparts do. Not even Murali. The second was that everyone (and I do mean everyone!) on a two wheeler wore a helmet. This simple act shows the cultural differences of these people who live a few hundred miles from India. They follow rules! The third thing that struck me was the vehicles that Sri Lankan’s use. Being such a small nation they don’t manufacture much. Instead they import tons and tons of second hand (and some new) cars, trucks and vans from Japan. Only now have some international car conglomerates set up office there and are importing vehicles and selling it themselves.

The first week of August was spent in Bangalore with family visiting from Singapore and London. The next week and a half was spent in Hyderabad visiting the other Grand parents, Aunt and Uncle. For 4 days in between I scooted of to Goa with some friends. Every aspect of Goa was completely unforgettable. Right from the two over night bus journeys, the rains, the small dusty rooms with no hot water, the sunset on the beach, the cheap liquor, the dancing (yes! I danced) at the clubs, and the people I went with. It was back to Hyderabad for 2 days, and then right back to Bangalore around the 20th.

I had a lot planned for the last month but I achieved very little. Instead I watched cricket, ate a lot, slept a fair bit, played more golf, met more friends, and did more of nothing in general. Until yesterday, the vacation was absolutely great! Then I realized I had to have a root canal done! Most of yesterday was spent in panic because the Doc said it would take 5 sittings. But it is done today. I am much happier. I just have to go in to put on a cap. That has been the only minor hiccough thus far. I have another 10 days to go before it is back to Philly. The winding down has begun, the last bits of shopping are being done and the last good-byes are being said.

One thing that did bother me a great deal over this holiday is the state of Bangalore. It has transformed, over the last 20 years from a pensioners paradise and the Garden City of India to the Silicon Valley of South Asia and a city with no infrastructure to sustain the population explosion it has seen. I shall not dwell on this too much as currently Bangalore is not my home. Maybe someday when the city has regenerated from the wounds that have been inflicted on it, I shall be happy to move back here. Of course, that depends on my allergies 🙂

I also got a lot of thinking done over the summer. I was incredibly confused about what I want to do in the future. This is strange for me, because for as long as I can remember I was always very sure of where I was going. The last year has changed me a lot though, because of certain events in my life. But at least now I have clarity as to what I will be targeting post my graduation. The long term goals are still as unclear as ever, but whose aren’t? I’m going to give it time to come into focus for me, as it is really not prudent to try and plan out every year of my life for the next 15. Although, that has not stopped the oldest generation of my family from already wondering when I’m going to get married! 🙂

I’m really, really glad that I took this break. I think it was well deserved and I made the most of it. I’ll go back to Philly with fond memories of a great 3 months as well as motivation to finish of my last year of college on a high note!