Kapoors Year 1: India/S.E. Asia travel blog

Anil and Dattu Standing Beside a "Tempo Traveller" Van


We were up early to see some of the family members off. Those who had early flights from Mumbai needed to leave by car in order to make it to the airport in time. Most of the wedding guests were returning to Mumbai by charter bus - we decided to take the opportunity to travel to Pune, only 70 km away to visit our friend Alaka Kembhavi. Alaka and Dilip have been our friends in Edmonton for over twenty-five years. Alaka's mother has been gravely ill for most of the past year and she has been in Pune taking care of her parents. Unfortunately, her father passed away in May 2006.

We took a taxi for the short distance from Lonavla to Pune and arrived in time for lunch with Alaka. She had made a reservation at the nearby Swaroop Hotel. After lunch we checked in, and as we walked back to Alaka's we spotted a "Curry on the Roof" restaurant. After a visit with Alaka's mother, who remembered us well, we all went out to dinner at the restaurant. It was a good meal, the restaurant was very busy as it was Sunday evening so we were lucky to get a table.

We had a good sleep after all the wedding festivities, and after breakfast at the hotel, we returned to Alaka's for another visit. Alaka's son, Nikhil was arriving that evening from Canada and she was sending a car and driver to Mumbai to pick him up. As we were leaving the hotel, I noticed a van parked in front with the words "Tempo Traveller" on the grill. I asked Anil and Dattu (he started with Alaka's parents as a house boy over thirty years ago, and is still working to help Alaka cope with their home and health care) to stand with the van for a photo.

We returned to Mumbai with the car - arriving at Anil's cousin's apartment in Worli, a suburb of Mumbai about 8:00 p.m. It was hard to say goodbye to Alaka, but we were pleased to learn that she is getting some relief and will be able to go home to Canada for a month during the Christmas holidays. Then she will return to care for her mother.

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