Therapy, Thoughts, Thank You.
Thursday 25th Nov.
The hotel room is in the kind array you might expect, with two days till I leave. Meaning, I’ve taken everything out of the case and tried to sort out where everything that’s returning will fit.
The box of malaria tablets I’ve been taking stands out and reminds me that Friday’s dose (the day I’ll be leaving) is 4 tablets. I’ve been very particular about taking these on time and have (touch wood) no side effects up to this point. I realise that even though I am now about to start my third pack, there are another 4 packs to take on my return to the UK. Happy Days.
The journey to work today is amusing. Stu and I keenly debate whether it is better to come to work smart or in jeans and a t-shirt. Really we’re debating the definition of “smart casual” I explain that being dressed smartly (a pair of trousers and a shirt at least) makes a difference for so many reasons. I’d list them all (promoting a clear work focus, other peoples perception, for starters) but Stu’s answer to them all is the same. “Nah, I dont’t buy it”. He’s not for budging past t-shirt. “One day you’ll twig” I tell him. But I’m not holding my breath.
The day in work is spent tidying up the last few topics.
A really good chat (as usual I talk a lot) over lunch and Swami was back for a bit. More great food. Worth saying at this point that none of the food was too spicy (in fact it could have done with being spiced up a bit.)
I managed to catch up with a few of the folks at work back home for a quick chat too. Well, I had to to make sure my desk would be uninhabited when I got back.
Back at the hotel, I treated myself to an Ayurvedic massage, which was really relaxing. The Abhyangham massage was based on ancient Indian rituals, starting with a foot wash, moving onto an all over body massage, with a LOT of oil. Once finished, another potion that seemed to consist of flour was rubbed in, to help remove the oil.
Once finished it was back to the room for my last nights sleep. I was certainly ready for it, but was adament that I was going to watch the film “3 Idiots”  So, 3 hours later (an hour per idiot eh) I finished packing and hit the hay late (around 0130)

Friday 26th Nov
Last day in the office today. We’re up early and in for breakfast at 0700.
Full on Indian style for me, with mutton keema, eggs bhurje (scrambled eggs with spices and veg), paratha (like a roti with veg in) and fresh OJ, coffee and a croissant on the side (ok, so not totally Indian)
We checked out the hotel and made our way to the car. Today, we’re not able to be picked up outside the hotel because of heightened security.
It’s the second anniversary of the 26/11 terror  attacks.
We made our way out to the cordon zone, where cars were only allowed on confirmation. Whilst waiting, Stu and I noticed again just how many stray dogs were around this part of Mumbai. And it was shortly after we realised that some of them worked undercover for the hotel. As we waitied, one of the security guards attempted to stop one of the dogs doing his business about 10 feet in front of Stu and I, to no avail. We smiled and caught a grin of resignation from the frustrated guard. Two minutes later though, his look, ours, and I’m sure the dogs too, all changed to large smiles.  A car moving towards us slowly for drop off was being beckoned to stop a little further back. The driver however was intent on getting his passengers as close to the hotel as he could. This ended up being to his detriment as slowly his front passenger side tyre crawled slowly over the fresh security dog business, cleaning the street completely but leaving the tyre in need of a good clean. He drove away totally unaware he had made at least three people smile like cheshire cats.
Our last drive into the office threw no more surprises at us unfortunately. We had football and rugby tops for the guys today, so we duly had some pictures taken along with a closing review of the two weeks.
Much was learnt and everyone agreed it had been another very worthwhile trip.Once work was finished for the day and before being dropped at the airport, the guys took us for a parting visit to Juhu beach. There was a real busy, vibrant atmoshpere on the beach, with many stalls selling Indian fast food…again we refrained. Instead we went for our evening meal to a nearby fish restaurant. We had the most delicious lobster..curried. Yum. Then, before we knew it, Stu and I were saying our goodbyes to the guys and on our way to the airport on our way home.

Although some of the journey was spent sleeping and using the in flight entertainment, most was spent contemplating the experiences of the last two weeks and how I considered they might change my outlook on life, even more than they had the first time round. I could go on for some time about these feelings, but suffice to say, India has changed my outlook and changed me, forever. Professionally, I brought a great sense of achievement home. Personally, I was simply humbled. For a number of reasons, I’ve fallen for India in ways so unlike any other country. I don’t know when I’ll return next, but return I will.
Finally, I should say, it was 26deg when I left Mumbai. When Karen and the girls met me in Edinburgh, there was snow on the ground and it was -4deg. Was I glad I hadn’t joined Stu in donning my shorts for the journey home:)

THE END

Well folks, that’s it. I’ve really enjoyed reliving the experiences as I’ve edited my diary for publishing on the blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too. Many thanks for reading. Whilst I’m talking about thank you’s, there are a few other people I’d like to say a big thank you to.

Thank You to:
The good people at work. You know who you are. Many thanks for the opportunity. It’s appreciated so much more than you’ll ever know.
Karen for her understanding…again.
Heather and Charlotte for the talks on the phone and webchats to keep my spirits up.
Mum and Dad for their tips & info. (and spare rupees:) Grandpa Ernie. The initial reason for my fascination with this wonderful country.
Mam for keeping my girls company…and for waiting until I left to come up (you know I’m kidding)
Vicki and Ava Bailey for lending me their husband and Daddy respectively.
Yogesh, Swami, Madaswami and Raman. W John Kumar and Challa Nag.
All of the staff, especially security and catering at TCS Yantra park.
Vikas, Mr + Mrs Gurung and family.
Tommy “Ginger God” Wilson.
Indian railways.
The friendly Go Air staff.
Ali Baba taxis.
Tariq the fastest taxi driver in Delhi.
All of the hotel and restaurant staff who took care of us.
To all the good good people of India I say… “Namastay”
Finally to Stu Bailey for his company through every single experience.

CHEERS
G