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Friday, January 30, 2009

Next stop: Mumbai

We just boarded an Air India flight, non-stop JFK to Mumbai. The next ~15 hours will be: Indian food, Hindi movies, hopefully some sleep, and working thru some of the reading material we brought: a pile of this week's newspapers (one of my favorite parts of flying..going thru and discarding a stack of paper) and starting the mere 2 books we packed..

Remarkable that we brought only 2 books: one fiction: "Inheritance of Loss" by K Desai; and one non-fiction, "The Argumentative Indian" by A Sen. The prior we picked up a last summer, at that bookstore across from Magnolia in the W Village (before a session with the Cornell guys @ Whitehorse); the latter Ina gave me as a birthday present a few years ago. This seemed like a good trip to finally read them.

Remarkable because I considered a whole shelf of books at various pts for this journey: Nehru's "Discovery of India", Niall Ferguson's "Empire" (see my previous post re Ferguson), "India: A Million Mutinues Now" by Naipaul, Gurcharan Das's "India Unbound", another more recent one about modern India by some guy named Luce.

Remarkable also that my reading interests have shifted so much to non-fiction. The only novels that I considered were "Midnight's Children" and "White Tiger"..til Anj suggested "Inheritance of Loss."

Lots of Indians on this flight..prob 95%. Actually, lots of South Asians in the terminal: in addition to the hundreds of Indians checking in for our flight, there were hundreds of add'l S Asians checking in at the Kuwait and Emirates Air counters (I say S Asian since my guess is that many were Bangladeshi..perhaps connecting to Dhaka? I certainly heard more than one person in the terminal speaking some very heavily East Bengal-accented Bengali!)

That reminds me of something else I'd planned to blog this week--previous trips to India (because in '95 we took Gulf Air via somewhere in the UAE, connected to Dhaka, and then Biman to Calcutta). I think this is my 8th or 9th trip to India: def '77, '84, '88, '95, '96, '01, and '02..and maybe one more prior to '77, but I'm not sure about that..will have to check with my parents.

But this is the first time I'll be visiting my extended family in Calcutta without my parents around..should be interesting. And also the very first time Anj and I will travel, just for a bit, on our own..

Should be interesting..
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Vivek said...

awesome dude.... u will have a good time in bombay, the weather is nice...
we just missed each other, i was there couple of days back...

whts ur schedule out there? i will mail u my brother's number...

Johnee99 said...

just started White Tiger on this trip to Tokyo. I will have to pick up your other recos. have a great trip.