What is one of the perks of living with friends and in a city which has innumerable weekend getaways around? Simple! Weekend getaways with friends. Okay, I promise the rest of the post is more sensible. 😉
After culminating the latest one, I thought I’d pen down some travel trivia for you to go bonkers over!
No matter what clothes you’re wearing – shorts, skirts, full pants, or even pullovers, people will stare! And this happened to me at 5 in the morning, at a little eatery by the highway where we went to enquire if there was a decent washroom we could step in! Thanks to the cold, I was so covered in layers I could barely see my skin, yet they were staring. Still wondering why.
Oh India and public hygiene! At which hour shall thee improveth? The bladders of women are tested to their limits and liquid diets are a strict no-no. Petrol pumps have never been more interesting and highway eateries more scanned. All for a place to answer nature’s call.
When buying food for a trip, remember even if every one refuses that they’ll not eat fruits, they will! When hunger strikes, the count of apples and oranges will reduce. So be an angel in disguise and buy those for everyone!
Also, if you go to the beaches, like I did, pick up those shells! There’s no better memory of a beach you can collect. Assuming with naivety that you wouldn’t want to carry along sands or dead crabs or seaweed with you as memory!
Picture Courtesy : Nitesh Jain (my footwear hasn’t been captured so well before!). 😉
Trip Courtesy : Mukesh Agarwal! For the consistently stupendous and amazing planning of our getaways! Your ‘coolness’ knows no bounds! 🙂
Guide to reading : Below are, not one but, three completely unrelated short stories all bound by the one word ~ “Sea”.
He walked towards the seas. Stretched far across till where his eyes could see, only blues greeted him, shimmering in different shades from azure to teal to royal blue with hints of cyan and turquoise pitching in! This was the quieter part of the beach. Not many residents came here. And tourists? Barely. He dropped the bag and slowly moved to the edge of the rocks. As he looked down at the lapping waves twenty feet below, a rush of excitement passed through him. Goosebumps lined up his arms. He took in a lot of air, breathing deep. It would be a while before he did that again. “Whenever you’re ready,” he heard someone shout. He looked across to the adjacent cliff. Nodding, ever so slightly, he gave the clique of photographers a thumbs up and then spreading his arms like those of an eagle’s, he swooped down on the water, cold air rushing past him and all of reality a mere joke in that moment of truth!
“Mom, be careful. The baby might get hurt,” my daughter warned me, as soon as I set the toddler on the sand. I smiled at her, nostalgia hitting me in my guts! Twenty years ago, my little girl was perched in my lap eating her way through sand more than playing with it. She ran across the sands, collecting shells, screaming with delight at wriggling snails. Crabs scared her. Starfish made her curious. Corals were her collectibles. I still had some kept in one of my boxes. I scooped up the kid in my arms. “Are you stronger than your mother?” I asked him. But he was fiddling with a coral in his hand. He curiously stared at it and gurgled “Ma”, the best way he could, showing the coral to me and his mother turn by turn. “Oh well, let him out on the sand. He’ll be fine!” said my daughter, possibly reminiscing her own coral days! “But we’ll bathe him once after,” she said, as soon as I put the kid on the beach where I had raised my family and my husband’s mother had raised hers and so on. We were the sea and sand people. You couldn’t take the salts of the seas out of our blood.
He needed to talk to someone. His brain was a flurry of thoughts. Everything was going wrong. He was screwing up whatever was left in his life after having lost all that he once had. He got out of his car. He closed the door lightly. His girlfriend’s banging of the car door still reverberated in his ears. Walking along the beach, he saw a girl sitting alone. Hoping it would not be a mistake, he went up to her and asked politely, “Do you mind if I sit here?” She looked up at him. Her tear streaked cheeks glistened in the soft lights. “It’s a free country,” she said, resignedly. He sat down beside her. He cupped up the sand and watched it flow out of his hands, tears rolling down his cheeks. “I don’t want us to be running out of time,” he said out loud to his girlfriend. “And if you go away, this is all I’ll ever be,” showing her his now empty hands. “You cannot love me so much. You should not,” she said, putting her hand in his. “The sands of time will take care of us. Just let them,” he pleaded. She sighed, didn’t say anything, but let her hand stay right where it belonged.
Four days ago, I was awkward, silent and judgmentally observant. Four days later, I am lively, chirpy and still observant but not judgmentally! Oh and 104% tired!
What happened in these four days, you ask? PIXELS ~ the photography club at the company I work in. They organised a three day trip to Kodaikanal, Madurai and Rameshwaram and those three days have by far been the best in the last couple of months! Except the family reunion, of course! Jeez Mom, don’t doubt my love for you fellas! 😉
Waking up to such scenes may be difficult but when you have friends to capture them for you, there’s nothing better! 😉 Kodaikanal at 13 degrees Celsius in the morning is the best way to wake up to! Until you realize that the geyser in the bathrooms doesn’t necessarily spout hot water.
Sightseeing had never been this interesting! With so many cameras clicking around me, for once I didn’t have to bother about capturing places. I only had to live through moments in the best way possible.
Sometimes you meet the most unexpected people in the most unexpected places. Period.
The names of the restaurants, schools, colleges we came across were hilarious! Apart from these, a few that stood out were Booty’s. And the *drum roll begins* ‘American University of India’.
