Sunday, September 9, 2007

Well, what ELSE can happen today?

I mean, heck, it's only 10PM - two whole hours left in this day!

As I was getting ready to hop on the bike at about noon today, my phone rang - it was Katy. Given that noon here is 2:30AM in Cambridge, I knew immediately something was up. RuthAnne, my almost-18-year-old daughter, hit a deer while driving home from a dance in western Massachusetts. She's unhurt, and the damage to the car was minimal (she was able to drive it home), but the toll on her psyche (and Katy's, and to some degree mine) is another story.

I talked to Katy for a while, until we both ran down a bit, and then I boarded the bike and headed southeast for the Paigah Tombs. I'm getting reasonably efficient at getting out of Banjara Hills and down to the Musi, but the other side is still mostly terra incognita. I plotted a path that took me through Charminar (nice to have at least one solid reference point...) and then south.

Well, the map of that area bears little relationship to reality. I realized I was heading WAY too far south and backtracked to a known position, tried again - and again - and again. Eventually I concluded I was running out of daylight and beat it on home, but what really happened is that I lost my nerve. I passed thru several clots of less-than-friendly teenage boys and just had my fill. I suddenly felt a long way from home (meaning Banjara Hills) with no local language skills and as conspicuous as I could be (an old white guy on a fancy bike, wearing a helmet!). I haven't felt like such a "foreigner" in a long time.

Here's the GPS track for the morbidly curious.

View Larger Map

I got home well before dark (maybe 5:30PM?), peeled off my sweaty clothes and took a shower. By the time I was clean and dry, the thunderstorm that had been rumbling its way in as I rode home had opened up with a downpour. This kept me in the house until 8PM or so; then I headed out to play some backgammon with Feroz and get supper.

Feroz mentioned as we were playing that there had been some sort of bridge collapse this afternoon in Hyderabad, but had no details. I didn't really think much of it; we played a few games, I went to supper and came home.

Just as I walked in the door, my mobile rang; it was Deepak from work, calling to ask if I am OK. The "bridge collapse" was the failure of the under-construction Punjagutta flyover in Nagarjuna Circle - literally a stone's throw from Chutneys, my favorite restaurant. I go through that circle frequently.

Several people from work have called me to check in. Damn. It's been some day.

I'm not all that jazzed to post today's pictures, but here they are anyway. The first batch is a slew of animals (camels and horses) that I passed approaching the river. I've only seen a few camels and NO horses, so these really caught my eye.

The next two are funky little memorials in the middle of the road. I have no idea who the first is for; the second is for Indira Gandhi.

This last is an under-construction temporary shrine to Ganesha, whose festival is on September 15th.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jerry,
    The first memorial is to "Netaji" Subhash Chandra Bose [wikipedia], the chap I told you about who formed the Indian National Army and aligned with the Japanese to battle British forces near Burma. He's got quite a following till date.