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Travelling

Nothing else rejuvenates me than being at a different place where I am unknown to anyone but a few travelling with me. I feel that am a traveller by heart. I feel happy every time I hear about someone travelling and feel jealous too at the same time of not being able to travel that frequently.

Mumbai is always going to be special as it was the first city we travelled to as a family and then my first ever trip without family was again to Mumbai. We travelled in 1990 by train to Mumbai during the month of December (Christmas Holidays) and then I had gone to meet a friend in April 2007. The latter was my solo journey to and fro Mumbai via plane, my first time in plane too. It was in Mumbai that I witnessed my first meeting with the Ocean. Hence, there are many reasons for Mumbai to be special.

Cluster of boats in Colaba , Mumbai

Cluster of boats in Colaba , Mumbai

Yes, I do feel the butterflies in my stomach every time I pack my bags; I do feel exhilarated when I am on the way to the destination, I feel that I am living a new life every time I touch unfamiliar grounds, I am Me each time I am out there in conversation with the world. Travelling is not just about visiting a different place, there is a lot more that catch hold of my attention. The architecture, unusual plants/trees/flowers, sometimes birds, the smell in the air (even if it’s the smell of fish like that in Mumbai…I notice that too), faces of people living there – I feel that as you move to different regions there something in the face that changes, yet you would find a similarity in the faces of residents. I am a foodie and yes the difference in the taste of what I eat count too.

Mode of travel doesn’t matter to me, as each has its own charm. I love the feeling when I look at the ‘map’ from thousands of feet above; the journey in train becomes interesting when the co-passengers become part of conversations and there is nothing like sipping the tea at road-side dhaaba during a road journey.

So far I have seen quite a few places in India, there are many in the list that I want to visit. When I come to think of what kind of places I like to see, I usually get confused as I love to see all – be it mountains or oceans or just camping in woods or some historical place – I mean ALL. I wish to take my steps forward to a different country too, I hope it happens soon. And I do wish to travel solo someday. I always had someone to accompany me even if commuting was solo. An all-in-all solo trip.

All I wish for each one of you is that may you get to see new horizons, hear new sounds of happiness, smell the fragrance of warmth in stranger’s heart, taste the belongingness towards nature/universe and feel all of it at the same time.

Have a fulfilling journey of life!

Terrific Situation

An auspicious day…last year… this year too.
Last year your brother got married and would be celebrating the First Anniversary…and this year one of your friends is going to get married and is insisting you to join the function.

You could have made an equilibrium if they both were in the same city, but what if the wedding is an out of station event??

It was this situation that I was stuck in and it was difficult to make a choice…it’s very well known as Dharam Sankat

My brother agreed to accompany me to the wedding, we forced my sister-in-law to take a leave from office and come along cos they shouldn’t be miles apart on their First Anniversary. I wished them while we were on our way to Patiala. Their anniversary started in the car… Shivi (my sis-in-law) was trying not to sleep and Vishu (my bro) was driving the car… and it got over the same way.

I felt quite bad for them, I spoiled their day. Though both of them wanted to attend the marriage, but considering their condition of waking up the whole night and driving (bhai) and giving company to the driver (bhabhi) they needed rest. So I gave them the option of skipping the marriage and coming for the Lunch at the Venue Directly. They nodded for the option and I had no choice but to go, I slept only for 3 hours that day… I don’t consider the dosing off in the car as Sleep. Robin was supposed to pick me up. More than the actual wedding I was excited about the fact that I would get to meet my friends after a long time and it would be great celebrating the moment with them. But unfortunately Robin, Rakesh and Neeraj had to leave then and there as Robin’s 2year old daughter was not well. Gaurav came to pick me up instead with his wife and Ravi. Finally we attended a Sikh Wedding too. Bharti was looking very pretty as The Bride…and Sunjit was unrecognizable in the Surdy look (he is a cut-surd otherwise), immediately after the phere he got the beard shaved though. The couple look made-for-each-other type and the eagerness and happiness was clearly visible in both the pairs of eyes.

