Travel

All about my odysseys…

A Trip Close to Heart, Pondicherry

The mental trip was done, several times, even before the actual one started! And yet, when the time came, I didn’t feel I was prepared for it. But in a better sense of the experience! The excitement was almost overwhelming and the trip that followed, didn’t disappoint! So, I started my Pondicherry trip on 28th March on a decent Friday evening, from Secunderabad. On arrival in Chennai, I boarded on my pre-booked cab to Pondi, reached Ginger Pondicherry, got refreshed and started visiting places I chalked down in my two days itinerary. The cafes, the Promenade, Auroville and 1-2 surprising finds, the treasures, on the way. Here is a picturesque memoir of my journey at the French Capital, in India.

 

A Glimpse of the East-Coast Route from the Cab

A Glimpse of the East-Coast Route from the Cab

Day 1 comprised of relaxing at the hotel room, a visit to the Baker Street Cafe and the Promenade.

 

My Room @Ginger Pondicherry

My Room @Ginger Pondicherry

A View of the Baker Street Bakery

A View of the Baker Street Bakery

Sea View from the Promenade

Sea View from the Promenade

Day 2 visits comprised of a trip in Auroville, Baker Street, Cafe Food Habit and again, the Promenade.

 

Boutique Shops @Auroville

Boutique Shops @Auroville

Concrete plaque on the way to Matri-Mandir @Auroville

Concrete plaque on the way to Matri-Mandir @Auroville

Matri-Mandir, the meditation center @Auroville

Matri-Mandir, the meditation center @Auroville

 

Earth without art is just "eh"!!!

Earth without art is just “eh”!!!

 

 

Food Habit

A quiet & comfy evening @Food Habit

The yummy fares @Food Habit

The yummy fares @Food Habit

A View of the Promenade, Pondi

A View of the Promenade, Pondi

AND the collectibles for my loved ones! I admit, I had most fun in purchasing these as each made me think of my friends’ choices and likes and about them 🙂

Pondi Souvenir

Pondi Souvenir

So, another night of refreshing sleep followed and I started for Hyderabad. Some moments that I could capture from the cab on the way to Chennai Central Station.

Backwater

Backwater

A glimpse of the azure sea n the sky...

A glimpse of the azure sea n the sky…

Thus, Pondicherry bid me adieu, with a bag-full of souvenir, a heart-full of sweet memories and a soul full of yearnings to return again 🙂

 

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Krav Maga Team Outing – Part Doux

A Peep into The Historic Vijayawada With KM Team-mates

It was as if a mini election (read selection) session for the Houses, the way voting went on in our cosy little Krav Maga group on Facebook! And after loads of references Raada in Vijayawada region of AP claimed the victory. Our itinerary included historic caves, a picturesque lake and flaked out fort, this much we knew. What we didn’t know and what constituted the major fun part were the cuisines and their spellings, potential candidates for any spelling-bee contest, I would say and also the telephonic conversation with the resort guys that can any day give a steep competition to the hilarious “He is Mi and I am Yu” compilation from Rush Hour 3!!! 😀

But the trip gifted us a store-house of nice moments and loads of picture to relish again and again. Here are some…Enjoy 🙂

The ‘footfall’ of Krav-Magaites Hyderabad

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A view of the lake from our balcony in the resort

The lake and the ferry ghat to the Bhavani Island

The lake and the ferry ghat to the Bhavani Island

Undavalli Caves

A short drive away from Guntur and Vijayawada are these Undavalli caves (4th-5th century); a series of weather-worn architectural wonders that houses Vishnu temple and several rock-cut idols and of course loyal monkey guards!

The temple inside

The temple inside

Ancient Rock-Cut Idol

Ancient Rock-Cut Idol

The cameramen getting photographed!

The cameramen getting photographed!

A view from the caves

A view from the caves

Whispering timeless corridors

Whispering timeless corridors

Bhavani Island

Our next day destination after the caves was this picturesque lake and the picture-postcard estuary island. The so-called tree-houses (actually just made of wood and elevated to the height of the surrounding trees) looked really something awesome to covet for!

The scenic lake

The lake towards Bhavani Island, A.P.

The lake towards Bhavani Island, A.P.

An example of what made our time there FUN! 😉

Understood what is communicated!!!

Understood what is communicated!!!

Tree House in Bhavani Island

Tree House in Bhavani Island

Kondapalli Fort

A long winding road to the fort and oozing tension in Clarence’s mind due to the possible scratches to his car n gosh it got one! 😥  Bad, no doubt but the fort-visit was nice. This 7th C fort on the hill amazes the visitor with the very question – ‘how did they manage to construct this???!!!”

