The itinerary for the trip to India is taking shape. John Steinbeck once wrote, “we think we take a trip, but a trip really takes us.” I have to say that is how it has been and continues to be for this Heritage Trip to India. Doors have opened, support flows in from all sides, interests spark, and expectations mount. There are so many places of interest in India that it is hard to exclude some places. However, we are settling on an itinerary that is full of very specific intentions and promising purpose.
Please join in the journey by following on this blog. There are ten weeks till our departure, during which I will share some background information. For now I share a sketch of where the trip will take us.
Mumbai: This is one of India’s largest cities. A dear friend lives there and it is the best way to see the city, through the eyes of a Mumbaikar. It typically has been the place of arrival and departure for me, but I always leave it enchanted, hoping to return and wanting to learn more.
Reading: City Adrift, Beyond the Beautiful Forevers, Em and the Big Hoom.
Movies: The Lunchbox, Life in a Metro, Salaam Bombay, Slumdog Millionaire, Ye He Mumbai Mera Jaan.
Ranchi, Jharkand: we will be spending a little over three weeks there. From there we will visit other places where my ancestors lived: Chaibassa and Lohardaga (in Jharkhand) and Purulia (in West Bengal).
Books about Adivasi: Chota Munda’s Arrow, Harma’s Village (harder to find copies)
Movies of Ranchi today: https://youtu.be/VVDLfM03YHo
Kolkata: There are various museums and archives that I would like to visit, and it remains to be seen still what all I may find there. To my great delight the timing perfectly coincides with a friend’s son’s wedding. This is like icing on the cake, to attend a traditional Hindu wedding.
Movie: a random video on youtube to show what a wedding is like: https://youtu.be/-S9LjkI-KBs
Darjeeling: This is where my father went to school. It is a spectacular mountain hill station.
Movie: Darjeeling Limited is not the right movie to tell you about Darjeeling.
This youtube is quite lovely https://youtu.be/P5Vo_nK5qvU
New Delhi: This is one of India’s large cities that I am most familiar with. Unfortunately the pollution has made it one of the less favorable places for me, but some dear friends and colleagues will be the highlight of my stay there. I hope to get in a visit to the Taj Mahal which is south of Delhi.
Movie: Here is a basic tourist video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=093hf63pM24
Mussoorie: Another of India’s lovely mountain towns. My friend and I are making this a regular retreat for writing. It is the place where I went to school and is the closest place to “home” for me in this world.
Photos: a classmate’s brother has published a wonderful book about Mussoorie Then and Now
Dehra Dun: At the base of the Himalaya foothills is a city where I will visit friends.
I will be traveling and visiting India, with my Father. Our primary destination in India is Ranchi, Jharkhand. We will also visit other towns and cities in that north-eastern region as well as other places in India.