Chandigarh, Pilani, Jaipur

I arrived in India on Holi, the day when everyone gets drunk and throws colourful powder over each other. Therefore, instead of doing the sensible thing and going to bed, I drank a shed load of beers and had a meal that the Indian Opera interns cooked—a tremendous chicken biryani created by Saif, with chop-by-chop instructions from his mum over a mobile from South India.

After a couple of jetlaggy days in the Indian office, writing my presentation with Shwetank, we took a 12 hour night train from Chandigarh to Jaipur. Once there, we took a taxi for five hours across the Rajasthan desert, seeing camels

Rajasthan Camel

and the world’s most overloaded truck:

Most overloaded truck in the world

Finally we reached our destination, BITS-Pilani where I gave a talk on the advantages of Open Web Standards in developing nations, and was regaled with a good number of really searching questions. (BITS people who asked how you can get involved with specifying HTML 5: sign up to the WHAT-WG mailing list.)

Then, back across the desert, stopping for daal and aloo parthas, to the Nana ki Havali, a beautiful old ancestral home converted into a hotel, where there was a welcome beer waiting for me. I also went out for a shave: there are few more luxurious feelings than a really close shave with a really sharp blade by someone who knows what he’s doing.

The next day was a rest day, so Shwetank and I hired the same taxi driver and toured the sights of Jaipur, the pink city: the Jal Mahal, Amber Fort:

Jaipur, India

We also visited Jantar Mantar (an old astronomical observatory), the museum and palace, where we saw the world’s largest cannon, the world’s largest sundial and the world’s largest silver water holders (which the maharajah filled with Gangees water and took to England to attend the coronation of Edward VII, as he mistrusted English water.

Today, we flew to Mumbai in preparation for speaking at VJTI tomorrow.

The things I do for Opera, eh?

7 Responses to “ Chandigarh, Pilani, Jaipur ”

Comment by Asfaq Tapia

Your adventures in India amaze me, Bruce! Fun read. It was great to have met you last evening at the Opera party in Mumbai. Do stay in touch :)

Thanks much,
Asfaq Tapia

P.S. Did you guys find out what the truck was carrying? ;-)

Comment by Zeba

This is one of the most beautiful blogs posts I’ve read about India…you really have an unusually great sense of observation.