Sunday, April 20, 2014

WAHFE travels again to North India- Part 1

As I mentioned in my last post, we were in North India for almost a month, and wow, it's been over a month already since we returned!  So here I am, determined to get this overdue post completed. I'm going to break it down into 3 separate posts because there are sooo many photos.  "Part 1", is about our time in Roorkee. Part 2 will be Dehradun, and part 3 will be Delhi.   

The above photo was taken behind the high school Vineet graduated from 30 years ago!  He only spoke Hindi at that time because his curriculum was completely in Hindi and of course that was his only language at home.  He was a fierce competitor in mathematics, which brought him to study in the US and complete a second Master's degree, a PhD, and an MBA.  And he has since rocked the computer graphics industry. But enough about him!

When we visit India it's generally not a sightseeing trip.  We go to visit family, and if there is time, we try to squeeze in a day or two of sights or see something new locally. It's a 22 hour flight and a 13 hour time difference, so we are generally exhausted the first week we arrive.  We spend much of our time that first week sleeping during the day and wide awake in the wee hours of the morning.  It's painful.  You'd think after 6 trips I would have figured out how we can adjust quicker.  But there's just no easy way.

This trip was important because it is likely the last trip we will be visiting my in-laws in their home in Roorkee.  While we were there we had things set up for them to have help with cooking, shopping, cleaning and night time care for my father in law who gets up frequently.  However, just one week back there was an incident in their home that I'm not going to explain here other than to say that it was traumatic and scary. So, they have temporarily moved to my sister-in-law's place in Dehradun. 

This is the street my in-laws live on in Roorkee.  Their home is the one with the light green walls and black gate to the left.

The picture above is a very typical scene from our journey between Delhi and Roorkee.   

Now that my inlaws are aging to the point it's difficult for them to shop at the market, they have been relying heavily on the subjeewalla, or vegetable cart guy.  It's so convenient!

These are my MIL's handmade noodles in a dish she calls "jave", pronounced jaw-vay.  She always sends a huge bag back home with us.  It's pure love in a bag because she rolls these noodles individually with her hands!

This is "bhang", or what we call Cannabis.  It grows freely on the outside of Roorkee University.  You won't find it inside the campus, but a short walk outside the main gates and there you have a forest of it.  During our stay in Roorkee there was the festival of Shivaratri where everyone worships lord Shiva, god of cosmic destruction and dance. Bhang is a big part of this celebration because consuming it is supposed to help bring one closer to god.  No, we didn't smoke it.  I'm sure you are wondering.  However, my MIL made Bhang Pakoras, which were batter dipped and fried cannabis. I didn't partake in it, but Vineet did.  He said he didn't feel buzzed afterwards, just tired and hungry.

Here's what bhang looks like in the temple.  Oh mighty Shiva...and bhang.

This is an Indian Coffee Pot.  In India, the only coffee you will drink is instant coffee made in a pot on a gas stove with mostly milk.   If you are addicted to Starbucks, I guess you will not enjoy your time here.

There are men who ride around on their bike and just sell specific kinds of fruit like Papaya.  This is the "Pepitawalli".  He will cut open the fruit and allow you to sample a taste before paying.  He carries a scale to measure the weight of the fruit.

Having a typical North Indian lunch of "subji" (curried vegetable), rice, and chapati.  We look forward to this food but then quickly tire of eating it after 10 days into our trip.  We love Indian food...just not every day.

Vineet likes helping his mom in the kitchen.  You'll never see this at our house because we don't make chapatis. If we had a gas stove, I might try to make them every once in awhile. They are messy to make because when you slap the excess flour off before throwing them on the stove, the flour goes all over the kitchen. Really.

Next up, our trip to Dehradun!