October 1st, 2006




There was a time when we had no choice in travel..Indian Railways, or Indian Airlines. Now there is a bewildering array of airlines, and the fares are so attractive that it doesn't make sense to go by train. But it has taken me the better part of 2 hours to compare prices, compare timings, and book the tickets and pay for them.

And then I remind myself that a few years ago this would have meant repeated trips to the travel agent or the airport or something like that, for vastly higher fares, so I decide that I *am* better off than before.

But while booking I remember the newspaper accounts of the losses posted by all the airlines operating in India...I wonder when the bubble will burst. I deliberately do not book the Rs.221- fares that are offered....(not that I will ever get to the net in time to book these!)...but of course I want a low fare, who doesn't?...and am uneasily aware that with the present costs, the airline is underselling the tickets that I have just bought....Economics vs.social conscience doesn't make an easy combination!



Trish, after doing some incredible work in Darjeeling, is preparing to go back home to the US. I have learnt to like her and respect her a lot. It fills me with sadness that someone whom I have met and befriended mentally, is leaving my country, and I do not know if I will meet her face to face. She wrote a poetic sentence in her last post:

"Then I will join the great stream of travelers moving restlessly over the surface of the earth."

 Travellers moving restlessly on the face of the earth...what a moving (literally!) image! Is that what we are, then, ants out an anthill, scurrying along on our errands? Are our contacts as fleeting as the touch between the feelers of two ants, the momentary contact broken as the ants go off busily? Or do ants, too, have these deep thoughts inside their heads as they go about their work?

Here's wishing you a safe and comfortable journey Trish....I hope to meet you some time...if I had got to know you earlier, I think I would have made the journey to Darjeeling just to meet such an impressive and good-hearted person.

back to semagic


I don't know why...I have been, after all, fairly busy, doing a fairly elaborate Saraswati Puja today (I believe less and less in ritual, but like to make my spouse happy, and he likes the puja a lot), and having neighbours over, but yet I find myself returning to the laptop to jot down things...or jot down reactions...

I just decided to wear a saree that the friend pictured in my last few posts gave me last year. One thought was..there is NO substitute for the grace that a saree bestows on its wearer; another thought was...what lovely friends  I am blessed with! Here I am, all "dolled up", waiting for my friend in anticipatory glee (she doesn't know I am going to be wearing her gift!) and then going to visit another mutual friend together...life is happy, and I am so grateful.

We will be visiting a few Bengali puja pandals this evening...I am hoping to be able to post a few photos soon!