Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttaranchal
It ONLY took fifteen minutes to get this Blogger Create page to open, after four or five "404" messages. I'd better type while the typing is good.
Sorry for being incommunicado. I haven't been able to read most emails; every five minutes, it seems, the account goes "Page Not Found." And this country is supposed to be the new IT capital of the world (one in which the power goes out, minimum, for an hour a day and the net is down as often as up). Be afraid, be very afraid. Maybe next India can claim to be the next world capital of Clean Water Delivery - it would make about as much sense. (Yes, I am sure that individual software developers and programmers here, working in individual offices in big cities carefully removed from the rest of the world, are very talented. How come none of this translates onto the ground where real people live?) Many of the engineers my dad worked with at DuPont, and lots of my Indian acquaintances in the US, were engineers. Maybe that's what's wrong - all the good engineers who should be working on the infrastructure here moved over there.
Greetings from Uttaranchal and my first North Indian summer. Uttaranchal is a new state; it used to be the Uttarakhand (literally "upper division") district of Uttar Pradesh. About six years ago they decided to take all the nice, scenic, mountainous parts away from Uttar Pradesh and make it Uttaranchal. All the major Himalayan pilgrimage spots are contained within this new state, plus many scenic river valleys and great trekking.
The dry heat is nothing to sneeze at, but it is a nice change from the soul-destroying humidity of the South. Monsoon is about one month away and the temperatures just build from hereon in. Today's high in nearby capital Dehra Dun was 95F, the low (that is, as cool as it ever gets even at night) was 72F. Here are some more examples of local weather:
New Delhi: High 102, Low 79
Varanasi: High 104, Low 85
Gaya (where the Buddha was supposed to have achieved enlightenment the first week of May about 2500 years ago, but he really just fried his brains) - High 106, Low 83
Pune: High 98, Low 72
Hyderabad: High 99, Low 80
Bombay: High 90, Low 79 (wow, made in the shade by comparison there)
Pondicherry: High 96, Low 81
Calcutta: High 95, Low 79
No sooner am I able to type than the net place is closing again. It took that long. The Garhwali village wedding was great, but I got sunstroke and nearly passed out on the way back down the mountain. Photos to come.
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