It was 25th Dec, Christmas day, and our flight from Terminal three of the new
Airport at Delhi was scheduled to depart at 8 PM. We comfortably
settled down and waited. After a while the pilot announced that due to onset of
fog the flight will be delayed. As time passed the visibility reduced further
and we could barely see the runway. The thought of spending a long night in the
flight, waiting for fog to clear was very depressing. Around midnight the
airlines staff distributed some sandwiches and juice but the spirits were still
down. The prospect of the aircraft to depart was grim as no further
announcements were made. Around 6 AM the airlines made an announcement that we
could disembark and wait in the lounge after going through the security process
once again with new boarding passes. The flight departed at 11 AM the next day (delayed
by 15 hours!). There was no Santa Claus to alleviate our misery. We had been
sleepless for now over 36 hours when we landed in Kualalumpur and soon after
checking in the hotel, dropped in the bed.
|Christmas festivities at a mall in Bukit Bintang in Kualalumpur|
The view from the seventh floor room was majestic overlooking the Brickfields area, with towering skyscrapers and busy marketplace right below, as I peered out from the window the next day morning. We headed to the twin
and the sprawling Suria KLCC complex. It was decorated with buntings, neon
lights and Christmas trees. People were thronging the place right from the
morning dressed in their best attire. A whiff of freshly baked bread from the
bakery was overpowering. The eating places offered a wide variety of selections
from local Nasi Lemak(local Malaysian fare) to Chinese, Continental, Italian
and Indian food.The dancing fountains and
beautifully maintained lush green lawns in the vicinity of Petronas towers are
a treat to watch. Petronas Towers
Later in the evening we went to Bukit Bintang, a major commercial complex, which was decked up like a bride. It was bustling with activity and all the trees were covered with twinkling multi hued lights giving the place a look of a fairyland. The children enjoyed the ice creams while watching the two men dressed in all golden and green attire that stood like statues. Malaysia is a country which truly represents every form of Asian culture in buildings, languages, food, culture,religion and many more, and still very cosmopolitan
Next day, we were to leave for
Bali! I was wonder struck about the place
after reading ‘Eat, Pray and Love’ by Elisabeth Gilbert. Time had come to visit
this beautiful Hindu island in .
|Arjun on the chariot in Denpasar|
|With my family at Mt Kintamani|
The mesmerizing performance of Ramayana and Barong dance, lush green rice fields, the rising active volcano of Kintamani all make it a complete family holiday The roads are very good and there are no hiccups while traveling. Around Ubud there is dense vegetation and the drive on the long winding road is exciting as cold gust of wind uplifts the soul. The art village, the painter's village, batik painters , the gold & silver inlay workers village, pottery makers, and all the traditional arts are concentrated around Ubud whereas the best beaches and up market cottages and resorts are located near Nusa Dua and Seminyak There are ample food choice besides the local fare of rice, roast pig ling, fish, chicken and mutton.
On the New Year eve, the whole town was out in the streets and the environment was charged with, fun, music, gaiety and color. An occasional shower sent the revelers scurrying for shelter. A burst of crackers and fireworks heralded the New Year as the skies lit up. The rejoicing continued for the next day as we continued with a binge of eating and going around. The previous evening's rain had not dampened our spirits.
Two things about
Bali make it a very special place. All men/women have only one of the four names based on the birth order. The first one is ‘Wayan or Yan’, the second , ‘Made’, third one is ‘Nyoman’ or’Komang’ and the fourth one is ‘Ketut’.If there is a fifth child in the family he / she is Wayan Balik(or Wayan again). The second special thing is that both birth and death are associated with elaborate rituals and festivities and sometimes very expensive!
The New Year day was spent in taking a long stroll through the market place and later retiring early to take the flight back. Past midnight we were awakened by the hotel staff and after changing we found the taxi waiting to take us back to the airport. The road was still wet as the taxi sailed past the puddles of rain on the road. Within 10 minutes we were at the Denpasar airport.The flight was full as the morning sun broke out from the east.It took off for return to Kualalumpur and onward to Delhi with some lovely memories