I’m back in my old stamping ground, Delhi. I was on my way to Bangalore after seeing the Ellora and Ajanta Caves, when the date for the Ladakhi wedding came to my email. So back to Delhi I came. If I had continued with my original travel plan, I would have spent a few days in Bangalore and then traveled on to Chennai. Thank heavens for that wedding email, as the train to Chennai on which I was to have traveled was in a terrible train accident. It ran into a stationary train. Several people were injured and I think a few died.
During my absence from Delhi, the Indian High Courthouse was bombed. 11 people died and there were many injured. I ask do the powers that be know who did it and the answer I received was, “Only those who did it, know who did it at this time.” I, unlike Forest Gump, seem to never be where the action is happening, thank heavens. Knock on wood.
Currently after the bombing of the courthouse, the city is on high alert. There are many more military personnel out and about. More vehicle barriers, and the Metro are full of soldiers with those 156 repeating rifles. Female soldiers ride on the Ladies Only Metro cars and male soldiers ride on some of the cars for mixed riders. Festival venues and shopping bazaars are particularly protected as they are regarded as natural targets for perpetrators of these awful events. (Here again, I was told, “This is only window dressing. The real work is behind the scenes, even the Americans are helping.”
After a week here, it is time to leave. During my search for a wedding present, I end up clothes shopping for myself. I bought ten items for 113 US dollars. Designer India cotton nightgowns for 11 dollars. Laura Ashley shoppers, eat your hearts out. Little liberty cotton dresses. And white cotton top and pants for $6. How could I say no???
Finally I found a wedding gift but am not sure it will work. I’ll show it the groom’s sisters. It they say no, I’ll send it home and get something traditional in Ladakh. I am arriving a few days early to acclimate to the altitude. It will be cold so I will borrow some clothes from the girls.
Before I leave I am making another pit stop to the India Post. Although they insist on wrapping most packages in gaze and hand stitching it up. They must also sew on a customs sheet and have the sender write in a book, who they are and where the package is going. India airmail seems to work just fine and a lot cheaper than DHL, etc. I have sent so many packages that the postman at the desk introduced himself, Winson. He took my packages, we shook hands and off I went.
I’ll catch you later with pictures and a description of a Ladakhi wedding.