From temples to beaches, parks to caves, waterfalls to forests – we covered it all. And the one most obvious thing which I couldn’t manage to squeeze in? Shopping! Such a relief, I tell you 😉
And that right there is how each of these talented photographers’ create magic! The Pamban bridge connecting Rameshwaram island to the Indian mainland is one of those marvelous pieces of architecture that we’re forgetting about.
Three days of fun has never been called long and short in the same sentence! Until now. To each of those who came together for this trip ~ thank you for making the heat, the hunger, the pain, the sleeplessness and the wait at the temples all bearable! 😉
They say if you blink, you miss it. We waited impatiently, clicking pictures of others and selfies of ourselves, being photo bombed and photo bombing others, all the while creating memories which we probably wouldn’t refer back to again. Not because they wouldn’t be memorable. But because we create too many of them these days.
We were waiting for the lights at the famous Mysore Palaceto go on. They say it looks enchanting. It is a work of technology which brings out the magnanimity of the work of art. It requires a single flick of a switch to light up thousands of little bulbs. 98,260 to be precise.
The Sun had set. Darkness had fallen. People were still clicking. Cameras were flashing. And just like that without any warning, without waiting for the clock to strike a particular hour, the lights went on! And enchanting it was!
Who would have thought a century ago that beauty could be kept locked up in pixels? Who would have predicted that you could hold the whole world worth of information just in your hands? How different our achievements are from those of our forefathers. They took pride in bigger and better; we in smaller and faster. They built with brick and mortar; we build with silicon and carbon. Their memories faded with time; ours with obsolescence. Their achievements were the heritage; ours is technology.
Picture Courtesy : In collaboration with Ashwini Bhat.
This is a rant post. Don’t blame me if you feel like screaming in horror after reading this. Read ahead at your own risk.
So Google tells me there are selfies of various kinds from #Ussie, #Uglie (Why? Oh why?), #Belfie, #Helfie, #Delfie, #Felfie, (I swear I am not making these names up.) #Wealthie and I’m tired!
Adding to all of those trending hashtags is a new way to click selfies – with the Vibe S1 (I am not sponsoring the product. Geez.) which will let you change the backdrop of your selfie. Wait, what?
So apart from the fact rumour that most selfies are staged and photoshopped and airbrushed and filtered and doused-in-all-other-photography-technology-related-words, we can now change our selfie backdrops.
Wanna bet which is going to be the most trendy backdrop? The Oscar red carpet pitched against the Eiffel Tower of Paris with your loved one? Or will it be snow capped peaks competing with the Victoria’s Secret runway? Who wants reality anyways?
For all those unaware, India has been discussing exactly how intolerant we are, as a country, for the past couple of months. Bans are trending, people are giving back awards felicitated on them by the Government (irrespective of the fact that the awards were given by political parties which are currently not even in power), people are being killed for their eating habits, politicians are rallying for food choices and animal (read : cow) protection like never before.
So Aamir Khan said this “Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet.”
So who really was afraid of India’s increased activities of intolerance? Kiran or Aamir? From whatever little English I understand, I think he just conveyed what Kiran said. And probably what millions of us say in the confines of our homes and safe havens of our thoughts. But refuse to admit openly. Because we are tolerant.
And for a country which is bashing Aamir for wrongly calling intolerant, are we in reality being tolerant towards his right to free speech? Latest updates show he’s being asked to leave India and his religion (of course!) is being held responsible for his thoughts (which, surprise, were actually Kiran’s thoughts.) Why did we not rise in defiance the same way when politicians said the most disgusting things about women being responsible for being raped and calling rape a ‘mistake’ which boys are allowed to commit? Why did we not ask for them to be thrown out of the country or ask for their resignations? Oh, right. Because WE ARE TOLERANT.
By the way. #IStandWithAamirKhan.
With due respect to everyone’s religious sentiments, why would you infringe on a woman’s privacy and her faith in such a drastic way? For a country which celebrates the union of the fertilized egg and sperm in the grandest ways possible, we do treat the unfertilized egg as harshly impure. In spite of science having busted the menstrual taboos and myths over and over again.
#HappyToBleed, yes. Always.
Another selfie news? No, no, not at all. Didn’t you notice the most important bit of information in this piece? Even NYC subways have rats! Time we globalized the Clean India Campaign?
Oh and confession time. I did scream at horror at what the rat did. Almost.
P.S. : Do share what you think after reading this. I really, really want to know if you screamed.
Recently, I went to an undisclosed location (the mystery is alluring) where we can safely say that birds and flowers can be found in abundance among other things (and it was no bird park. Duh.).
I have never fully appreciated the patience exuded by photographers who click bird pictures. Until I tried to capture their shots, of course! Birds are such elusive creatures! It seems as if they know that the shutter is going to close in on them and they just have to ruin the frame! So while my friend went on trying to capture birds, I stuck to the flowers. Well, for one they’re colourful and many. And secondly, THEY DON’T RUIN THE SHOT BY FLYING AWAY!!
Which reminds me that I have a bird shot from an earlier trip! Well, technically not so much because these birds don’t really fly away. But. Yeah. Whatever.
Anyone who’s seen an Indian wedding knows that it’s mostly about glitz, glitter and a lot of gala (and gold too!) Well, it’s also about rituals, heavy clothes (so heavy that you can get tired of holding them up and trying to fold them), tensions and family drama along with a lot of fun and lavishly sumptuous buffets!
I loved all of that and so much more about my brother’s wedding. Beginning with the beginning :