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Life at chennai - our first visit abroad

I moved to Chennai on the first of January, 2007 and started the next phase of my life. The move was dictated not out of love for Chennai which town I used to abhor in my early years when I had an opportunity to spend time there while taking a refresher course in certain subjects I could not clear while studying in the college. Raji who after her marriage had settled in Chennai with her husband and his family wanted me to go over to Chennai for a change. She found a flat close to her house. I had earlier shifted residence from Basaveswarnagar to another house in the same locality after my angioplasty operation as I was advised to avoid climbing stairs. And the present house was on the first floor. So I moved to a new house which was on the ground floor. I was to regret the decision later as I found that it was not suited to me on various counts. Further as I had planned a shift to Chennai due to persistent pressure from Raji it would have been advisable to straightaway shift to Chennai.

I reluctantly left Bangalore which place had a lot of memories for me. But life had to go on and I was thrilled to live close to Raji for whom I had a special affection. She took very good care of us and helped us to settle down. During this period of comparative calm we were also involved in finding a groom for Ambika now that she had completed her post graduate studies in Human Resources Management. Then there was an invitation from Supriya to visit her in England. So we made preparations to visit UK for a short three months’ holiday. We self, Jaya and Ambika emplaned in the first week of July by a Sri Lankan Airlines plane which traveled via Colombo. We landed at the Heathrow airport in London on what was my first visit to England about which we had heard and read a lot. Sundar and Supriya were on hand to drive us to their home. The city of London impressed me at the first sight itself with its broad well laid out roads, the landscape on both sides with lush vegetation and the orderly movement of vehicles. We began our stay quietly in Supriya’s well appointed house. The days following our arrival were hectic with week end sight seeing outings to different parts of the City. We never missed a single week end without exploring the City. We visited several land marks about which I had read about in my school days and which appeared to come to life as we went to the historical places one after the other. A detailed description of our visits will run to a number of pages. Suffice it to mention prominent places we visited such as the Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, the Trafalgar Square, Windsor Castle, Madame Tussauds, the London Eye, Wimbledon Tennis Courts, Wembley Stadium, Lakshminarayan Temple (built in marble), the very Indian temples of Lord Muruga and Mahalakshmi in East Ham, a steamer ride in the Thames, the Waterloo Station, Brighton Sea Resort and many many more. I also spent an enjoyable two weeks with Sriram and Rupa in Loncoln which is in North England and a three hour drive from London. While there I spent a lot of time visiting monuments nearby like the Lincoln Cathedral and the birth place of Alfred Lord Tennyson the famous British poet. I also made a trip to the famous cricket ground at Trent Bridge in Nottingham where I watched the touring Indian Cricket team playing a Test. A full description of these visits will be found in the tour diary I have written. After three months of eventful stay in England we said reluctantly good bye. We left London in a Sri Lankan flight and reached Chennai after a short break in Colombo.

On return we plunged into the martrimonial market to find a suitable husband for Ambika. Ambika had in the meantime completed her post graduation in Human Resources Development with flying colours. The result was she got into the HR department of the Standard Chartered Bank at a five figure salary. After a two month stint there she was elevated to an executive position with a further raise in salary. There were a lot of enquiries for alliance for Ambika and we zeroed in to a couple of suitable cases. Eventually we identified one suitable case. The boy works in US and is a graduate from Guindy Engineering College in Madras. His father is a retired government official and lives permanently in Madras. Early in January we conducted the betrothal and fixed the date of marriage for September, 2008. During the intervening period, Raji had conceived and delivered a baby girl in June. By this time we had also finalized plans to return to Bangalore permanently.

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