Between a coffee-toffee decision of whether to head to Mussoorie or to Nainital, the older Vs decided to bunk a week of work and settled for a cocoa plan that combined both. Combining two weekends, we bid a temporary adieu to Chennai heat for 10 days to embrace a 40 deg C temp at Delhi for 2 days, a 30 deg C at Mussoorie and a surprisingly pleasant weather at Nainital. Nature conspired exactly on the day we left Chennai by sending out thunder and lightning, a good amount of rain, and a blessed weather that weekend while we were being reduced to a royal fry by Ra, the sun god, at Nai-Dilli.
Despite the burning Delhi heat, we spent 2 cool days with my dear friend Geetha and her family. Its years since we both got to spend so much time together… Marriage does change a lot of things!
I had only two items on the agenda for Delhi – Geetha was one and another was meeting a V.I.P.
When the trip plan was being discussed, Vyas would butt in and insist that we show him the monuments in Delhi- the ones he’d studied about in his EVS lessons:) First on his agenda was the Qutub Minar and Rashtrapathi Bhavan, the Parliament House et al. The Vs, Geet, her ever generous hubby RR, and their two lovely kiddos, son aged 9, daughter aged 7, visited these places, besides the wonderful Rail Museum. It was a lovely experience climbing in and out of the heritage coaches and engines.. Our Maharajas had really lived life king-size!! This place is worth a visit and the kids had a lot of fun. They were excited on seeing a real Turntable which they’d all along seen only on TV in ThomasTank Engine show!
Visited the much talked about temple complex, Akshardham on day two in the late afternoon. It took nearly 4 hours to go around the place and sit through the history of Swami Narayan.. Good use of Robotics (audio- animatronics it seems- which to me is Greek) to trace the life and history of the child yogi – Nilkant who went on to become Swaminarayan. Just that Varun got scared in the mini-theatres there and kept saying, ‘polaam pa, polaam ma’.
Vyas found the show boring but liked a boat-ride taking us through the Vedic Civilization which is considered 10,000 yrs old. Did not bother to do any math to ascertain the age of that civilization after some interesting information on display there. Did you know our folks propounded gravitation theory even before Newton? I mean the scientists from the Vedic age.. Those of you who have visited this place would know. Well, that is a tall claim on display there. And we (I mean, they) were the first with the air crafts business and atomic theory too. I was hoping that Vyas would ask some questions but he was kind of distracted by too many models of too many people on either side of the boat, but made a special note of Sage Vyasa to check if he and the sage had anything in common besides the name;) When asked if he had any questions, he said, “Yes. can I have pop-corn once we go out?”. Period.
We were left with just the time needed for dinner before heading out to catch our train to Dehradhun.. and my meeting with the VIP did not happen on our way up.