After attending the marriage we 3 went ahead with the plan to visit The Golden Temple. We reached there at 9:30 pm. The time of evening paalki. Though I was not fortunate enough to visit the core temple again but this time it was better than the last. It was more soothing, I wanted to spend time there…more time. Wanted to be alone, wanted to sit there and observe people around… admire the beauty of the glittering temple and its reflection in the water. I always wanted to visit this place and I’ll go again… the quench is still there.

We ate at the langar and left for Delhi. I slept throughout.

Coming back to the topic… I tried to strike a balance between the two events and in the meanwhile spoilt the day for my bhai n bhabhs but I think our visit to The Golden Temple was worth going through the hectic schedule. I loue my bro and his choice 🙂 ❤

One thing I can’t afford to forget to mention… moon looked beautifully stunning while we drove on the highway. It was a crescent and it was awesome. Somehow I feel I can spend a whole lifetime looking at the moon.

Here is a look at the freshly certified Husband and Wife 🙂

 

And The Golden Temple:

Fireworks at Kotdwar Railway Station

Last day was a totally confusing day. Where half of us were ready to visit Tarkeshwar and half of us didn’t see any point in going 40kms away and then coming back to the railway station.. which meant around 100kms of traveling with in the same day. Anyhow we managed to have consensus on the same and left around 12 noon from Lansdowne to Tarkeshwar. The journey itself was beautiful, roads were scary but amazing, view was awesome and we couldn’t have asked for a better climate. It was raining. Though I did have a slight fever I did manage to get drenched because we did not carry umbrellas. We hired 2 cabs and again it was a ratio of 4:7, we kept the luggage of the 7 in our cab.

Tarkeshwar is a small but very old Shiv Temple situated in the midst of lush green jungle. It was as if everything out there is welcoming us with open arms in the best of their conditions.

We made sure to have an agreement to reach the Kotdwar Railway station by 6:00 – 6:30 in the evening. We 4 reached there by 6:15. We thought that we would deposit the bags in the Clock room and would go and eat something as we couldnot eat anything after the breakfast in Lansdowne. Alas… there was no clock room and we had to sit at the station with the luggage.. ours and theirs. We waited for them as we thought that they would show up by 6:45 at the max. We searched for a waiting room and were successful in finding one the only problem was that it specifically mentioned ‘for Gents only’. When we asked the station master for the Ladies waiting room he said that it’s the same one. There was not other waiting room. We decided to sit outside the station master’s room at a bench which was for the ‘staff members only’. We knew that we would get up if we find any of the staff members around.

We could have gone out for Dinner with our luggage but had to sit back with all the luggage and asked Radhika and Rana to first go and eat. So that once they come back me and Shivani can go and they would sit with the bags.

We kept trying the numbers of the group members in the other cab but couldn’t get through…Thanks to the rare connectivity of our celebrity endorsed mobile connections. We messaged them to call back as and when they receive the message. Did not get a message. Later got a call from one of them saying that they would be there in 10mins. It was 7:15 by then. In the meanwhile an old looking freak sat on the railings in front of us and kept staring at us. After 15-20min session of his staring his asked us to get up and sit on another bench as this particular one was for ‘staff only’. We politely said that we would get up if anyone wants to sit. He kept insisting that it doesn’t look nice and we should get up. Shivani moved to the other bench and while getting up I asked the freak to come and sit, to which he said that he doesn’t want to sit there. Aag me ghee ka kaam bakhoobi nibhaya in jannab ne. I sternly told him that we would get up if anyone comes. He came and sit on the bench next to us and kept staring. For another 15-20min. Fed up I was and I asked him what’s the matter I said that we would get up, he said,’ no keep sitting’ to which I said ‘then why are you staring at me angrily?’ He had no words.

