Category Archives: Travel diaries

The Pictures

So my little expedition has some good parts too, and that I am going to show with the unprofessional photos here.

The foodie me will definitely start with the photos of the deliciousness.

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And now comes all the traditional Gujarati accessories, Of course I wouldn’t return without getting something from it.

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The beautiful lake.

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Some pictures from the zoo.

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Birds giving me all kinds of poses

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Some garba dancing to the beats of water drum

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Because it was dear cousin’r birthday: (Or we just needed a reason :-p)
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Me twirling around:

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Well, there is always certain kind of madness with us-

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And yet, I am happy that I am back, in time for Diwali.

 

 

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A little Expedition #5

It took me almost 15 days to roughly do some of the arrangements and yet the bride is left with various other shopping. But now that everything else is fixed from the themes, and menu and the bride’s entry and the reception details, I finally booked my return tickets much to my cousin’s despair.

Honestly speaking, one more day here and I could lose my temper now and all the fake smiles and polite answers would be thrown in the dust. And now I literally dread the wedding. If she has become this crazy one month in advance, I don’t know how she is going to behave on the day of her wedding.

But for now I am just glad to return to my home where I can lie peacefully without worrying about some random demand out of the blue.

My return journey was quite the contrary to my previous one, with little adventure in it, and I was happy about it too. I could not deal with it probably being so drenched and out of patience. So with two different connecting flights bouncing and jerking over the turbulent weather, and a local train, I reached my home, to a peaceful environment after a long time.

My mom greeted me with the best of food which I was missing for long now and putting the November wedding out of my mind for now.

A little Expedition #4

The last few days have been a circus in here with really no time to spare. My days have been occupied with shopping for the crazy bride to be and continuous meetings with decorators, caterers, singers, band people, mehndi wali, safa wala and the unending list of people. And her request for not hiring a wedding planner was still constant despite my giving her various contacts with considerably decent contracts. Instead she insists on my staying here till the wedding which is in November. And honest to God, if I did that, I am going to go mad, literally mad.

Apart from the wedding, the best part was the Dandiya nights and the post navratri celebration which were simply put, fantastic. Of course I did not have a big group of friends there to dance with, but I still danced till my legs ached, and I could listen to my own heartbeats over the loudest of drums. And that is what I call Navratri- well spent.

But it was not the end.

A Little Expedion #3

When I said I almost forgot about the purpose of my visit to my sisters place, I wasn’t kidding and then reality hit me hard the next day.

The fresh morning brought news that my dear cousin has fixed people for all work and she just wants me to arrange things and give them ideas. Now this becomes really difficult when you have a decorator but he will be unable to do the required thing or you have a deaigner but his capability stops at a certain point. And she made things really difficult for me.

It took me more than five days to cover up this blunder and yet I am not satisfied with what I have done. To top it all, my cousin, all of a sudden has become the kind of bride who cribs and cries at every petty thing. I never imagined her to be that kind and yet here she was with me, making puppy faces and wanting to be pampered almost all the time. And that is what I am not good at. I mean I could handle brides, but not a cousin who wants to be with her fiance all the time. I mean when am I suppose to do all other arrangements? Obviously I cannot do anything without asking her. And she has very little time for me now!

I have told her that I can be there for a few more days there but then I will have to return. And just at the thought she started her tantrum of very little time and how will she handle everything alone. But honestly, I could not spare anymore time, specially when she doesn’t want to entirely be present.

Though I will make sure that I complete almost all the important arrangements before I leave so that she has less things to worry about.

 

A Little Expedition #2

I thought I was wedding planning here, but as it turned out, it is almost different. My cousin’s wedding is knocking on the door now and I was here just to help her with the arrangements, but now it has become a spree for us instead.

After I reached Ahmedabad via an exceptionally adventurous trip, my cousin joined me here to do some shopping which turned out in an over tiring yet awesome tour around the city.

We did not relax for the whole three days there, roaming around the city, visiting museums; eating every different kind of food we could lay our eyes on and doing the little bit of shopping possible with the left time.

