We arrived in Bhubaneswar early yesterday morning by Howrah Puri Express from Kolkata. This was the shortest rail journey of our entire trip this summer and the only one on which we had a coupe to ourselves. All of us were thrilled with that and also lamented the lack on our other, longer journeys.
Bhubaneswar is hotter than I can tolerate. I am running up my father’s air conditioning bill. He has a very large house in Sahid Nagar, his retirement home, and has lavished enormous care on it. He is an avid gardener and the house is teeming with plants of all shapes and sizes. Just a few minutes ago he was showing me a coconut tree that he saved from sort of large beetle that bores into the trunk and kills the tree from the inside. He, my father, effectively operated on the tree, drilling two holes into the trunk, saturating it with some sort of organic insecticide and bandaging the wounds to prevent water loss. The tree seems to be responding to his ministrations.
Today I have to chase down a number of odd jobs like visiting my bank here, checking on my flat etc. The thought of having to go out in this heat is enough to give me a headache but do them I must.
Such is life.