Delhi, Haryana and NH-1 -Travelogue

March 16, 2011 § 3 Comments

The Grand Trunk Road is one of the oldest and longest roads in this part of Asia. From the times of Chandra Gupta Maurya’s empire, it has run from Bangladesh, through northern India – Delhi, then later to the Wagah border and into Pakistan  -Peshawar and further to Kabul in Afghanistan. The part from Delhi to Wagah is National Highway number ONE. Which is where I happened to visit recently.

One can’t help but feel all grand about it… you know… NH-1! I couldn’t help but think this was the road by which the Marathas travelled from down south to Panipat and gave the Afghans a fight to remember. Which as my aunt tells me, drove them away for many years to come. The battle of Panipat is legendary after all. So I went to a small village kindof place near the town of Sonipat on the Grand Trunk road. With my cousin n her baby girl, we travelled to Delhi by plane and came back on the Duranto train. I had no camera, no internet, teevee was hardly switched on, people talked in a language I hardly understood except a little hindi and there was nothing resembling city life. But without a camera I seemed to soak in and remember more of the smells and sounds along with the visual treats. And also I took to writing again, as in with a pen and paper. I wrote to a friend, I wrote in my new notebook with my blue ink pen. Ten days of slow paced life in pollution free air, with peacocks and cows and dogs, laid back but not lazy. It was good.

It was like disconnecting from everything usual. The outer disconnect led to inner stimulation. (eh. dat line just sounds silly.but anyway.it did.) It put everything in a… if not better… a different perspective. The weather was crazy… changing every few hours. Early mornings were soggy and foggy, after ten it was sunny, then too sunny, evenings were pleasantly cool and nights were winter cold. With occasional drizzles.

So… back to the subject. I travelled on an airplane!! It was like really cool… now I can claim to have ‘seen clouds from both sides now’.. a la Neil Diamond. Clouds look lovely from above. Unlike clouds at all. They seem so close just like your little pieces of heaven that you can touch. My favourite part was when we flew above Mumbai, out of nowhere I saw clouds in a line. They were like a white cobbled street just waiting for someone to saunter on it. Beautiful sight. ALso, it was great to see clouds arranged vertically around you instead of the usual two-dimensional they look from below.  Plane travel otherwise sucks majorly. No leg room, no looking at other people, seat belts uncomfortable and claustrophobia. Train travel is damn interesting. Colourful, lots of people, stations are interesting. People coming in and out with what not to sell. You want a glimpse of India? Travel in a regular third tier train compartment.

The days were spent in a blissful and peaceful state of mind. It actually needed a day to get used to! And my niece was an absolute delight. Shes three now (imagine someone who says my age is three years! lolz… what a tiny amount of time being on earth..its like being brand new!!)  With her I discovered the joys of spinning. Quite accidently. I was trying to console her after a fall and was just spinning around to entertain her and we both got hooked to it. So off we would go holding hands and going round and round for ages till everything was a soft blur of lines and at the end of it we would crash out laughing hysterically. Sigh. What fun!

When we were there the Jersey cow in the campus had a kid and we went to see it. One day old and it was standing on its feet looking around as if it always belonged there in that little cowshed in Haryana. There were the classic sarson ke khet around, with cows and kids running astray and dogs. And the peacocks… THE peacocks! they were everywhere. On inside roads, near houses, rooftops. There was this one peacock who came along with his brood of twelve everyday to the watering hole nearby. What a sight. He did the whole dance routine every single morning… fun to watch.

to be Continued in part II later…!

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