24 December 2008

Finally in Delhi

The day after our missed connection we were able to catch the same flight to Delhi, thus avoiding a layover in Amsterdam. We arrived at the Newark airport over six hour early and were assured that our luggage was there and would be re-routed to accompany us. Not surprisingly, it did not. We nonetheless spent a restful night at the Green Meadows Guest House (contact: greenmeadowc23@gmail.com). Meadows, much less green ones, are in short supply in Delhi, but the accommodations were comfortable and the breakfast excellent. Because we had to leave for the terminal in Delhi to catch our flight to Jodhpur by 10:00, Girish Kaul (program officer with USEFI) came to meet us and fill us in on Fulbright administrative details.

The morning national news was filled with accounts of Pakistani troop movements from its western border with Afghanistan, where they are supposed to be battling the Taliban, to its eastern border with India – particularly the borders with the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Indian troop movements to the same areas were duly noted. A bit disconcerting but, we have been assured, not a cause for alarm. At least not yet.

It was at the Delhi airport that we were thankful to be reunited with our daughter Lisa who had spent a sleepless night at the airport in Mumbai, where she had been re-routed after also missing her connection to Delhi due to the winter weather in the U.S. But at least she had her luggage.

At the airport in Jodhpur we were met by Shekhawat, a NLU administrator, and Digvijay Singh, a third-year law student who will be our “facilitator.” Digvijay’s job is to show us around Jodhpur and explain what we need to know to live here for the next four-and-a-half months. After settling into our quarters in the NLU guest house (which, given our lack of luggage, didn’t take long), we took tea with Digvijay and Dr. Seshaiah Shasthri, NLU’s equivalent of Academic Dean. Then another tea with Justice N.N. Mathur, Vice-Chancellor (equivalent to an American law dean). Justice Mathur recently retired from the Rajasthan High Court to become Vice-Chancellor. Then a superb dinner with Dr. Shasthri, his wife Dr. Vedantam Leela (who teaches management and organizational leadership at NLU), and Digvijay. All in all a day of extraordinary hospitality.

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