London and Arrival to India

by thetanvi

Greetings from Mumbai.  It’s quiet right now, naptime for all the family.  The long flight to London was followed by roaming around via tube and double decker buses exploring the historic landmarks of the soggy gray city amongst snow falling and below freezing temperatures.  They are beautiful places but cosmopolitan cities aren’t really all that different from one another. We ate at some posh place for lunch that featured local seasonal organic foods and dinner was at a small hole in the wall falafel joint.  Sight seeing included the London Tower & Bridge, Westminster Abbey, and Trafagler Square. Heathrow is ridiculous, and has changed so much in the past two years. So has Mumbai.  Everything changes so quickly, and the airports have been renovated and upscaled.

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Pretty much all of my cousins have gotten married and there was massive chaos with kids running around but gorgeous warm weather. It was a holiday, marking that day and night were the same length yesterday, and the family home in Parle always hosts a rooftop party where we fly kites.  The only problem being that everyone flies kites too, and the kite strings are sharpened with the purpose of cutting down other’s kites and gloating by shouting at them from your roof.  While it is fantastic, there are also many incidents with bird injuries and over all littering, which I can’t help but cringe over. Once night falls, lanterns are lit and string in a series along the kite string then let high up in the air. At McDonald’s they have “kite meal’ ads instead of ‘kids meals’- obvious glocalizing.

Yesterday was apparently the coldest day of the year here, but it was certainly tshirt weather. I love the warm, the sun, the palm trees and most of all the madness that is India.  I wish I could spend more time with my family, instead of years of interval between.  Flying is awful and makes me hate travelling.  Ironically I sat next to a Scottish man in the business offshore oil drilling. I didn’t harass him and kept quiet about my background in climate activism haha.  It was undeniably clear that our perspectives were vastly different but we had a long discussion which I hope impacted him and his view on India.

Note to self… If improving the world we live in isn’t important, I don’t know what is. But some people just have different ideas of what it takes to improve it.

I feel fairly incompetent and foreign.  It’s so funny whenever people comment on how I am quiet… but I’m enjoying and observing. Having all of this free time to relax is fairly unfamiliar as is having so many people and so much family around all the time. I’ll never get used to having servants around.