Tag Archives: travel

155: Sundays Of A Different Kind

4 Jun

This was spent sitting on a wooden seat at St. Patrick’s Church during Sunday mass, taking in Sunday mornings from a different perspective. 


It was followed by this debauchery with R, over conversations, laughter, reminiscing, and joy. 


Apt for a Bangalore Sunday morning after a long time. :)

Now on to the match!

152: Homeward Bound

1 Jun

I’m off to Bangalore for a short while, dear friends. It’s a break I have been looking forward to, naturally, and now that it’s time to leave (yes, I’m writing this after my successful book hunt at the airport – I picked up Maharani Gayatri Devi’s memoirs), the wait has become even more unbearable. What once used to take us days to reach by train, now takes us not more than 3 hours – we’re fortunate; but now even these three hours feel like a lifetime. My check-in was smoother than I’d imagined at this hour – and everything went off with a happy, genuine smile from both sides – from the lady at the check-in counter to the lady at security check to my coffee waitress. It’s a great way to begin a day, that’s for sure.

I hope to be able to write regularly, but there might be more cheating involved during this period than I’d like to acknowledge. I’m referring to blog cheating and food cheating, of course. Sometimes it is hard to draw the line between these secondary forces that pull me to Bangalore – is it the food, the weather, the memories, the walk back in time?, because the one thing I focus a lot on, is food. I’ll write more about memories on a later post; but food really seems to take precedence. Going back to what I was saying is that I hope I can maintain this venture while I’m busy stuffing my face with the madness Bangalore has to offer.

See you on the other side, dear reader! Have a pleasant and colourful June! :)

96: If I Could…

6 Apr

…I’d wish for this. 

45: Travelling Then, And Now

14 Feb

Travel back then meant being excited right from when the trip was planned all the way till we said our byes to each other once our return journey was done and dusted. Travelling back then also meant waiting with more impatience and fervour than with bated breath. I used to especially love the entire process of packing my bags once I’d figured out whatever it is that I wanted to take along with me. Earlier on, it also used to involve picking the best mixed tapes to keep me company. Later when tapes gave way to discmen, MP3 players and then onto just a playlist, it still did matter what got on to a holiday and travel list, and what didn’t. All in all, there was a lot to do and it was done with a zeal and energy which was contagious.

Today is a different story. Travel today means to ensure everything is in place, taken care of, organized, and settled before I can even begin with my packing. By the end of it all, I really want to get done with the day, get a good night’s sleep and proceed on to D-Day. I don’t really enjoy packing anymore, unpacking even more. Maybe I’m just inherently lazy. And I procrastinate like crazy – a lot of what can be done earlier is kept till the last minute, such as – getting our laundry done, clearing the fridge out, getting pre-cooked meals in place, and what have you. All this looks so idealistic and pretty in mind; but seldom is achieved.

I remember the first time I left my marital home – I’d gone out of my way to ensure A had enough and more to eat. Of course he regressed to his bachelor days leaving more of it to lie in the fridge, which back then was surprising, but today I’m thankful…because I don’t have to do as much anymore. It’s easier to draw the line, go on a holiday, and not think too much about the many things I should’ve, could’ve or ought to have done. But here I am, ready for some travel (my bags are still not packed), but more at ease than when I first got married. The housework’s more or less taken care of, and I’ve left the rest up to A to handle…equal responsibilities no? *evil grin*

During this time I hope to not be as MIA as last week, and I hope to be more disciplined. But the thing about travelling is just that – there’s no time to do the regular stuff. :P All I really can think about at this very moment is to get into bed and catch a wink or two before it’s time for the next lot of stuff that needs wrapping up before the lady of the house puts her heels up. :)

I’ll see you on the other side, dear reader. A very happy Valentine’s Day to you too. :)

37: Blogging On The Go

6 Feb

I’ve never done it before…you know, whisking my phone out and swiftly typing a post out. Not only do I find it cumbersome but I think I’m just not used to it. There’s so much to say and it feels like writing it out on the phone won’t do justice to the space I need – it’s weird. However, with this commitment in mind, I wasn’t left with too many alternatives; therefore there were times when I penned my posts down and kept them for a decent internet connection to publish, and there were times when I’ve posted in retrospect.

What I do find with posting on the go is that I don’t like it. Technological convenience and ease aside, staring into my phone when I’m on the go makes me feel foolish and wasteful – why travel even when you’re lost in your phone, is what I ask myself. It takes away the moment, the experience, the fullness that encompasses being on the go.

For someone like me who finds it hard to keep her phone away, it’s a balance I’m trying to strike between this challenge and being in the moment. After all, apart from the fact that it isn’t easy for me to write on the go at all, other factors such as a decent network connection and just plain being busy become real obstacles in being up to date with this challenge.

This was my first experience trying to juggle the two – sometimes I tried, and sometimes I let go. But mostly, I let go. Being in the moment won hands down. :) Pardon me for being MIA when on holiday; it’s just the way it ought to be. :)

36: Agra

5 Feb

Most of our trips are more impromptu than planned in advance; which is very unlike what my travel scene was before I got married. Back then, my next trip would almost always be planned during an ongoing trip. How things change.

