The Gorakhpur Experience

If you’ve been following my blog, you already know that these past few weeks have been particularly hectic for me, thanks to all the activities surrounding my new web presence.  But, amidst all the chaos, I missed out on blogging about an important event in the family.

During the first week of October, we also made a trip to Gorakhpur (via New Delhi) for my sister’s wedding !!!

It was an interesting few months leading up to the “big day”, with tension and excitement available in equal measure.  The boy’s family was from Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh).   For various reasons, both parties had agreed, early on, that we would host the engagement and wedding ceremony in Gorakhpur, and try to keep the formalities to a minimum.  Ma’s health has always been unpredictable, and we were not even sure she’d be able to make it to the event!   But, as the day dawned nearer, I became more and more confident that the adrenalin would keep her going…

Given the dubious safety record of train journeys across Bihar and UP, I was keen to avoid that stretch, and planned to route our journey via New Delhi.  Since most of our relatives were joining in from Delhi, we would also benefit from their company.

That said, we were apprehensive about how our little kids would manage.  This would be our longest train journey with both kids, till date.  And, we were scheduled for not one, but three train rides lasting more than 15 hours each, in a span of 6 days!  Yes, we were planning to take the maid with us.  But, there was no guarantee that she would not cancel at the last minute.

As it turned out, things weren’t half as bad as they could’ve been.  Every thing went off smoothly with the engagement and the wedding ceremony.  And, Ma was able to make it to her daugher’s wedding day.  Having the celebrations in Gorakhpur meant access to a lot of resources (for the bridegroom’s family) and none of the problems of Mumbai’s traffic.  I even managed to go with a few temple-goers for a little ride around the Gorakhpur countryside, to see life on the streets in a new town.

The children enjoyed their holiday, and made the most of the attention from all our relatives.  On our way back, we’d planned a one-night stay in Delhi to catch up with some family that we had not seen in a long while.  (I used to visit family in Delhi, every summer, when I was in school).  Now, after all these years, it was really nice to meet up with some cousins and uncles, and have the kids meet with cousins of their own – some of them for the first time!

Yes, I really wish the weather was not as hot and humid as it was, both in New Delhi and in Gorakhpur.  And, I was really looking forward to my journey back by the Rajdhani – a train I have never been in and have wanted to all my life.  (We missed our train ride back on account of a bad traffic jam in New Delhi, and had to spend an exhorbitant sum to return by flight!).

But, in the end, all’s well that ends well.

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