South Tour: Nagpur to Hyderabad – The beginning

From 15 November to 9 December, I toured South India with 17 students, most of them on Rotary exchanges like myself. At the end of about every other day, I’d take out my 19 x 15.2 cm Need For Speed notebook and write. These entries were written in variable shades of light, in variable states of mind, on buses, on trains, in hotels, and (the last one) from the comfort of my home in Nagpur.

The product of my 25 days of memories is 54 pages and over 7,000 words, the quality of which varies widely from entry to entry. Between now and Christmas I’ll be publishing them, because I would probably destroy WordPress if I put them up all at once. I’ve edited for accuracy and clarity – heavily in some cases – but what I’ve tried not to do however, is distill the emotion of the moment.

I also took 672 pictures, many of which I’ll be posting as well.

Here’s my first entry, which I wrote on the bus from Nagpur to Hyderabad. Enjoy!



15 Nov

I took no pictures this day, but here's a good one from the next day, in Hyderabad.

I took no pictures this day, but here's a good one from the next day, in Hyderabad.

NAGPUR-HYDERABAD: Today was the first day of our tour. As a group, we’ve yet to do anything together. And yet today was an incredibly busy day.

I awoke at 9 this morning with almost everything unfinished. I didn’t have a student ID from my college. Some letters I needed to send home were unsent. Eight t-shirts and a pair of jeans were still being pressed down the street. My allowance remained uncollected. And my suitcase lay on my bedroom floor, half empty.

It took 30 minutes at the post office to mail one letter, 90 minutes at my college to collect one iCard, and two minutes at the shop down the street to collect my clothes. After an afternoon spent half packing and half panicking – three power outages did little good for my mood – almost everything was done. (I would receive my allowance just before departure.)

Just after 7 p.m., I bid my host family namaskar, waved goodbye, and joined the 17 other students at the Green Lounge Hotel for dinner and departure.

The other Rotary students are awesome – there’s really no better way to put it. Some I’ve seen almost every day over the last four months, some I’d talked to just once or twice in the same time frame, and some I met for the first time today. From the moment I entered the hotel, the group dynamic has been impressive.

Mostly, we’ve just talked. About anything, really. Eight to twelve of us sat together in one compartment of the bus until 1 a.m., sharing stories of our escapades in our respective host cities, what superhero powers we’d like to have, and our opinions and thoughts on life in India overall. It’s a tremendous community. As our AC bus takes us to Hyderabad, I can tell there will be a lot to look forward to – sightseeing and seeing each other alike.



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3 Responses to “South Tour: Nagpur to Hyderabad – The beginning”

  1. Fred Held Says:


    You can write about the most boring stuff and make it a compelling read. You are having the adventure of a lifetime.

    Having traveled extensively and living in cities all over the world, I can empathize with the thrill of discovery. I have never spent a great deal of time in India but I am fascinated by this country.

    People say China is the future economic power, I say India is. The Indians by far are more creative and take bigger business risks….TaTa is a perfect example.

    Keep posting your experiences and pictures.


  2. jaber2 Says:

    Hi Chris,

    I find your blog to be quite enlightening. Hope you can draw out the rotary trip as long as possible.

    Cordially, Mohammad

  3. John Says:


    Really, it’s simply awesome that you kept a journal and wrote in it so frequently, as well as the fact that you took so many pictures.

    This trip sounds really fun and, as Mohammad said, “enlightening”, and I am glad that you are taking time to share glimpses of your new life and experiences with us!

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