Shopping started with various designer boutiques and mall around the city which basically occupied most of the time, after which we visited the Swaminarayan Museum which is really breath-taking, if I would start writing about the place, I’d probably end up writing pages after pages. I found it amazing. It is a museum devoted to Lord Swaminarayan, where His clothes, and every other daily objects are stored and kept for the public to see. It has 11 halls describing His story with various statues and idols and paintings. The people over there were really friendly and gave us a proper tour around and also, told us the significance of each and every thing.

After the museum we went shopping to the local areas to find some traditional Gujarati clothes and accessories. Again, that was awesome too, such vibrant colours all around, after this followed a drive along the riverfront bridge and a short shopping trip to Laal Darwaja.

The best part of the day was a visit to Manek Chowk leading to n number of cuisines, Italian, Indian, North Indian, South Indian- you name it and we got it there. The second day ended with a delicious kulfi and a chocolate sandwich for dessert.

The third day was a trip around Kakaria Lake, leaving the shopping completely which left us completely engrossed in the awe of the lake and the zoo.

Honestly, by the end of the third day, I almost forgot about what work brought me here.

A little expedition #1

A little time changed almost everything, from a peaceful simple day to an extra adventurous one. And believe me I did not expect this much of being adventurous in less than twenty four hours of time.

So the previous night my cousin called me and asked me if I would help her with her wedding arrangements. It was more of a begging request, the way it sounded to me. And what with so little time, she has now, she really needed someone to calm her jitters and take over instead.

I said yes without even thinking, and realising the fact that she was asking for it instantly, the next day, as it happened. It is Navratri and I had no plans as yet, so I booked the next tickets, and was all set to leave right the next morning.

My packing routine was a disaster with more clothes lying on the bed than in the bag. And to top it my mom kept bringing things to carry for my brother. Yes, as it happens I might have said yes to my cousin also because I could meet my brother. So the night went by and morning brought a fresh day or so I thought. I thought now that the hassle is over; I simply have to fly there.

Oh but come on, this is me, who was I kidding, when has anything ever been so simple for me?

The basic schedule was my train would leave at 8:30, I’ll reach Howrah station by 12:30, and then I will leave for the airport and reach by 2:00 despite the traffic. Even if there was more traffic or my train got late, I could still catch the 4:40 flight that I was booked in. I had enough time in hand. Well, this was the plan!!

So I reached the station in the morning and got to know that the train was 2 hours late! There was no point in waiting there, and I live nearby so I went home, and returned at 10 only to be delayed even more. And that’s when the panic kicked in. I started to do the Math. I was hoping against all hopes. An already delayed train was only to delay even more, not over speed and make up for the lost time. There was only one other train in which I could go and that was late too. So I went to the ticket counter and asked for the timings, which she was ‘not sure’ about.

My dad had come to drop me this second time, so the good citizens that we were, had to go to another counter to buy the platform tickets for him, where the person sitting on the counter was mostly interested in drinking tea and well, gossiping. We were already so restless that we could lose it any second. Little did I know that I’d need that patience for the entire day?

The second train which I could have gone on was nowhere to be seen, and we were waiting on platform 4 where my train was supposed to come. It was almost 10:45 when it dragged along in platform 2 and they started announcing the change of platforms. I hauled my bag along again, to that place, because of course the escalator wasn’t working.

It left at 11.

The running time from my place to Howrah is 4 hours at the minimum, so even if I reached at 3, the chances were really thinning to get onto that flight.

Dragging, and walking the train reached at 2:40 to Santragachi (Right before Howrah) and I got down there. My dad had booked a car for me from there, which apparently was near from the airport, and reduced the chances of getting into traffic. (Sometimes I think so much dependent I am on my dad.) But again the cab driver kept telling that he was 5 minutes away from my place for fifteen minutes. I thought I had earned some time by getting down here, but then I had lost it in that 15 minutes wait. I lost it completely, and booked a prepaid taxi from there which was conveniently cheaper, and right in front of me. I really begged him to drive in a rush and reach the airport before 4. And after almost another 15 minutes the other cab driver called me and informed that he was there but couldn’t find me. I’ll admit here that I cut the call and pretended to not listen, and did not even care to inform him that I had left. But had I waited for him for half an hour I would have certainly missed the flight.

