Leaving India

Ship off the Kenyan coast

Photo courtesy: Andrew Thomas — Wikimedia Commons

Three times I’ve left India, (oops, now it’s four, since writing this post) and two of those times were by sea. Firstly, I chugged across the Palk Straight from Rameswaram to Mannar Island, Lanka.

The second sea exit was from Mumbai over the calm Arabian Sea to Mombasa. The week-long voyage cost $US100 back then; $10 extra if you opted for western food. I would have paid $10 more for the delicious vegetarian curries I ate daily.

I slept in something like a women’s dorm and loafed on deck at night where the clear sky was on star overload. There was a movie every night but I wasn’t into Bollywood then so spent the trip socializing with the few European travellers on board.

When we docked in Mombasa, an African came aboard.

“Jambo,” he said to another passenger who repeated the Swahili word back to him not knowing what it meant until later. That cruise was far from luxurious, but was the most relaxing trip I’ve ever taken.

The last two exits have been by air from Mumbai and years later from Chennai — not half as memorable.

One thought on “Leaving India”

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