Before I knew it, we were on a train to Agra. This is the first time A and I got to take a train together – a lot of my journey was spent in a mix of contemplating an equal trade-off because A took my prized window seat, and reading and eating. Ideally I would’ve spent all my time looking out of the window, but it was best that I invested my time in Chacha Chaudhary’s adventures than brooding over the lost seat. It wasn’t that bad. My favourite train breakfast was had as well, which I thought would be complimentary, but wasn’t. Once we’d polished off our bread omelettes, we spent our time reading, bugging each other, and then just minding our own business.

On reaching Agra, there was that welcome flurry that always happens when you meet family after a long time. There’s that excitement, warmth, and a generous dose of awkwardness as well – especially when the children at home want to get to know you but keep their distance and want you to watch their antics anyway. I’m always nervous around kids – mostly because I don’t want to frighten them with my extremities, and also because I don’t know how to handle them in general. But a table of food always saves the day. Sharing food and conversation is the best icebreaker ever.

Agra was a whirlwind, as it always is. There’s so much to do with little time at hand. It was also the day Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav decided to visit the city to campaign for the upcoming election; thereby cordoning off every single road, much to our rotten or good luck, whichever way you choose to see it.

All I remember from that hectic weekend was time spent with family over copious amounts of food. Jokes were cracked, laughter was in attendance, and stories were shared. Rounds of tea were had, sunbathing in the lawn was done, and many roasted peanuts were shared. Sometimes perfection comes at no cost at all.

35: Of Monumental Gratitude

4 Feb

This is my third visit to Agra; the city of the one and only Taj Mahal. The first time I came here was with A for a day’s visit, back when he was courting me. Unfortunately neither of us were aware that it was the closed on the very day we’d taken time out to visit it – Friday. After all, who shuts a wonder of the world down for a day every single week, I ridiculed. We drove down on a Friday, obviously oblivious, and returned back thoroughly disappointed; I’d come all the way from Bangalore back then. Our second visit was dominated by family time and commitments, which left us with no room to step out. 
This time when we planned our travel, I’d left the idea on its own…if it happened, I’d be thankful, and if it didn’t happen, I’d have to wait till my time to see it arrived, I told myself. With that, we set off for Agra again, to visit family. 

Today, at long last, this happened. 


The only thing I remember saying when I climed the steps up to the mausoleum was an exclamation! I’ve never ever seen a building this beautiful, this humbling. I will talk about my experiences in greater detail sometime. However, all I’d like to say for now, is how immensely grateful I am for witnessing this piece of history, beauty, remembrance, love if you will, and melancholy that made me stop and stare, today. 

4: The First Day Of 2017

4 Jan

…was easily one of those days I never thought would come my way this fast (I mean, come on, it was the first day of a new year!), but it did, and it’ll take a while before it fades away.

Our year ended with quite a bang – a cancelled plan to attend a family get together for NYE replaced by the requirement of an emergency visit back home to the mountains, miraculously finding bus tickets to take us there since it was the NYE weekend and driving on such short notice in this season wasn’t an option, reaching the bus stand to find our bus cancelled (conveniently), buying new tickets with cash and not by card, and finally traipsing our way to the mountains. I’ve never worn so many layers of clothing, more out of the fear of feeling cold during the journey, than of actually feeling that cold. However, my anorak came to my rescue as it always does, and I, for the first time, found myself asleep on a bus journey, albeit for short periods of time. It was a little after 1am when our bus stopped at Bikanerwala (the equivalent of Karnataka’s Kamat highway restaurants) where A and I huddled together and shared a cup of cardamom tea in what was the foggiest night of the year. The busses here stop for a good 30 minutes, which was a pleasant experience to have…there was no clamber, no urgency, and plenty of time to pee in peace. We reached the final stop of the plains at a groggy 4am, from where we hired a taxi to take us on the final leg of the journey back home. I passed out, and that’s all I remember.

That weekend was a complete haze, because we were in attendance of a funeral. And that was what the start of our getaway began. With the funeral done, I remember ringing the new year in my sleep, because the only party I can fathom having in a 5 degree celsius weather condition is by being buried under a mountain of quilts.

Our year also began with quite the bang – we didn’t have return tickets to take us back home because they were all sold out, and it was absolutely imperative for A to return back home and make it in time for office. Tatkal train tickets were bought, again miraculously, because half the world was descending back to the plains on that very same day. I remember us leaving much ahead of time because the mountain roads were under repair. And we made it past 99% of the mountains and were 15 minutes from the station when we got caught in a traffic snarl…one where my very patient and realistic husband declared that this wouldn’t see us through to the train in time. Miss our train, we did. Hunt for alternate tickets, we did. Find tickets, we didn’t. Rent a taxi, we couldn’t. I remember the two of us looking at each other in frustration, fear, distress, irritation, and sometimes in amusement, at just how rotten our luck that entire weekend had been.

