August 4, 2010

It’s nearly 6 AM here in Vadodara and I can hear heavy rain pelting the table on the balcony outside my hotel room. Another gray and wet day here in Gujarat state, the heavy rain will make the already-chaotic streets nearly impassable, as there was already a lot of water down yesterday.

Vadodara is a very congested small city. With the rain falling last night, this city in monsoon India with its film noir-esque electric lights on rain-slicked pavement and crowded streets brought to mind something out of Peter Weir’s fine film “The Year of Living Dangerously” (one of my all-time favorite movies). After the typically-chaotic cab ride, a co-worker and I ducked into a Japanese/Asian restaurant called “KaiAsian” and had a wonderful meal – he, as a practicer of Jainism, went vegetarian (fried broccoli with roasted veggies), I had one of the best stir-fries I’ve ever tasted: chicken, onion, and red bell pepper in a delicious “red chilly” sauce that was sufficiently spicy and tasty beyond belief. Alas, there was no wine to be had, as the front desk clerk told us I would have to go to some registry a 5-minute cab away to get a permit once I showed my passport. Hey, I enjoy a nice bottle of wine as much (if not more) than anyone, but not enough for that! So bottled water was good enough.

Today I hit the road for my next destination, Pune – from what I’m told, a much larger and more modern city than Vadodara. After a couple of hours at the office catching up on yesterday’s e-mails, I’ll be driven two hours through the Gujarati countryside to Ahmedabad (Jet Airways doesn’t fly direct from Vadodara to Pune), then catch a 40-minute hop down to Pune, where I’ll have dinner with some execs. Tomorrow, an abbreviated day at the Pune office with meetings and candidate interviews before a late-afternoon flight to Mumbai and the long journey home.

I’m looking forward to Pune, not only because I’ll be able to get me a glass of wine there, but whatever initial charm being in as exotic a place as Vadodara once had is wearing off quickly. As the saying goes, a nice place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there.

That being said, even here in this small, crowded speck in that vast and diverse country called India, I can see why people venture here in search of spiritual discovery and fulfillment – there is something magnetic about the people (very, very kind and accommodating, almost to a fault) and the various forms of Hinduism practiced here. I love the scented candles and bowls of water covered in flowers. I’m kicking myself for not bringing my monastic breviary with me on this trip, since it would be a wonderful companion to a place that seems to naturally lend itself to prayer and meditation; it’s a good thing I have Thomas Merton as a spiritual companion through Michael Mott’s fine “The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton”.

For me, if this trip to India has any greater purpose, it will be that it has helped affirm what I have been feeling ever since arriving in Atlanta last Friday night: a great awakening to the serious spiritual imbalance present in my life, and the re-kindling of a fervent need and desire to both simplify my life and dedicate myself to regular daily prayer. Perhaps this trip that I had been dreading for so long will have had an impact long after the aircraft cabin doors open for the final time and the expense reports have been submitted.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:47 | Comments Off on Hitting The Road
No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Search The Site

Recent Items


September 2021
April 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006



4 Goodboys Only

Site Info