Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Longest Day

Wednesday, 23 September 2009. That was the longest day in our recce trip to India, precisely Sarnath, to finalise arrangements for the Novitiate (Temporary Monkhood) Programme to take place in November.

Early completion of the tasks at hand saw our group of four leaving Sarnath early for an unscheduled trip to Bodhgaya, the place where the Buddha gained Enlightenment.

After a two-night stopover at Bodhgaya, it was time to head for home. Our day began at 4.00 am in Bodhgaya for a six-hour road trip to Varanasi to catch the flight to New Delhi enroute back to Kuala Lumpur.

The 200-km journey on the highway, which I suspect was built by a Malaysian company, was relatively smooth except for some heart stopping moments. It's a norm in India to have on-coming traffic on your side of the highway!

We arrived in Varanasi in good time -- just below six hours -- but only to be greeted by news of a flight delay.

After an one hour delay, our flight took off and we arrived one-and-a-half hour later in New Delhi. Exiting the airport, we were caught in the evening's rush hour traffic. A quick detour to buy some books saw us back at the airport early to check in for our 11 pm flight to KL.

We killed time browsing at the airport and the five-hour flight took off an hour before midnight. After little sleep, we arrived in KL at 6.55 am Malaysian time (4.25 am Indian time) on Thursday, 24 September.

This old body was still up to it despite the long hours with little sleep. A quick bath and off I was off to the office. By afternoon, I just had to struggle to stay awake. Still fine. A little tired.

By late afternoon, I noticed my voice getting nasal. I paid no heed to the sign of my body system revolting for the punishing pace. The flu knocked me out for a couple of days after that.

My body just couldn't take it. Admittedly. I am old!