December 2002

I travel to India for a wedding reception and to meet up with old friends from SOAS. Click on each photo to see a larger, more detailed version.

Delhi (pass 1)

After flying almost 24 hours over half-way around the world, getting 45 minutes of sleep in Delhi, and then going to the train station at around 5:00am, don't listen to the "helpful" con artists who say that to get tickets to Amritsar you have to go across the street to the "Department of Tourism" building. If you do give in, don't believe the "agent" who says that, unfortunately, all first class (and second class!) tickets have been sold out. (Of course, he just happens to have a plane ticket you can purchase for a substantial sum of money.) Read your Let's Go India book first, which plainly says that under no circumstances should you go to the "tourism" offices by the train stations. Stand in line and wait (and wait and wait) like everyone else. You'll probably find that there are plenty of tickets available.
Tourist center trap.


I'm not the only goraa at the reception. Wedding reception in Chandigar.
Golden Temple. At the top of the Golden Temple.
Amritsar is home to the Sikh Golden Temple.


India-Pakistan border-closing ceremony. Every night at Wagah, the border crossing between India and Pakistan, soldiers from both sides go through an elaborate ritual of marching around, closing the gate, and taking down the respective flags. With permanent stadiums built on each side of the border, the applause and yells of "Hindustan!" and "Pakistan!" make the whole process seem like a sports event, humorous in spite of the faint echo it brings of the numerous atrocities that have happened between the two countries since partition.

Delhi (pass 2)

Delhi family. Back in Delhi, I stay with my friends and excellent hosts.
Deer Park I stay a short jog away from peaceful Deer Park, with jogging trails, exercise areas, and sleepy ruins that overlook the hazy green lawns.
Busy intersection in Old Delhi. Sis Ganj Gurdwara. The Sis Ganj Gurdwara overlooks one intersection in Old Delhi.
Old Delhi is busier, noisier, dirtier, and full of hustle and bustle.
Statue. Qutb Minar. Friends at Qutb Minar.
One has to see the sights, from religious statutes... the Qutb Minar from the Thirteenth Century... India Gate. the India Gate.


I arrived in Bombay (now Mumbai) on 25 December 2002 to find a Christmas tree, Christmas lights, and even a gift. It was quite a treat even though I was missing the first white Christmas in years at my family's home in Oklahoma.
Christmas tree in Bombay. Hut by the ocean. Boats by waste water running to the ocean.
Bombay is a lively, friendly place that has its own share of poverty. This little hut is stuck out overlooking the part of the ocean where waste water runs out over rocks used as a substitute for toilets.
Bombay doesn't shut down after dark.
Bombay at dusk. Bombay friends.
My stay in Bombay was wonderful, and as soon as I landed in cold, rainy London I knew I should have stayed longer.