After much walking around from bus to bus, we managed to find ourselves the last of two tickets that were available at the last seat on a bus to Delhi, which would reach at the ripe hour of 230am. We took what we got, bought ourselves a packet of freshly roasted hot peanuts with rock salt, found our seats, munched our snack in between conversations and so much relief, and left what we were hoping would be the last of the craziness we’d had to endure.

It turns out that 20 people who were booked on that bus, missed it, and were unable to catch up with it. So we picked our seats, reclined them, and fell asleep to each other’s random talks. I’ve never felt more relieved to be back home. Ever.

The things I learnt the past weekend were these:

Let go of that which isn’t in your control.
You’re never alone.
Everything happens for a reason, no matter how terribly it might test you during its occurrence.
Have faith.
Find positives, even if you’ve to fight to have even a fleeting glance of them.
Make peace, and move on, asap.

Let’s see how the rest of the year goes. :)

Back On A Time Machine

14 Sep

A and I made a trip to Govardhan, a first for me, back in March sometime, if I’m not mistaken. Yep, procrastination, among other blatant excuses, has kept me from writing this post which I so badly wanted to document the moment I set foot into this famed and extremely pious town for many, many devout Hindus. This sacred town which is actually most popular for its Govardhan hill, lies in Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh. This is where Lord Krishna; an incarnation of Lord Vishnu’s – one of the lords of Hinduism’s Holy Trinity – saved the entire village of Mathura from Lord Indra’s wrath by sheltering everybody during a storm under this same hill which he lifted with his little finger. 

Devotees throng this place year round, often performing parikramas (revolutions) around the hill in various forms – barefoot, in dandaasana, by prostrating, by walk or by road…but always with a sense of devotion I’ve never seen before. Ladies, men, children, young mothers, middle-aged family members, the elderly, sadhus, kids even…everyone embarks this journey with an unshakeable and unbreakable steadfastness. 

I’ve never been to a religious place of this historical and mythological stature before. Not only was my time there punctuated by sights like these, but it also almost took me back to a place where time had decided to stand still indefinitely. It’s a marvel of sorts to stumble upon the pages of history for real. For a thorough city-bred girl like me, Govardhan offered me a view of what life used to be like when I was small, or not around, perhaps. It certainly took me back to all the maze-like gullies and cobbled streets overflowing with oversized bullock carts, buffaloes, open drains, wooden doors without locks, bricklane pathways that I had long left behind when we moved away from UP back yonder. It was both overwhelming and wondrous – a walk back that I filled with photographs and snippets to keep fresh in my mind for the times to come. 

Here is my picture story of Govardhan. 


Throwback Thursday

1 Sep

It’s raining the I mean business rain – straight, steady and unfaltering. I wonder if this is the last of the monsoons the Met. department had predicted an excess of for our country this year. As always, there are some parts of the country which bear the brunt of its stay more than the others, but there’s something about the newness that monsoons bring which is such a welcome relief, and always celebrated. Even the leeches in rainforests celebrate, and that’s when we curtail our celebrations to just outside the perimeters of rainforests, if we happen to be visiting them.

Speaking of which, what once used to be a very regular visit/getaway to Wayanad, has now evaporated and vanished, like quite a few other routines that do take the hit once you move away. Today’s weather and serious rain reminds me of Kerala. It’s easily been over a year since I visited it; when I’d escaped from all I could to sort my head and heart out. The hills help you do that. They assist in sorting things out; no spoken word featuring sometimes.

However, this picture is from way back (I’m forgetting the year already). It was filled with happy times, long walks through waves of tea gardens, breeze peppered with the fragrance of coffee flowers (have you smelt the magic of coffee blooms?) and pepper pods, concerts played by birds and cicadas alike, and of course, lots of great food – especially Kerala fried fish. Happy times, indeed. All visits to Wayanad are all this and so much more. All.

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This is what the rain makes me do – reminisce. Sometimes they’re happy remembrances, sometimes morose…almost confused between the fine lines of nostalgia and melancholy over times gone by.

Speaking of memories, here’s what else comes to my mind right now.

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It’s been a while since I went back to Koshy’s – after our rather nasty experience with them and their pathetic service, it just makes visits to this once favourite adda of ours, rather distasteful. But their mince on toast, though. Delightful much. Please give it a try if you’re stopping by; this and their iced tea (with a shot of rum, if you’re feeling inclined towards some midday adventure).

Iced Tea Koshys

Mince Toast Koshys

Smileys Koshys

And smileys. For nostalgia’s sake. And for that mustard mayo sauce, just because.

It suddenly all feels very far away, a yesterday that’s slightly out of reach now. Not that that prevents us from commemorating the good times by traipsing our way back to these joints whenever an opportunity permits. Somehow it feels like letting go and moving on is fast becoming the need of the hour. Oh well.

*makes a plan to go buy a pack of smileys*

*manages to automatically find a title for her post on its completion*