This taxi-man was really sweet and drove me straight to the airport and I reached sharp at 3:55. Even before I could get down, the driver jumped outside and took out my bag.

Well, the check in took 10 minutes and he really requested me to go directly to the gate, as the boarding had already started. With my laptop bag and everything, I went, only to be checked in once again, which took longer than I had anticipated. So by the time, I got in it was already 4:20 and they were announcing for the last calls!

I know, I could have gone straight, but how could I? Of course there was one last thing to do. My best friend had paid her monthly visit just minutes back, and I had things to look into.

I don’t know what I thought, but I made it at 4:25 and entered with the last warning call for boarding the flight! I had done it so many times with the train, the time ticking by, the train already leaving the station, and I’d get in in the last second, but catching a flight this way, was not on my books!

By then I had really lost it. I was exhausted running the whole day, and all I wanted was to go off to sleep. But of course I was huddled between the seats in the aisle and on the window. And the window person kept waking me for his lavatory break every 20 minute or so. Well, I also made a fool of myself, and was so drenched that I fiddled with the seat belt making it look like I was travelling for the first time, and even let a stranger help me with it. I thought then, that I didn’t care, but justly later I assumed, what a fool I made of myself!!

The next thing I knew was that they were announcing that we had arrived early and will land in another 5 minutes.

Honestly I didn’t even care if I had landed in another planet altogether.

A tragicomedy: a play in 12 days.

“To (be able to) laugh at our misery is the only way we have found of coming to terms with it.”

 

Day 1:

Hey, so when are you planning to come?

What for?

Dude, I am getting engaged! We are having a grand party here. You have to be here. Don’t give me any reasons.

I know and I will be there, just send me the dates, and I’ll let you know how can I arrange things. I wouldn’t want to miss it for anything.

Day 2:

I will reach right before the day of your engagement. This is all I could do in such short notice. My work is all jammed up and any day before that would be really difficult. (And expensive)

Okay, no problem! All that matters is you’d be here on that day. You are my only girl, babe!

Day 3:

Since I am going so far I might as well visit my brother. He has just gone to this new city, and a surprise wouldn’t harm anyone. I think he’d be glad.

Day 4:

The stay extends up to a week long, making me return after Raksha Bandhan. What best gift for my brother than a surprise visit on this day?

Day 5:

Buying of gifts for this pretty “bride to be” and my brother.

Day 6:

Trying to finish all the work, literally all the work that could not wait for a week, and also everything that couldn’t be done by anyone else instead of me! And believe me the list went on.

Day 7:

A little bit of shopping for myself.  I wouldn’t want to look like someone not invited to that grand celebration of that lovely couple.

Day 8:

The rain persists.

Day 9:

Doubt of plans.

Day 10:

I am sorry darling; I don’t think I can make it on time. There is water everywhere. The streets are flooded, roads are jammed, there is barely any movement. The officials have warned everyone around not to get out of the house unless very urgent. The airport is almost submerged, and even if the flight takes off there are pretty chances that they’d land me on some other city altogether, if the situation worsens. I don’t think I can manage so much hassle now. It is really difficult to travel so far now.

Why do you stay so far?

I know, I understand but this is clearly not in my hands, it is an act of god. (Pleading my case as if in a court.)

I don’t know you have to be here. You always have reasons.

When have I last made a reason?

I don’t know, you have to be here.

I wish I knew how to swim, I would then surely be there. (I risked a joke.)

Okay, you don’t want to come, don’t come then, even I won’t attend your engagement.

Seriously, I wish I could come; it’s really not in my hands. After such disastrous delayed flights even my parents wouldn’t want me to travel. I am sending you the picture of airport, tell me if you still want me to come.

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Okay, I got to go now; I am getting a call from ‘him’.

Okay, take care babe; I am really sorry that I am not able to come. (Oh God, what about the money that I wasted on booking tickets and now cancelling it?)

Day 11:

Back to work, which I think I completed in advance. (Oh wow, for the first time running ahead of the deadline.)

Day 12:

Writing this and trying to get her to receive my call!

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My brother being the only one who did not know what was to happen, and what never happened! (Saved, I guess from all the extra drama!)