Category Archives: Travel

We travel to seek other souls

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This post I am writing  after a long time, almost after two months. Its crazy how we loose count of time when you are between your loved ones. The kiddo’s summer vacation gave me an opportunity to travel to my native , to the cities of Dhanbad and Patna . This time we had decided to travel by train. A journey especially a train journey helps you to experience the social fabric of our country  , the changing economic scenario which influence the habits of the people.

I was a keen observer this time , soaking the experience . Both to and fro tickets between Kolkata to Bangalore was booked in Dorontho train . We don’t have a direct train to Dhanbad so  I need to change the train in Kolkata , but the connectivity between Kolkata and Dhanbad is really good with plenty of options throughout the  day.

My son is a very inquisitive child and loves to talk . While going to kolkata , our co passengers were two elderly couples , well educated . My son mingled with them in  no time. The whole journey was pleasant . We exchanged food , stories and even email ids. My son was sitting with them most of the time and I think they had also developed an instant liking for him. He also indulged in playing games with them . And somehow the liveliness in my compartment made the journey smooth and unforgettable. There was lot of humility in both the couples ,who were in late 50’s  or maybe 60’s .

Any society reflects the struggle of its country and gives a good picture of how the country has evolved since last few decades. This holds true for India too. I see a behavioural pattern between our generation , our parents and the next generation. During our parent’s time when our country was very new ,just consolidating herself , the life of that generation also reflects the same struggle. I hear stories from my parents how resources were limited and they had  to share everything with their siblings . Sometimes they had to really work hard for even their school uniform . Every need was earned , things were shared and a lot of value was attached with any material object . It was passed on to many  generations until it was unusable .

Our generation was little more fortunate where we hardly had to struggle for anything . But  we used to share our toys , books and even some party wear. The families were still joint and toys/cloths  were happily rotated among the growing children. But the current generation has everything on platter. whatever they want , everything come with a click of mouse. This trend is good or bad will take another blog post. But somehow a degree of arrogance has crept in this generation.

This was well reflected while on my return journey . Our seating arrangement was not in the same coupe . I requested a young person who was travelling single but he very arrogantly refused . There was another couple travelling with a small child. And they were uncouth to say the least. Flashing their gadgets , they behaved as if they have descended from another world . We were shuttling between our seats and as soon as they got the opportunity , they shoved our luggage at another place without even taking a permission from us . There was another middle aged couple in the other compartment where our seats were located and they kept behaving as if they are newly weds. They always closed the curtain which made it difficult to move around. They were having their own businesses and you can easily classify them as they-feel-they-are-uber-rich.

There is a saying “Empty barrels make the most noise ” It holds true for people also , despite the age or material possessions, people who don’t have any substance are like those empty vessels . On the contrary some of the most simple people I have met who are highly successful are calm and unpretentious. Humbleness and humanity are rare qualities nowadays and Journeys help me to unravel that they are becoming dearer in this materialistic world. If you are reading this , its my request that be a little more considerate with your fellow human beings , a kind act always has a noble effect . What you give back to others, comes back to you in some or the other form.

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Maximum City -Mumbai , Bombay or The city of Bollywood.

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Just few weeks before got the chance to see Mumbai , the heart of India , the commercial capital where life never stops , which is always buzzing with activities ,people , construction ,vehicles and something new . Last few visits to the city and I could only see the airport . This time when hubby decided to run the Mumbai Marathon , I was Mumbai struck thinking that I will be spending few days in her lap . Having been to all the metros , I knew what to expect . But I was wrong . Mumbai is Mumbai , it is changing and evolving every nano second. From secluded to crowded beaches , street  to gourmet food , chor bazar to designer labels , chawls to sprawling bungalows Mumbai has a bit of everything for every soul. The first day in City and we decided to go to the Juhu beach and experience a part where the old and new meets . The beach is thronged by people from all age; couples , weekend travelers , students , backpackers . And it is crowded . My only lament , “why we don’t keep our beaches clean? ” Though the tempo driver gladly mentioned that because of the initiative of many celebrities the beaches are clean now , still I could see paper cup floating , spits on the sign boards , people throwing empty plates in the corners. May be one day we will learn to treat our public places as our own homes. Juhu beach is a Mecca for the street food hungry Indian .From Pav bhajis made on Iron plate which looked like an UFO to me , golgappas , bhel , munchies , ice cream golas with different colored bottles stacked on the van , you can get anything which your  heart desires. And there are vendors who are ready to click pictures in the setting sun for few bugs and you can freeze the moment forever. The kiddo located the Dominos pizza while entering the beach . And we decided to eat the pizza in the evening while enjoying the spectacular view of the city and the ocean.

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Mumbai is like a conundrum , in just a lap of few meters you can experience two different worlds which are just opposite to each other. This place is a perfect example of symbiotic relationship between have and have not , from jhuggis to multistoried buildings , from temples to Mosques , the cart pullers to the Armani clad people zipping in their BMWs. But what makes Mumbai apart is its endurance to survive despite all odds . Next day we had decided to visit Gateway of India which was thronged from people all over the country . You can also take a jetti ride from here to visit the elephanta caves . Adjacent to the gateway of India you can see the famous Taj palace and many star hotels in the same street facing the gorgeous ocean views . A walk along the walkway is mesmerizing . We also took a lunch break here in one of the roof top restaurant at a star hotel. And was quite surprised that Food was cheaper that many of the gourmet restaurant we frequent in Bangalore. The area adjoining the Gateway of India is called Colaba and I loved this area with cobbled pathways , heritage buildings and streets cutting at right angles to each other . Colaba is one of the posh areas of Mumbai and abuzz with eateries , Spas , shops selling antiques , books and a variety of knick knacks .

