Archive | October 19, 2009

An Englishman in a strange land (1)

It had to happen. After many years of putting it off, i have finally bitten the bullet and succumed to pressure. There is no turning back now. Monies have been paid, documents have been readied and injections have been had.

What you may think have i gotten my self in to?

Well, i am finally visiting the birthplace of my Parents and my cultural homeland. The far away, alien place known as INDIA!!

Let me explain. I have always been fascinated by science and technology and indeed have always been drawn to it. Be it the first Home computer, the first DVD player or the first High difinition TV, they were quickly added to my ‘must own asap’ list.

Star Trek, Star Wars and the like were staple viewing fodder during my youth and the future was always the place i would most like to visit.

India however, represented the antithesis of that. A mainly agricultural developing counry where even electricity wasnt availablle in a lot of areas. India was also a highly religious country, with 82% being Hindu. Other religions include Sikhism, Islam, christianity, Jainism, Budhism, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. I, on the other hand wasnt even a believer. Science was my true religion. This was indeed a classic case of being a chalk in a land of cheese.

India therefore had nothing in common with me and vice versa. I had no intention of ever visiting this ‘alien’ foreign land.

So what changed, i hear you say, why have you changed your mind?

Well, as i am getting older i appear to be having this ‘longing’ to understand a bit more about my heritage, and also my parents life in India. Seeing where my father went to school and grew up is something i’m particularly looking forward to. I will be travelling with my entire family so we will no doubt have a bit of fun along the way. My brothers and sister last went a couple of years ago and have been an immeasurable source of advice.

The first two days will be in Delihi where we will undoubtedly see a few of the landmarks, with the Taj Mahal being the highlight. Then we will endure an eight hour train journey to the northern Indian state of Punjab. The words ‘train Journey’ and ‘India’ immediately conjurs up images of hourdes of travellers pertched precariously on the tops of the train carriages holding on for dear life. Certainly hope i wont be one of them!!

The internal situation is probably no better with wooden seats and a hole in the floor acting as a solitary toilet. But this is my ignorant pre-concieved ideas. The fact may be nothing like the above and thankfully we have booked ‘business’ class. What exactly that means in india i have no idea.

I fly out in five days time and the clocks ticking… There is no turning back now.

Stay tuned for Daily updates.