Thursday, November 24, 2005
well after many days of travelling, we are finally here in jallandar, punjab, basking in lovely 80 degree weather, and perfect sunshine. travelling with 2 kids is more difficult than i would have guessed. this, despite the fact that nayan was an angel on the flight. ananya hardly slept a wink, but thankfully, nor did she cry. yesterday was a lovely day. we took the kids (my 4 niece/nephews) to "wonderland" - an entertainment testament to india's new rise as an economic power - an emerging middle class in jallandar can now bask in their very own theme park. i was braced for the worst - the usual muck and laisez fair work attitude applied to theme park rides w/ jerry rigged welds, flowing slop, etc. i was shocked, the place was great. due to the lack of cheap plastic, abundance of cheap labor, and random sources of wonder, wonderland - the place where a sign told me i would find my soul, somehow wound up done eco stye w/ amazing landscaping and handmade mosaics. the fact that the middle class hasn't quite risen as high as the new international investment levels, left the place blissfully uncrowded, maybe a hundred or so people. we had a hoot. ameen was particularly excited by the bhangra blasting everywhere and the high fashion sense - we both had forgotten how indians love to dress up for this sort of thing. just so things don't sound too wonderful, we drove past a crowded buffalo pasture that had caught fire by our farm the night before - it was a horrific sight - many buffalo's charred and burned alive. some just standing black stumps, others still smoking.