The stay at ITC Maurya was refreshing, especially being told by the reception staff that the visiting VIPs during the current year included the President and Premier of China and President, Mrs Obama and Mrs Hillary Clinton.To me from professional and academic point this is one of the ‘select – greenesthotels’ of the world with solar panels for supplying heat and energy, and recycling of water in addition to harvesting of ALL rainwater for exquisite landscaping.
While at Sheraton Indira and I spent an evening of ‘high tea’ and snacks with my Banaras Engineering College (BENCO) class mates Jitendra Sondhi of World Bank and ex-Brigadier Premindra Sethe (now a US resident), Vinod Chatrath, ex Engg-Chief, Government of India (GOI).This mini-get-together was reliving the memories of 1953-57 and thereafter.
We took time to visit my old friend from Banaras, Dr N. K. Jain in Saritha Vihar. We spent time recollecting the times we spent at Kanpur. We called Mrs Mathur who is still living in Kanpur and exchanged greetings.
On Jan 1st, while at NOIDA with Indira’s younger brother, (Retd) Commodore T. Hariram, it was gratifying that erstwhile colleague of mine from UP Government service B.N. Singh, retired Urban Planning Consultant, GOI invited me and Indira for an extended family reunion at Habitat Center, New Delhi for a sumptuous luncheon.
On Jan 1st we continued our trip to visit the daughter of Lucknow friends of 1959-69 time frame and Late Dr. GSN Moorthy. His daughter Mrs Vijayalakshmi (Vijju) w/o Mr. Kotamraju Subhash Rao hosted Indira and me for an evening of ‘high-tea’ when we had occasion to meet Mr. K. N. Rao elder brother of Subhash Rao. Who retired as Auditor and Comptroller General, G.O.I.I am told that Mr. K.N. Rao is a renowned Astrologer and is frequently consulted by past Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and even the renowned Amitab Bachan who comes to this house for guidance in his career moves.As we were there at their apartment there were scores of visitors to greet Mr. KN Rao and it gives an observer the impression of a durbar.It is very understandable that mathematics that is used in accounting is well utilized in retirement for mathematical calculations for various planet configurations. During our visit Vijju showed their son’s wedding album and narrated the events that took place at the wedding in Bangalore. Their son Gautam, the chief Fashion Designer for Arvind Mills married to a British girl, editor for MacMilan Company in Bangalore. About 85 people from London –friends and family attended the wedding. The group wanted to be clad in Indian clothes one in traditional and second in party ware. With only twenty four hours before the wedding Gautam arranged a batch of dress makers and all of them were dressed and photographed in Indian attires.
All the trouble of travelling is well worth when we met all the near and dear and spent a few hours with each of them.