Greetings to all my dear friends around the globe !!
The idea occurred to me during a 3 month expedition travelling around India. I was attending the wedding of my incredibly clever and beautiful little baby sister, Nishala, or ‘Lichooo’, as we like to call her much to her embarrassment. Here’s a little photographic slide show I put together of the wedding preparations.
The wedding, which was an amazing 3 day event , took place in my old home town of Bengaluru, previously known as the garden city of Bangalore, which is where I went to primary school . After the wedding, I decided to use my freedom as an opportunity to travel around the sub-continent of India, which is such a huge part of my heritage, travelling all the way from the South to the North, while investigating opportunities to Tango of course, which to my surprise were many, and I met some fantastic dancers, and danced at some lovely milongas.
Once such place was at a milonga organised by the fabulous Kiran Bajaj Sawhey, who runs the New Delhi Tango School (NDTS)
I travelled by train, as I simply love the romanticism of riding on the Indian railways, which brought back many nostalgic childhood memories as I made my way through Goa, Mumbai, Delhi, Gorakhpur and also enjoyed a little side trip to Kathmandu in Nepal, simply because I always wanted to visit the city with such a cool, unique, and quirky sounding name ‘Kat – Man -du’, besides which I always wanted see The Himalayas and Mount Everest !!
One of the most important places I visited was a little known town called Mundra, located in Kutch, Gujarat, which as I’ve mentioned is where my grandparents came from (see https://wp.me/P6QMGh-1tG) ). This is where they say my paternal grand-father, Gulam Hussein Bandali, who went on to become a successful businessman, once used to sell matchsticks on the docks.
Given the rural nature of the location and lack of modern facilities, people, including family members, often asked me why I would possible want to return to such a ‘backward’ place. My reply is that in order to know where you’re heading, its useful to know where you came from, and we can always learn something from our past.
As my grandparents subsequently immigrated from Kutch in India to Uganda, it seemed logical that my feet should lead me back to East Africa, to trace my roots.
So the plan is to travel from Entebbe , near the capital city of Kampala, where my sister Farah lives, up country towards the north and then make my way east to the Kenyan border towards Kisumu, where I head south, taking the narrow gauge rail from Nairobi to Mombasa, en route to the exotic city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and finally ending up at the port of Zanzibar.
So I guess this is where the next chapter or my journey now begins. Hope you will join me on my travels..
Lots of warm hugs to you all.
#Tango Traveller #britishindianexplorer
Next time: ‘Jambo Kampala’