Next stop was marine drive , also called Queen’s necklace . This is one of the most famous areas of Bombay and in the night with all the lights glowing it looks like a beautiful necklace . And there is never a dull moment here . From hawkers selling tea , snacks , pop corn , earrings , scarfs , goggles , it is bustling with people , couples jogging , running and spending quality time with family . This is the shoreline which makes Mumbai so glamorous, shown again and again in many TV channels. Here You can also take a Tonga ride which takes you a round in this beautiful locality and you can have a taste of Mumbai’s life.  We had decided to go to Siddhivinayak Temple next morning which is thronged by devotees all around the year. I had heard so much about this beautiful temple . Enroute we also took a stopover at a roadside eatery and tasted some of the most famous snacks which Mumbai is known for including the Misal , Sabudana Vada and the Modak . Modak was so delectable that it just melted in the mouth. There was a long queue of devotees but was able to get the Darshan in 15-20 minutes. I was inquisitive when I saw the devotees echoing their wishes in the ears of the huge mushaka and found it really endearing. After  visiting the temple we decided to a bit of Street shopping and was totally taken aback by the number of things you can buy in Mumbai streets. Mumbai is like a drug which gets in your nerves , for people living there they cannot think a life without it , because it is the epitome of life. Two days back while lunching at a restaurant  I met a certain Mr Rao and his adult son who runs an eatery in Andheri and they were from Erankulam , Kerela. A little chat with them and they told they are here from  more than two decade . And I asked candidly  , ” Would you like to go back ? ” And in unison they replied , “Never , Life is so interesting here and it is such a happening place !” And that sums it all ” Ye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan , Zara bachke , zara hatke , Ye hai Mumbai meri Jaan !!!”

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The journey

We all love to travel and explore , to experience new places , people and the varied cuisine associated with that region. Most of us have “To do” list and definitely travelling to rome , paris , Goa and any exotic location is one of them.

Any activity which takes us away from our mundane life helps us to rejuvenate ourselves . The joy of experiencing the unexpected , away from the clamor of humdrum life makes travelling glamorous. For me travelling is a window to unknown world. It helps you to discover yourself and listen to your inner voice , mind it I am not talking about the touristy vacation where you stay in some star resort and enjoy in  the  swimming pool of bikini clad and six pack crowd , eyeing and vying for each other. That is my dear  is just the cacophony of money power which can just guarantee a rest to your body but not your soul.

I love my morning walk ,having a lake behind my apartment , makes it all very  tempting . We all travel , explore , discover but the journey which you take to your soul is the most beautiful one and probably the most arduous too. The morning sun when illuminates the flora and fauna , it also in a way illuminates your heart . Experiencing that feeling of oneness with the mother nature makes you feel that you are just one of God’s special creations. In that stillness you experience the real benediction , the blade of grass trembling in the morning zephyr , birds going in search of their morning feed and the ripples of water singing the message of almighty in their own unique ways . And this my friends is my most beautiful journey …

Some of the pictures from the walk , taken when the lake was full with water. This time the lake has totally dried up as there has been almost no rains in Bangalore  ..

Linking with ABC Wednesday

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Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.

It was yet another trip. A trip to the eastern coast of India.The trip which we had planned and itineraries booked well in advance. My hubby Amit and son Atharv had never been to that part of India, the east coast , the land of Sun temple and beautiful beaches , Puri and Konark. Having witnessed some of the best beaches in the world , I still wanted to go there . It was a pull which I was feeling in my heart, may be some cosmic connection with the place.
I also had a valid reason that Puri was easy to reach from both Bokaro and Bangalore. So, with all the expectations we reach Puri . I was so happy to see my parents; they had just reached few hours back. We had booked in a beautiful resort, the rooms overlooking the bay of Bengal. I was delighted to see the glee on my son’s face when he heard the thundering of waves. And it was such a treat to see the love on my parent’s face to see Atharv.                                                                                                                                                                        Puri was the same place where I had witnessed the sea for the first time and I was same age as my son when I first came with my parents. Memories came flooding by, the building of sand castles, running with my dad along the shore and tasting all the snacks which the Puri beach offers. And now I was walking with my Dad and son, hand in hand, I was overawed. It was surreal and realized that life has indeed come to a full circle. The next four days were one of the best days which I had witnessed in this year with the presence of three most important men in my life .We ran on the beach , went for long walks , built castles and watched the rolling waves till our eyes got tired and body ached to sleep. The myriad vista of people selling different kinds of seashells, conchs, artifacts and the various cart-pullers offering hot snacks adds to the enigma of the place .These are the memories which came rushing by , enticing the strings of my heart.  Life is indeed beautiful when you can share them with their loved ones.

It is not just the place but the presence of people around you which makes any trip memorable. And yes words of Hemingway do echoed in my mind “Never to go on trips with anyone you do not love.” And to add always go on trips with someone whom you love the most.

Sharing some of the snaps from the trip.

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