Wednesday, February 07, 2007
I returned on Sunday night from Dubai, and this afternoon I leave for Bombay. Our company is exhibiting at another trade fair there. After I return, I will be going to New Delhi in mid-February, to exhibit at one more fair. Around mid-March there's another fair in New Delhi, which I plan to visit. And in early April, a fair in Dhaka that I might visit.
Travel, travel ... all a bit stressful, especially the getting ready for leaving, and the interregnum of waiting in airports, being careful with one's belongings and things like money, tickets, passport etc etc. Of course, once one is at one's destination, all the fortuitous experiences make one forget the stress.
Though I did have a desire to travel to all kinds of places from an early age, much of my travel has really been occasioned by my circumstances and work, and only a little has been from a desire to travel as such. Though I don't think I've travelled very much - compared to really keen travellers - yet, I should say I am fortunate to have travelled as much as I have. In India, the regions I have not been to are Jammu & Kashmir, Chhatisgarh, Manipur, Nagaland and the Andaman Islands.
I have lived in Calcutta all my life, but I was born in Bombay - where my mother delivered me, while at her parents'. My paternal grandfather came to Calcutta in 1930 to take up a job. He worked in Bombay for a few years before that, leaving Kerala as a matriculate teenager to find a job to support his parents and many younger siblings. My father was born - at his mother's village home, in Kerala - a few months before coming to Calcutta. So Calcutta has been home to me and my family.
The city of Calcutta - has defined my life and work since 1984. I married a Bengali and became a part of my wife's Bengali family in 1985. And I have been part of the social, cultural and political life of my city. But I was born into a Tamil household, attended an English-medium school, and completed my schooling in a military school in Dehradun.
Besides Calcutta, I have also worked in / for some other parts of India; and I have worked in / for the city of Jerusalem.
I have visited or stayed in some 17 countries; the regions I have not visited are South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, China, Central Asia and Australia-New Zealand.
In all my travel, I have by and large related intensively with the places and the people; in turn, I have been formed and renewed through my travels. This morning I realised that I should actually be travelling more, in connection with my business management duties. But now I'm weary of travelling, and a reluctant traveller. I feel saturated.