Friday, January 06, 2006

back from india

We have just returned from a trip to India. The idea was to take both mine and sis's other halves to meet our relatives and to show them the place where Papa grew up in. At the same time, some sight-seeing completed the holiday.

A visit to Gandhi Ashraam reminded me that simplicity of life is key, Louis Kahn's AIM buildings in Ahmedabad inspired me on how unfussy vernacular materials can create such a masterpiece of architecture, visits to Red Fort in Delhi, Fatehpur Sikri and many other sites reminded me of the rich history, culture and appreciation of the arts that create India, and of course the view of Taj Mahal reminded me of how beautiful love can be.

But most special of all - was how all the fond memories flash back when we visited our village, where we used to spend some of our school holidays at. The walks I used to have with my grandfather along the railway track while he taught me how to count in Gujrati, suddenly made me miss him so much. Spending time with my cousins (and their cute children!) reminded me of the closeness we had when we were little. It reminds me that no matter the cultural, languange and value differences we have between us, nothing can break us apart. Their simple thinking and strong family values made me ponder on how materialistic and individualistic our society has become.

We also had a surprise wedding reception thrown at us (i know - we've been married 2 years!) But it was a reception to greet our husbands into the family. It was exactly 2 years after my kampung wedding reception in Kuala Pilah, and now it is a reception at my other 'kampung.' Sis and I had the double-wedding which we've always thought we would have in the end! It was fun to wear the sari and all the accessories, and my lovely hubby looked like a true Bollywood star!

Finally, the shopping was just amazing. I loved all the beautiful fabrics, clothes, accessories, bags.... And the best part is just how cheap they are!

As we were coming back, I remembered what my parents always said about how important it is to go to India and other poorer countries from time to time, in order for you to have a more realistic perspective of life - and we came back with just that (plus lots of stuff that I shopped of course!)