Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

India 2nd time

2nd July 2006

I never thought of coming back to this crazy comical wonderful nation of India when I left on the jet plane on October 2005.

To make a come back for a second place is almost impossible, not because I hate the country mind you, I do love the country and traveling and discovering the country here in facts was the best time I had in my life.

As much as I love the country, but if given time and money, I would rather travel to new places as I wish to make to world my playground. I would love to go to Egypt, Turkey, Dubai, Cuba, and Europe & South America. There are so many places to go and to go back to same place is tantamount to mission impossible, unless I have wife and kids there waiting to be feed and loved, then that would be entirely different story- which apparently not the case here.

Of course I always entertain the thought that it would be so lovely to go back to the place where you once fond for and in love with but seriously never have a power to transform into reality.

Well, chance and fate took me there once and now it took me there again for a second time. And all this took place in less than 9 month after coming back from this crazy nation. The feeling of being in India for second time is indescribable especially when in your mind you know it too well that you wont be able to be back here, at least not that soon.

If last year I was backpacking in India the way of genuine backpacker, with budget guest house, cheap train and buses traveling, meeting and befriended all sort of funny crazy people, this time was exactly the opposite- plane traveling, 4 star hotels, fancy dinner, cabs and meeting serious and dorky people (people in the business sectors).

I must say that this trip was because of my present job but hold no boredom my army, coz I would not bother you a single thing about my job here. Even though I was in suit and tie with in flight traveling and fancy hotels, my soul and heart were the same of the yesteryear when I did my route of western India to Upper northern India.

Honestly prior to landing in Mumbai, I was already looking to breath the air that I was breathing for a year, to be amused by the Indians in the street and to see the rickshaw crooks to try to fool and cheat my money in their illogical way. While all this had been already anticipated, I was also can’t wait to be reunited with some of my friends in my second home in Pune. A friend once say to me that it is always a wonderful experience to go back to the place you fond with, and that is of course to feel spiritually and emotionally the things that we had experience through the time, sweet or sour, it doesn’t matter.

Anyway, before I can share my testimony in India for a second time, I must share with you my first up close and personal experience with Bollywood God-status superstar.

I departed my beloved country to my second home on the 3rd of June and coincidently that was the day he is flying back home.

I was in economy class and for whatever reason I was upgraded to business class. So I was seating on the first row and beside me was unoccupied. While I was fancying the “class” of flying in business class (the services and the gadget installed onto the seat), he walked in and time stood still. Really, it felt that way where people around you just pause for a while and all eyes were on him. And that includes all of the crew members.

His baldy body guard was holding his luggage. My heart beat faster than usual for I can’t grasp the realism of the occasion. I was not his big fan or what and like every ordinary people, I don’t give a shit even if he come and shook my hand but somewhat things are different when someone bigger than life stood in front of you and was about to take the seat beside you. I guess that why my heart were beating unusually.

He is the second God in India after the Big B (Amitabth Bachan). He is none other than the SRK, one of the great Khans. Full name is Shah Rukh Khan.

I am stopping with Alison Klauss’s “When you say nothing at all” playing in the air. I will continue to write when I am free again.

And I am free again (it is now 23rd July). I just got back from Bangkok. But Bangkok piece, I will write once I am done with this. OK, we were in Mumbai for the first 10 days of our trip. We were staying in the backpackers/travelers/foreigners haven. One of the most famous place in Mumbai- the most highlighted place in Gregory Robert’s Shantaram. It is COLABA.

The night of Mumbai the city never sleeps is happening. Everything there seems familiar and it seems like I was there yesterday- the cricket field, the clock tower, Marine Drive (Chowphatty Beach), Indian Gate etc.

On one of the night we were having dinner at Leopold- again, one of the most highlighted hangout place in Shantaram. Somehow all the lives in Shantaram relived in my head once and again, through my imaginative power of sort.

Second city is where I used to belong. It is the Oxford of the East, where lot of young people from all over India, Middle East, Africa, Asia come here for study and eventually work, where Israelis, Germans, Dutch, Italians, Greeks and others in search of better truth of existentiality here for Meditation, where most of the top engineering and IT companies from India and elsewhere is mushrooming here. This place I present to you- is PUNE- where I once live for a year or to be exact, my ex-base.

I just wanna make it short here. Martin, Magda, Sharfi and Trude- thanks for the times together, it’s great to meet again. I enjoyed all the time spent in Mad Grill House & Shisha Café. Smoking Shisha had never been any different-with you guys around.

Pinky, lovely and beautiful Hindi girl- It’s great to see you again. I know it was never expected. I enjoyed the dinner at Shisha Café with you.

The rest of the cities we were in were Nagpur, Chennai, Bangalore, Pondicherry & Delhi. With exception to Delhi, the rest of the cities mentioned above I never been there.

Pondicherry came a surprise to me. It was a one of the state, 4 hours drive away from Chennai. It is a former French colonial. There, still lives some French and they all holds double citizenship. Because of the French influence historically, some older generations Indians actually specks French. And that make French the second language in that city. It is just funny to see Indians speaking French.

I think I wanna stop writing. I just couldn’t do this anymore. I tried my best to write enthusiastically but enthusiasm and inspiration just not here anymore.

I still want to go back to India for my unfinished trip. Places like Kerala in down south, and Leh, Srinagar, Kashmir, Darjeeling in Himachal Pradesh in upper North and maybe Goa (again?). Until I do that, as in pure traveling, only my backpack & my khaki, I will write like how I did on the 12 series of traveling confession in India 2005.

Have a good life and live life interestingly. Goodbye!