Thursday, April 14, 2011

Some Notes Noted Down While in the Skies

12th March 2330 HRS IST: In the Skies Now... Left Shanghai some five hours ago... Another one & half Hours to Reach Delhi. Took another flight from Beijing prior to taking this connecting flight from Shanghai... Sleepy People around me... Had the rarest opportunity of visiting and climbing on the Great Wall of China, historic man made structure, from the Juyongguang Pass, some 60 odd Kms from the capital city of Beijing... A memorable moment to cherish for this lifetime... Blessed is the Vernacular Teacher in my school days back home who named me THE GREAT WALL when i was in the 8th std taking my large physical build into consideration :-). Who would have known except the Almighty then that i shall have the opportunity to stand on this Great structure on earth sometime...

Ni Hao! (Hello How are you in Mandarin)... Our Chinese Guide Alice told us many interesting stories about the days of the construction of the Great Wall... How the Common Men were forced by the Emperors to go to the Hills to manually build the Wall in those days... This great structure on earth just to protect the Chinese from the Mongolian intruders had taken such lives of many common men who were forced to go and work with extreme hardships to build it. One such incident goes where a young man was forced to go to the Hills to build the Wall immediately after his marriage leaving behind his newly wed wife. Unable to bear the extreme hardship, the man succumbed to death within a few days time. His wife back home, driven by extreme grief of separation, decided to walk down all the way from her village to the wall to inquire about her husband and was shocked with grief to hear about his death. Spellbound with such a news, she hurled curses and decided to commit suicide there itself. This reminded me of the talked about incidents following the construction of the Taj Mahal where it is said that the right hand thumbs of the workers who were involved in building it, were cut off just to ensure that they do not build something similar to it in future. Just keeps me wondering whether every so called Greatnesses or visibly excellent efforts do necessarily require ugly brutality behind them.

Beijing, the Cultural and Political cum administrative capital of the Peoples Republic of China had many historic sites to present for a viewing. The visit to the historic Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City where China's historical significance has been showcased for a long time was a great place to be. The weather was quite chilly and pleasant and Shanghai's shopping spree along with visits to Nanjing Road, Crusing on the River Huang Phu and the Jade Buddha Temple was quite amazing as well...

Delhi nears us... To gear up for a connecting flight to Kolkata. Mom's cooked food awaits me home afterall...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Royal Treat at Jaipur, Rajasthan

The Royal Rajasthani Capital City of Jaipur was a great place of visit for the last couple of days. The desire to explore this great Rajputana increased many folds while getting to have a little glimpse during this visit for a professional purpose.

The traditional & ethnic culture proudly put up in the 5 star resort property of Chokhi Dhani appealed greatly especially the village fair ground which got alive every evening with Rajasthani colours and flavours.

The glimpses of the older city streets, the forts on top of the Aravalli hillocks, the Hawa Mahal, the City Palace & Jantar Mantar took back to ancient history. The museum inside the city palace housing artillery, wardrobe etc of the Rajput rulers gave a great taste of the warrior clan that dwelt there.

Watching India win the Cricket World Cup sitting in the open lawn of Chokhi Dhani with Large TV Screen giving the flavours of watching it in a stadium, was amazing especially with a group of young enthusiastic fans, loads of cheer, Indian flags, Fireworks and DJ etc... Three Cheers for my Motherland... Hip Hip Hoorray!... Hip Hip Hoorray!!... Hip Hip Hoorray!!!