India Magic

I’m a little late with this entry. I’m actually back no in Singapore, and will be flyign off to Sydney tomorrow, but thought that I shoudl upload an entry to close the entry on Ahmedabad. I spent just two nights in Ahmedabad, and flew back to Singapore on Thursday morning. I had to fly to Mumbai first, and transit from there to Singapore, as there were no direct flights from Amedabad back to Singapore on Thursday. On the whole, I was fairly pleased with my trip there, as I had achieved what I wanted to do.

But for the more important thing….. Ahmedabad is a place which you will find very interesting. For starters, did you know that Ahmedabad as a city does not condone liquor? It is a legal offense to bring any liquor into Ahmedabad! There is not a single drop of booze in this city. This also translates to an equally low crime environment. I was told that it is very safe on the streets in Ahmedabad, even during the night.

The India office is very interesting. Firstly, it is not in a CBD location, nor is it in a high rise building. It is in fact, a Bungalow, and it nests right behind a small children’s zoo! The road leading to the bungalow, is small and dusty.

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This is the bungalow the office is in.

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The interesting thing about having the office right behind the zoo, is that there are alot of wild animals that come a knocking (uumm… or flying to the office). In just a 5 to 10 minute walk around the office premises, I saw babblers, 2 Oriental Magpie Robins, 4 Peacocks, countless squirrels, fruit bats, etc!

I think this is a babbler.

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Many squirrels like this one.

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The ubiquitous Oriental Magpie Robin! So rare in Singapore, but all over the place here.

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Then, of course, the many peacocks that make the roof their homes.

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During the afternoon, Saikat M, a project manager in the office, kindly brought me to the children’s zoo to take alook at the wild life there. I thought… “Might as well” since I had already completed my stuff, and was waiting for ML to finish his areas. So, SM brought me to the Sundarvan nature discovery centre.

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It was also here that I saw clusters or schools of fruit bats!!!! Amazing!! They are wild by the way.

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After ML had finished, AN, asked BS to bring both ML and I shopping. I tell you…. the hospitality of these guys are simply amazing! Apparently, ML told AN the last time that he liked the mangoes. Guess what I had to lug home with me on Thursday morning? Yeah… you guess right if you thought Mangoes. 1 BLODDY carton of the “BEST” Ahmedabad MANGOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 Kgs worth of extra luggage! Its all ML’s fault…. I’ve toldh him.

Ayway, I digress…. BS brought us to several places, handcraft stores, fabric stores, shopping malls, the Samsonite showroom, etc.

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This place had an amazing range of handcrafts. In fact, I spotted something I liked, a brass bust of the Sphinx. But, alas, it was too heavy and large to bring back to Singapore.

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Then, after the shopping, AN invited ML and I over to his house for an authentic Southern Indian vegetarian dinner. AN’s wife, Annul (I think) kindly spent a better part of her evening preparing dinner for all of us. She is a university Physics lecturer, and I found her and AN extremely engaging and friendly. The first course of appetizers was served.

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I don’t know what they’re called, but they were excellent! Not to forget the various chutneys that Annul made. Wow!!!!! Just simply out of this world!

Annul also prepared a glass of Mangoe drink for us. It was heavenly!

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The main course was several servings of chickpeas, Chutney, Mango puree, some type of unleaven bread (like nunn), Curdled Milk in Mango Puree, and curdled milk in Yogurt… I may very well have left some things out. But, all in all, the meal was excellent. Coupled with the company, it was extremely enjoyable. By the time I finished, I was soooooo full, I was actually quite mad at myself. I had countless e-mails to rely that night, and I was simply not going to be able to stay awake. The jet lag was heping either.

Anyways, I made it through the night, and flew out of Ahmedabad the next morning. I think it will be quite soon that I pop by Ahmedabad again for work. I’m looking forward to the Chickpeas! Hah!!!!

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