The end of ’09 looked good for me, with three trips to three awesome places. The first being to Wayanad, then a quick official trip and finally, the best in a few years. A superbly satisfying 8-day trip to New Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura and Agra. The weather was quite chilly, which added to the pleasure. A much-welcome respite from the humid, sweaty climate in Cochin.
Jaipur, the Pink City, had fortifications and walls all over the town. Nearly every other building looked like a heritage monument. And the road traffic is just horrific. Agra made me stand in a big queue for over an hour to see the Taj Mahal, which was worth it anyway.
Also visited Mathura, the birthplace of Shri Krishna. It is one big struggle to get to the temple successfully. The whole thing looked like a typical video game. You’re in a taxi. There are tons of random roads, all dusty and crowded. Your mission is to reach the highly controversial Janmabhoomi temple, and there are no sign posts anywhere. Almost every person in the road is waiting to divert you from your destination, luring you to visit their own small temples, and ten people point to ten different directions when asked the actual route to the temple. At last, if by some luck, you do manage to reach the temple, there’s a mile-long queue for security check which moves at snail-pace. Thank God, our taxiwala bhayya was a pro in these matters!
Now coming to Delhi. The Corporation officials of my city can well learn about maintaining a clean city and ensuring minimum traffic congestion with good roads from the folks there. Lovely roads, especially in the important parts of the city. The Metro Rail is excellent, and I seriously doubt whether such a thing would ever come in Cochin, in spite of the brains behind the projects being the same. Blurdy land acquisition problems. There would be Hartals and Strikes from day one, if the plan ever did materialise. And the roads, well, there seem to be more craters in the roads in my city than in Moon or Mars!
We had to cancel the Haridwar/Rishikesh trip mid-way because of the heavy fog. The few kilometres we went before we cancelled were mind-blowing! It was zero visibility and total blank view, and there were upturned vehicles and fog-related accidents at almost every corner.
Anyways, let’s hope the year ahead is good, serene and calm. Here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy and fruitful 2010!