Went to Chandigarh this weekend with S. A good time was had by all, and a lot of paneer was eaten. Oh god, the paneer. God shouldn't have invented such a delicious food.
But in other news: S's family is saintly (although they aren't South Indian -- according to popular lore, or the people I encountered on the train from Delhi to Kerala, Punjabis are animals and South Indians are, each and every one, Rama or Sita incarnate), and Chandigarh is a peaceful, sensibly regulated town. Traffic flows smoothly, for the most part, the city seems rather clean, and the sprawling, unending, teeming mass of humanity seemed to recede a bit into civility, order, and sensibility.
Wow, that's enough faffing. My favorite part of the trip? I would have to go with our trip to the Nek Chand Rock Garden (A FANTASY!). Basic story? Nek Chand, an eccentric transport official, starts making goofy statues and garden ornaments in his spare time -- and on the downlow, as his constructions went against the government's policy at the time. Eventually, they discovered him, but instead of being bureaucratic, unbending assholes (see: previous entry), the government decided to patronize Chand and allow him to employ about 50 people to realize his dream.
It's a quirky place, full of concrete armies of mosaic men, walls covered in electrical fittings or discarded, broken plates, artfully arranged stones placed just so. It looks like something my mother would create, if she had the time and the wherewithal. It's absolutely wonderful.
I suppose that's enough whoring of Nek Chand for now, but..yeah. Chandigarh = the awesome.
(The action from top to bottom: 1) Mosaic monkeys; 2) A plaster pirate awaits his fate -- being crushed and incorporated into a part of the garden; 3) S ducks through a hobbit hole; 4) A wall cobbled together from old electrical fittings; 5) Statues of women made of broken bangles; 6) Volunteers from the Nek Chand Foundation arrange tiles as part of the garden's expansion.