Kapoors Year 2: China/India/Japan travel blog

Anil With His Sister Manju Mehra


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KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

While in Nagpur, we didn't do much as I was still recovering from the terrible cold that I'd picked up when I arrived in India. Anil was happy as there was tons of cricket on television and we were being pampered by Anil's sister, Manju, and her husband, Kamal.

We ended up staying almost two weeks in Nagpur as I couldn't seem to shake the fever and went on another course of antibiotics. One night I began to wheeze heavily and discovered what it's like to have difficulty breathing. If gave me a new appreciation for what Anil's mother must have endured as she struggled to deal with severe asthma for over thirty years.

We stayed pretty close to home reading books and doing crossword and sudoku puzzles during the day and watching a few movies on the television. Near the end of our stay I was finally well enough to venture out do a little shopping and to visit the Club for an evening of housie and drinks under the stars of the lawns high over the city.

At the end of our stay we all agreed that it had been a great time together as we were all relaxed and didn't find ourselves rushing from pillar to post. Manju and I spent our last afternoon in Nagpur watching the newly released blockbuster Jodhaa Akbar starring Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan. There is an amazing hue and cry about the movie and it has been banned in some states because it is accused of not being historically accurate in depicting the romance between the Mughal Emperor and his Hindu wife. I enjoyed the movie even though it was in Hindi because it was great to see the forts and palaces of Rajasthan used as sets completely decorated, as they would have been when the Mughal Empire was at its peak. The jewellery and lavish clothing worn by the royal court was a feast for the eyes.

We have Anil's cousin Alka Mehra to thank for the tickets to the movie. She received the complimentary passes when she purchased a gold and diamond bangle from Tanishq, the famous jeweller, who provided the gems for the movie. We are told that much of the gems in the movie are real because the director and the jeweller felt that artificial jewellery would not have come across as effectively as the real thing. It's worth seeing the movie just for the beauty of the diamonds, emeralds, rubies and pearls alone.

We were in for another treat from Alka Mehra as well. She holds a very senior position with the Central Railways and has been posted to a small regional city several hours outside of Nagpur. It was decided that the family would remain in Nagpur because of her husband's job and their son's education. Alka has been commuting back and forth for a few years now but recently, she was offered the privilege of travelling in a private rail car. We were interested in seeing what it is like so she took us to the train station for a visit. We were really impressed - it's like a small apartment on wheels. There is a sitting room, a kitchen and two bedrooms, each with its own attached bathroom. At the back of the coach there is a room where inspectors can sit comfortably and monitor the track as the train moves along.

Now if only we could travel in one of these coaches, I would be more than happy to zip around India on the rail lines. We have always loved travelling by train but we are too old and particular now to put up with the poor state of the toilets on the trains. It's great that we have the option of flying around the country now. The downside is that we see less of the countryside but the creature comforts are too good to ignore.

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