Thought I will take a break from my travellogue of China and tell you another story. I met a very dear and old friend the other day who I met some 22 years ago. We worked in the same organisation and in the same function for more than ten years. There was no particular purpose in the meeting, except to catch up with each other after a long time. We sat down with tall glasses of chilled ice tea in the Bangalore afternoon, in a laid back coffee place, watching people passing us by in a languid pace. After a bit of chit-chat, my friend looked at my face and said: “your eyes are looking rather sad, how come”? I was taken aback; for multiple reasons; first I did not think that my eyes were sad and secondly, my friend was never in a habit of being intimate either for himself or towards others.
I made a trip to Goa in August this year. One of the things that struck me right at the beginning was the sheer green cover the place has, and the green was overwhelming. The roads were lined with trees which were covered with creepers all over. The cool breeze of rain continued to sweep through the roads. During this trip I did not go to all the usual touristy places – rather drove around small villages, roads, small empty beaches, small churches, temples, people doing their daily chores ….. usually when we go around like tourists, we perhaps perceive people as part of the “exhibits” – at least that’s what happens to me. This time, I watched and observed around, drivers who stand around in front of the hotel to pick up passengers, receptionists who are used to the tantrums thrown by the guests, women who sells flowers outside the temples trying to make a quick buck, people in