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Women's Squash Visits Historic Sites, Travels to Chennai

Photo of top-ranked Harvard women's squash team courtesy of Chris Smith.

The top-ranked Harvard women's squash team is traveling to India for an 11-day training and service trip. Members of the team will post regular blog entries on GoCrimson.com during their trip over the next few weeks.

Blog Post by Vidya Rajan ’13 on Jan. 5
Blog Post by Alexandra Zindman '11 on Jan. 8
Blog Post by Cece Cortes '12 on Jan. 9
Map of Harvard Destinations During Trip to India
Photo Gallery of Harvard Women's Squash in India

Post by Vidya Rajan '13

Looking forward to training in Chennai, we bid a poignant goodbye to Mumbai and its various sights and sounds after three days of acclimating to the humidity and training under the toughest conditions of the season.

On our final day in Mumbai we took time to drive around the city, visiting Mahatma Gandhi's house and the Chatrapatti Sivaji Museum, where we had an exposure to some Indian history and culture. In addition, we drove by Mumbai's Victorian architecture as we briefly saw Mumbai University, the High Court, Rajabhai Clock Tower, and the Victoria Terminus. Finally, we got a taste of the hustle and bustle as we drove through Crawford Market and Bombay Bazaar.

We immensely appreciated the Mashruwalas' hospitality in guiding us through the city, treating us to meals, and inviting us to their home on the final day of our Mumbai stay. It is thanks to their help that we stayed satisfied and well-fed throughout.

Overall, our Mumbai experience was one that was exciting, enlightening, and enjoyable. Though our food, transportation, and general living conditions sheltered us from the way most of the people live in India, it was a conscious choice to start things off like this in order to ease us into the reality of India.

This decision was a good one, as the team found the transition to a foreign country to be better than expected. "India is not as difficult to adjust to as some might think," coach Satinder Bajwa said, and by the end of our Mumbai stay many team members could not agree more. In fact, the general sentiment was one of enthusiasm and interest in seeing more simply because Mumbai was so different from what anyone had previously known.

There will be more differences to come as we explore Chennai, a city in Southern India that speaks a different language and even boasts a different cuisine. Keeping in mind that the theme of the trip is "adaptability," however, we are ready to deal with whatever we may encounter. Up next is two and half days in Chennai and squash training at the India National Training Center which is home to the best junior and pro players in India. We have a match against the best 12 women in all of India in two days and are really looking forward to the match.