Anyway, we managed to control ourselves not to pour our anger on him much. Later around 7:45-8:00 the other group came, it was all the more frustrating to see that there is no trace of sorry on their faces, more over all they started picking their bags up. That’s when my anger mixed with frustration got beyond limits. There were these people who were least bothered about four girls sitting at a filthy station, their bags with us and they don’t even feel the responsibility of coordinating with us, they made us wait for about 1 and a half – two hours on a platform guarding their bags and are not even Thankful for the same. What the fuck??? Why the hell I even agreed to come with such people, who when asked if they were feeling shameful of doing this to us said “I don’t see a big deal in it…station pe hi toh baithe ho koi sadak pe toh nahi khade” I was feeling shameful of coming with such a group which show cased this kind of thinking. And then we were told that they also have suffered cos of us as we made them wait till 12 noon. They didn’t even realize that they were waiting outside their rooms in the premises of our hotel and there we were at a God-damn railway station amidst some filthy people.

That was the end of our trip with a lot of fireworks at Kotdwar Railway Station.

I haven’t been talking to quite a few people after that I might not ever be the way I used to. I can’t just be mute to them, as certain things need to be discussed being in the same team.

Moral:

1. Don’t ever just make a plan with just anyone you just know…you should always go on trips with like minded people to enjoy more

2. Sorry and Thank You are really strong words.

A Group of Eleven=4:7

It was Sunday when we decided to visit the tourist spots of Lansdowne, it started on a confusing note.

As discussed on the Saturday night we got up on time to get ready by 12 noon, as we went ahead to have breakfast we got to know that everyone else was up early that morning and was ready by 8:30 AM. I have been on trips quite a lot of times and mostly its with a group of friends, but I never faced such miscommunication ever. Though I dint like them waiting for me to get ready to go but I had no other choice. We could have asked them to move ahead but then there wouldn’t have been any point coming in a group. To make sure that we are with the ‘group’ me and Shivani scrapped our plans of hiring a taxi to roam around as everyone else wanted to explore the place by trekking around and they thought hiring a taxi would be just wasting money. “OK”, we thought and went ahead with the group. This was certainly not my idea of a relaxing trip. It’s not that I was stepping back from an experience of an adventurous trip, it’s simply because I dint want this trip to be an adventurous one. Soon after me and Shivani realized that it’s too much of steep climbing, we decided to go back and hire a cab. We did the same and enjoyed the remaining day unexhausted, sweat less, smiling in all the picture that we took…grinning actually.

 

We picked up Rana & Radhika on the way who went ahead with the group. It was strange to find that they were waiting for us alone at a place where the sight of human beings was scarce. To add on to that, there was a group of guys coming from Tip n Top who stopped the car and asked the way to Tip n Top giggling among themselves. It added on to the fear as it was an unknown place, though the locals there were very friendly. And it was too disappointing to see that these two were alone after such an instance, there was no one to accompany them (in spite of the fact that were 3 guys in the group). Not that they needed someone to protect them, but I think chivalry of men is going missing these days. Thankfully nothing bad happened *Touchwood*.

 

We 4 had a gala time once we were together. We went to this place (mentioned earlier) Tip n Top, it was an amazing view of all the mountains, some covered with clouds, some with bright sunlight… we went ahead for boating after that at a lake near to our resort. Shivani is water-phobic and stuck to her answer whenever we asked her to come along, which was as expected “NO”. The lake was 27 feet deep but the facts were distorted to make Shivani come with us for boating. We told her that it’s only 5 feet and the water would not even come to her shoulder level. She agreed. Me and Rana were pedaling, Shivani and Radhika were enjoying. Though Shivani hardly enjoyed, but we surely did…at her cost 😛 . As we moved ahead in the lake Shivani screamed that we should go back to the bank as she wanted to get out of the boat. As if this is what we were waiting to hear from her, we would stop the boat right in the middle of the lake and would tell her, “Ok, utar jao” 😛 . And this happened quite a number of times.  She must have cursed us and our coming generations for sure, but we enjoyed it 😀 .

