The Arrival of Durga Puja and My Brother!
on Jane in India (India), 25/Oct/2011 03:30, 34 days ago
Please note this is a cached copy of the post and will not include pictures etc. Please click here to view in original context.

I'm well overdue a blog update, things have been pretty busy so the next few posts will be a catch up on the past month or so..Durga Puja happened the first week of October. It's a very big Hindu festival here in Orissa which worships Goddess Durga - the goddess who fights for girl power with her many arms. All over town lights were hung and huge pandals were constructed to house big shiny statues of Durga. And what's more, we had a week's holiday from work - woo! I was especially excited as it meant the arrival of my brother Paul for a visit! He took a 2 week holiday - first touring Delhi and the Golden Triangle with a friend, then over to Orissa for a week. It was really exciting to have my first visitor from home, after almost 11 months! I got a bit unexpectedly emotional on seeing him at the airport - the lone white foreigner in his Ireland jersey at Bhubaneswar airport. It's such another world here that after a while it begins to feel like living in some strange endless dream. So it was good to see my brother in the flesh and a relief to know that life and people back home will still be there when I wake up!one of the pandals in BhubaneswarWe had a great week in Orissa - I got to show him where I live and work, introduce him to my colleagues and what I've been getting up to. We did sightseeing around Bhubaneswar, visited Konark Temple and a lovely drive to Raghurajpur crafts village, spent a day chilling and playing in the waves on a secluded beach at Puri, a trip to Chilika Lake, and eating! I felt a little guilty afterwards when I thought of how I had been herding him into shared auto rickshaws and local buses around sweaty Orissa, perhaps a shock to the system after a week of AC cars and hotels in the Golden Triangle, but the true Indian experience nonetheless! It will be March when I next see people from home, so thanks Paul for breaking up my exile and coming to visit (and for bringing me new sandals and taking my stuff back home)!me& Paul, at DhauliChilika LakeDurga Puja idol at Raghurajpur village