Incredible India

NewsOK | BLOGS

Final day in Patiala: Yadavindra Public School, palaces, and my new best friend

Lindsay Houts Published: February 12, 2013

Were you doing a wifi dance for me? Because the Gods of the Internet were listening and my new home in Moga has wifi. I may have jumped for joy when I found out. Maybe. OK, I did. Here are some musings on our last full day in Patiala and our amazing time in Faridkot. Hopefully I’ll be able to upload more video for you. 

Day 11:

We had our last full day in Patiala. I’ll tell you about in photos:

We visited Yadavindra Public School (YPS), a well-known and very old private school (despite “public” being in its name, which is deceiving). From what I could tell, it’s the Casady School of Punjab.

Students may attend school here for 13 years – from kindergarten through grade 12 – and come from all over the country and even world. We met two girls who were finishing their 10th grade year, one from Canada and the other from Botswana. Their parents, Indians, had sent them to YPS to immerse them in their culture. The Canadian girl was particularly hilarious, thrilled to see Americans (“people like me,” she explained). She had spent 8th – 10th grades at YPS and was headed home to finish high school. She confided that she was terrified of high school and was worried that she’d be made fun of for her race at home in Canada. I told her not to believe what she read on the Internet about high school and that she’d be just fine. Don’t disappoint me, Toronto.

The school has assets that total more than a billion U.S. dollars. The facilities were impressive, and the dance class that we stumbled upon made one thing clear: the reason Indians can dance so well is that they start when they’re abut 5 years old. (Same for Spain, where my attempts at learning to Salsa fell as flat as my attempts at learning any kind of Punjabi dancing.)

We took a quick look at the home (OK, palace) of the former King of Patiala.

We only saw a few snippets, and the ivory carving was the most captivating for me. I’d never seen a full tusk. I can only imagine the value of a piece like this. I probably don’t want to know, actually.

Also, these paintings? Yeah, they’re not paintings. They’re embroidery. I considered stealing one to enter in the State Fair (hello, first place!) … but arrest and time in an India jail seemed … unappealing.

We had one last Patiala Rotary meeting, and the highlight was the cutest 8-year-old girl in the world, Mehreen.

She quizzed me all night in her perfect English on topics from favorite colors to whether or not I believed in ghosts to words I knew in Hindi. Her shoes, she told me proudly, were from America. (Bedazzled and lit up, of course.)

 I promised her that we’d be pen pals. I’ll be pretty heartbroken if she doesn’t write back.