 

Later in the evening after boating and all that jazz, we came back to our resort and thought of eating something as we realized that we only had our breakfast that too around 8 hours back. We ate a lot, we would be ready with a new order with every order that the waiter brought. We could see how frustrated he was with us. But it was the best meal we have had in Lansdowne coupled with our laughter spree and clouds; which were brushing against us.

When we missed the train

We were aware of the Delhi Traffic conditions and hence called for the cab approximately 3 hours before the train timings. We were suppose to catch the train at 9:10 PM from Sarai Rohilla, Delhi. We asked the cab to reach our office by 6:00 – 6:15 PM. It was there at 5:30 PM. We informed the group about the presence of the cab at our office gates. One of the group members is observing Roza for the entire month of Ramadan and hence couldn’t leave before 6:45 PM. We managed to leave by 7:15 PM. And yes, when you are getting late you tend to get stuck at every Red Light; playing the role of a villain in your traveling plans. Near WNS, Toll-gate, Dhaula Kuan, Shankar Chowk, Karol Bagh…you name it… we got stuck even at the smallest signals. We managed to reach Karol Bagh by 9:00 PM. Initially the cab driver told us that he knows the route till Liberty Cinema and later we found him asking for the directions even for that.

We were confused…whether to keep heading towards the Sarai Rohilla station or change our route. Thankfully the next stop of our train was Nizamuddin Railway Station. Till 9:07 PM we kept trying and then gave up as there was no way we could have boarded the train at Sarai Rohilla. We changed our directions to Nizamuddin and adding on to our anger, driver dint know the route of the most famous railway station in Delhi. More traffic snarls, some more shouting at each other, some more wrong directions…but we managed to reach the famous but crowded and smelly railway station on time. Thanks to Sri, we did some extra exercise while searching for the platform. We walked for at least 25min non-stop including climbing up the stairs and climbing them down.

All this was too much of an extra thrill for us… and the moment we reached our seats we all were praying “iss trip ko boring kar do aur excitement nahi chahiye babaji”… but babaji ko hamari dua kahan kabool hai…???

Lansdowne in stills – 1

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The Welcome View – This is what we got to see while we were going to Lansdowne in a cab from Kotdwar

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A stream of water making its way through the rocks

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Desi F1 track 😉

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A routine view of mountains from our Hotel

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Trees were so symmetrically beautiful and it was a perfect scene with the clouds in the background

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Cluster of homes in Lansdowne

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A cute Dog taking a nap on the busy market streets of Lansdowne

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They say something about the Dark Clouds and the Silver Lining… does it hold true here??

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Sun…glancing through the Tree

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A sharp turn…

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Tall it stands…

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Moon…taking a walk in the sky before dawn

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Yet another view

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The Anil Kapoor Tree… does it need more explanation?? 😛

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St.John’s Church…which only opens whenever someone visits the place. This is what someone told us when we reached there and found it to be closed.

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……..

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Different Angle

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Clouds and their Shadows

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🙂

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Hum Chaar

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Would you call it illiteracy or madness?? well… I call it a ‘Deadly Mixture of both’ :-/

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Snake road

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Quacks

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A tree falling on the Lake

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Kinaaraa of a jheel

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The Jheel itself..

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Foggie evening

There are some more pics to come… cos of the time constraint I could post only these. Coming week would see quite a few posts in terms of pics and text… a lot of things waiting to get out of my system right now.. I just wish that we could have 48 hours a day …just for today 😀

Till then…apna khayal rakhna 🙂

Long Weekend

As mentioned earlier we went to Lansdowne. A Lovely place in Pauri Garhwal.

It was a refreshing treat to visit a place full of scenery, it was much much better than Delhi too…in terms of the climate.

We enjoyed a lot… i mean..Shivani, Pratima, Radhika & Me.

Though it was a wonderful trip, but it also proved to be an eye opener for us. We now know how important it is to go out with only those people who are like minded.

Would definitely write about the trip …but in coming days. A lot happened and it need a lot of time to recall and write about everything that matters to me and that effected me.

Till then…Hang in!!