After seven wonderful months, today I flew home. As my plane flew over the English channel the sky turned into the most beautiful of sunsets. What a perfect welcome home.
After 31 long hours, with a numb bum, I eventually arrived back in Mumbai. Since I was last here in January the city had changed. Or at least my perception of it has… instead of the overwhelming chaos, noise, smells and colours that saw on arrival, the city now seemed to represent modern India. Women wearing jeans and t-shirts, business men, smart restaurants and bars.
But yes, it was still chaotic.
So today I embarked upon a long journey which eventually leads me to home. For some reason, unbeknownst to me now, I chose to take a 31 hour sleeper train from the south of Kerala to Mumbai. Here, a mere nine hours into the journey, the sun sets as the train slowly snakes northwards.
I’ve just about gotten used to eating masala dosa for breakfast. It’s a kind of pancake filled with a spicy mashed potato mixture and typically served with coconut chutney and a little veg curry. But I’d still opt for museli or porridge first thing in the morning.
Today I went to Paripally, a nearby town to see the temple celebrations and elephant parade. There must have been about 50 elephants covered in ceremonial dress, first on show in the temple grounds and then paraded through the busy streets (amongst the chaotic traffic!).
I’m spending the last few days of my journey in the beach town of Varkala in southern Kerala. It’s not too shabby.
The Hindu spring festival, Holi, is mainly celebrated in the north of India. We still managed to get a little taste of it here in Kerala.