Friday, June 8, 2007

"Jal Hi Jeevan Hai"

"Jal Hi Jeevan Hai" (Water is life)
That is the phrase written on certain water tank trucks in Delhi. Speaking of water, I have been drinking around 4-5 litres a day. With temperatures sometimes reaching as high as 110, I would say "It's hot."

After being in Delhi for only one week I have seen so many dreams realized. I witnessed a bribe. I jumped onto a moving bus. I was cheated out of Rs. 40 by an autorickshaw driver. A man offered me an ear cleaning, but I decided not to accept it.

I am now staying at the Delhi Youth Hostel. It cost Rs. 270 (about $7) per night for a bed in an A/C room. I have made many interesting connections while staying at the Youth Hostel. One night I met Prikshit and Soniya. They are both eighteen year old students going for their B.A.'s. They had become friends while trekking in the Himalayas for their holidays and were staying in Delhi for two days before they returned to their respective home states. Soniya is from Madhya Prades, which is in Central India. Parikshit lives in Andhra Pradesh, which is in South India. He speaks Telugu, which he suggested I try to learn as it sounds like music when spoken. He gave me his contact information and told me that Garrett and I are more than welcome to stay with his family later this summer, after we have finished our Hindi studies. We will have a month to travel post-studies, so perhaps we will take him up on this offer.

Harjinder Singh (Harry) lives in Amritsar (city in Punjab, North India) with his wife and daughter, Simran. He is originally from Afghanistan (Kabul), but moved to Amritsar after meeting his wife. He works in exporting handicrafts, brass, costume jewellery, etc, and often travels to Switzerland. We shared a room in the Youth Hostel, and also had dinner together and went to the cinema for a Hindi film. Harry invited me (and also Garrett and any friends/family) to come and stay with his family in Amritsar. He said he would serve much beer and chicken.

*Sorry, no pictures.

Garrett is set to arrive on Tuesday night, around midnight. If all goes as planned we will go from the airport to the New Delhi Rail Station and catch the 6.55am train from Delhi to Haridwar (roughly a 4 hour journey). From there we will take a bus to Rishikesh, where we will meet our Hindi teacher Yogendra Yadav and take a taxi to the Himalaya Hindi House (HHH). Here is an outline of what our month of studies will be like:

Basic Hindi: 14 June-12 July

14 June 11.00 ish leaving from Natraj taxi stand. Mobile 9411523033

Arrival HHH 14 June Departure 12 July

Classes 9.00-1.00 (No classes on Thursdays and Fridays)
2 hours lecturer and 2 hours of Grammar practice and conversation with
monolingual tutors.

Week 1 16-20 june Script and writing Devanagari
Week 2 23-27 june Grammar and conversation
Week 3 30-04 june/july Grammar and conversation
Week 4 07-11 july Grammar and conversation

Cultural Tour:
Walking to most important festival Ashad Mela 1st week of july!
-Trip to Gangotri temple, Gomukh 18 kilometers walk one way. Night halt
- Trip into wilderness, subject to whether conditions.


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