HomeThe trip (June-July 2005)

2nd letter, from Hyderabad (5 July 2005), continued

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[Meher: On the way, we came upon a temple of "Lord Kumbhakarna," a sleeping giant. The supine statue is a bit like Gulliver among lilliputians, the latter using all sorts of implements to awaken the sleeper. The foreign males took note of the temple and the statue for a few minutes and did what they normally do. They began looking for other curiosities. A mild form of hyperactivity runs in the family. Adam climbed up a tree, Tim started botanizing, and so on. Soon, we got on the road, had a picnic lunch in a field by the road, more booze stops, and continued our journey. Hyderabad was a surprise in many ways. Parts of the city have developed so much that I could not recognize it as a place I grew up in. As for not recognizing things goes, my baby sister and her family have a house which I never thought anyone related to me would live in. It is a mansion. So, we had a comfortable stay and went for walks in the gardens, looked at plants, animals, people etc. We feasted and socialized and got back to Bangalore.]
One of the towns through which we passed,

...and where we stopped for booze (Azeem, Rafi) and motion sickness tablets (me).

 

A tea stop (Azeem, JS, Meher, and Rafi).
(Above) "Lord Kumbhakarna," and (Below) Adam and hyperactivity.

I'll try to make sure that the pictures from both legs of the trip, there, and back again, describe the road, and what it's like to do 13h on it. All throughout this visit, both sitting around in somebody's house, going out somewhere together, or in the van, the consistent pattern (just like our earlier visit in 1997) is the joking and teasing that goes on between the siblings. On the earlier visit this back-and-forth involved their father, Abjan, as well, but he died in 1999. Sometimes this goes on in English, and Adam, JS and I can take part, but other times it depends on what can only be said in Urdu or in Telugu, and then we may get a translation - or not, if everyone is having too much fun. I've tried to take pictures of some of these exchanges, with limited success. If you come from a big family, though, you'll probably understand. More serious conversations go on in smaller groups.

 

This is where we stopped for lunch, and that's Meher returning from...

visiting this tamarind tree. Its trunk had thornbushes piled up around it to tell the world that someone had the collecting of its fruit, and to stay away. And there are those low, white stone structures on the right.

 

This is what the road looks like, ... and it has a lot of level crossings at which people congregate to sell things to those who wait in their vehicles until the barrier re-opens.

 

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all text and images on this site are © M. Shaik and T. A. Dickinson 2005 unless otherwise noted; some images are © A. K. Dickinson 2005.