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From India To Cornwall
Our Blast reporter Amy Hall has returned to Cornwall after spending three months in Bangalore. Read her final India diary entry...
After we got back form Kerala I started work at Radio Indigo, which is an international music station in Bangalore. It is very different from the Rave magazine office; it's very loud and modern. I had to help out with ideas for features on programmes.
On Tuesday I went to a wedding reception with one of my new room mates Jordan. She teaches in a school for women and one of their brothers got married on Monday. After panicking about what we were going to wear we both bought saris as we were told this would be the traditional dress. We were both really nervous, as we didn't know what to expect.
When we arrived some of Jo's pupils dragged us off to a room where they altered our saris that apparently weren't on right (the woman in the sari shop put them on for us!)
A highlight was being blessed by an elephant
We also had bangles and bindhis on and flowers in our hair. The bride and groom had to walk up the aisle that was in between the two seats. There were two TV screens, one on each side of the room that were showing everything being filmed live to everyone that was there. The guests had to queue up to give the couple gifts as they sat on a stage, then we all had to be in photographs.
Afterwards it was time for dinner, the men went into one room to eat and the women another as is the custom at Indian Muslim weddings. They asked us whether we were vegetarian and when we said we were the sister of the groom whisked us outside and gave us some fruit. She then told us we had to go somewhere else to eat dinner. We were under the impression that everyone else would be along later so we ate our fruit as quick as we could while being filmed at one point live to all the guests.
We were taken to a restaurant that was pretty busy so we asked again whether anyone would be joining us. We then found out that we were the only ones and they had taken us there especially as we were vegetarian. We felt really bad but they insisted they would be offended if we didn't eat!
On Thursday most of the volunteers went to Goa as they were spending a long weekend there to go to a music festival. Just as they were leaving a storm started with thunder, lightning and lots of rain. The power then went out for a couple of hours and the terrace flooded. Those of us that were left, shut ourselves in a room and waited until it had finished. I was so excited to see rain again I texted my sister in Cornwall who told me that it was brilliant sunshine there.
Amy with the Nandi Statue, Chamundi Hill
Over the weekend I got ready to leave and said goodbye to the rest of my friends in Bangalore. I was sad to leave as I have met some great people here and grown to really like living in the city. It's nice to have so much on your doorstep and I even like it that everything closes by 11.30 at night. It means you can go out on a weekday and still be up fresh for work the next day!
On Sunday morning I went to the airport to get my plane. I was glad because another volunteer, Loren, was getting the same plane as me as far as Mumbai. Unfortunately our taxi was half an hour late and we were worried we were going to miss it but when we got there it turned out the plane had been delayed by an hour anyway.
By Monday I was back in Cornwall. It was so good to see everyone again and eat lots of cheese! It was almost like I had never been away although I did find it a bit scary driving a car again.
I am definitely going to miss India and all the people I met. I'm also going to miss both the jobs I had there. I have to start looking for one here now and I expect I won't find one as much fun. I am also going to miss so much about the country itself, maybe including getting harassed by rickshaw drivers wanting to take you somewhere for too much money…or maybe not.
I am so grateful to the Camborne Rotary Club for sponsoring me and helping me in this amazing opportunity. Hopefully I will be able to go back to India someday and travel around the country. I may even go back to Bangalore and see what has changed.
Thanks to Amy for keeping a diary of her travels on the BBC Cornwall website.
last updated: 21/06/07