After a long stint at Amazon, I finally decided to take a break. I've been toying with the idea for a long time, and finally things come to a point when I thought the timing couldn't be more perfect. Or almost. Nevertheless, the die is cast, and I am taking off on a sabbatical from work. The time off starts August 16th and I return mid November.
What am I planning to do? So many things... and three months seem so little! For now, I have tickets booked to the US, landing in New York. After a couple of days there and then a couple of days with my sister in North Carolina, I plan to head out to Hawaii and complete my PADI certification for scuba diving. I hope I am able to finish it this time around. I return back to Bangalore in early September. I am hoping I'll be able to wander around in the Himalayas for nearly a month without having a fixed plan. There are places in Himachal (Lahaul, Spiti, Narkanda) and Garhwal (Nanda Devi) that I want to spend time at. I might even spend some time in Ladakh again.
I am also looking into getting some surfing action in October. It looks like my earlier plan for spending time in Spain might not be feasible then. Australia looks more likely. New Zealand looks like it will be colder and more expensive.
Ah.. all these plans. I hope I'm able to see them all through.
Last weekend I went back home to Chandigarh. It was such a pleasure to drive in the city beautiful. There's so little traffic and the roads are actually wider. It is also pleasantly surprising to see roads being constantly widened and there is an acual plan for a mass transit system. Bangalore, on the other hand, despite being the so-called IT hub of India, is way behind in its public transport and mass transit.
On the trip I managed to wade through the rest of the White Mughals. I had written about it a while ago, but somehow didn't manage to finish it then. As before, I found the account of the British times in India extremely fascinating. What with Mangal Pandey coming out and all, it might even be topical. The movie also features a British guy taking on a Hindu girl as a lover. The book even recounts how women come from England in the hope of finding a suitable match, only to find that the British men here preferred Indian women (and these womenfolk who returned empty handed were called "returned empties" back home.. the British didn't have much imagination in those times, maybe...).
The trip also gave me time to read what I thought was a really great book: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. It has been a very long time since I read a book where the characters were so real, and so well written. There were parts where the book nearly made me cry. I have two more books of his lying on my shelf and they are not going to remain unread for long!
Back from Chandigarh, this week just feels like vacation already. I just can't keep myself from thinking about surfing, diving, trekking... Aaargh! It's time to get serious about having some unalderated fun. Work's for suckers.