Kondapalli Fort

Kondapalli Fort

Outside the Kondapalli Fort

Outside the Kondapalli Fort

FORT4

A Bird's Eye View from the Kondapalli Fort

A Bird’s Eye View from the Kondapalli Fort

A magnificent and humongous Lord Hanuman Temple on the way!

Hanuman Temple

Hanuman Temple

Categories: Hyderabad Life, Krav Maga, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Life Begins @30!!!

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The numbers are just a trick played by your mind ‘polished’ with social conventions, norms, rules, customs and other blah n blahs! You can always check the strength of these so called ‘guardians’, the ideas, against the natural element, say for instance water, and washed these shackles will be for sure; freeing you and giving a chance to be yourself!

So, here I started; moused through the RSVP platform and found myself at the start of an amazing weekend trip, my very first adventure trip to Dandeli; yonder to the white water of River Kali. I flowed, drowned, floated, choked, laughed, screamed, survived and LIVED!

Several stages of being one with the nature woven together, thanks to modern technology!

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The rocking ride.

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The much ‘awaited’ collision!

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The ‘content’ n thoroughly happy me 🙂

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A chatty gathering of the thrilled group around the camp-fire. The warmth ensued from those flames paved way for dreams untold…

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A peaceful night out in the tent amid the nature, twinkling starts and night chill.

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Starting off for the next installment of fun. The whole group together.

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SMILE MILE! 🙂

Categories: Adventures, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Zipping Myself Up for More Thrills

zip1

So Zip-lining it is!!! The first call for the first adventure activity in my recent trip to Dandeli in Karnataka, India.  Have seen several pictures of people happily hanging themselves in the name of this one! On further research on info and images I was ‘made’ prepared for this event. But the experience I had was reflected in neither those words or in those images! An experience totally different that will take me to try zip-lining even from greater heights in future, for sure. 🙂

Getting Harnessed

On reaching the spot, the experienced instructor got me buckled up or strapped in a multi-layered harness, a pair of sturdy but slightly torn gloves, bearing the marks of repeated trips to the other side and explained the lines on which I have to push meyself forward. Once hooked to the line it was all upon me to decide whether to enjoy or panic or just hang in the air. My choice was for the first option and I was literally drawn towards the river. I wanted to hang just on the rapid in the middle of the river to get soaked in the refreshing splash of Kali river and I DID so! It was so much fun to experience the shower, the wind, soaking into the nature and experience the zip-lining for the first time. Never got so many perks all at once!!! Nature is indeed benevolent 🙂

Finishing Touch

And the touch it was!!!!! Ouch!!! The cable-grabbing trolley came over to the sides of my over-sized gloves, getting it stuck to the line and breaking off my refreshingly dreamy state  😦 . Fortunately I didn’t have to struggle much to get it out. But signal it was – to move myself off to the other side and let others try the activity too… (Did that darn trolley purposefully do that!! Hmmm!). After this I dragged myself forward and finished the amazing journey quite fast.  The helper on the other side got me out of the hook, harness and helped me to get to the ground and relish the just finished activity at length 🙂

zip finish

Things You Should Remember

Please don’t get carried away! By that I didn’t mean that you should hang on to the line at one place, mind it! You should not panic either. Just follow the instructions to pull and move yourself to the other side, properly. Otherwise you will run the risk of getting stuck in the line, like me.

Categories: Adventures, Travel | 4 Comments

A Step Towards Emancipation

Being busy… going on official tours…getting things done and at the same time touching a new personal milestone in the journey of life – all these and more have always been my dreams so far my career is concerned. When I have not become a travel writer (donno also whether this dream can ever be realized!!!) official tours have always remain something of a dainty to me that I was yet to taste; and lo and behold – suddenly I got the chance out of nowhere!!! It was a moment of super joy and satisfaction for me.

Going on a three days journey to an unknown city and alone was…………………well, not much of a challenge for me; coz i was too excited. All my tensions were only regarding my over anxious mom and her far fetched apprehensions!!! But “moms”, u know!!! They never change; n good that they never change…sometimes I do need the grounding to be within my limits. But anyways, here are the awesome three days, small piece of really tasty bits of life that I luckily got in my plate and hungry that I was, I tasted every bit of it.

The Journey

After much, much n much drama from the management regarding booking the ticket, ultimately they booked the flight with much delay and wastage of time; of course they were “managing”. But I got what I needed – both way confirmed tickets to and from Gurgaon…n next I know i was on my way on 18th May ’11…it was thrilling to go alone, taking care of everything on my own and of course fun to update every step in Facebook n getting comments on them. Then  I finally reached and the real task began to locate the office. With me the cab driver also lost his head (and sanity, I believe) it seems, while locating the office, but we managed to pin it after much effort. The return journey was also almost the same except for a strange feeling in my heart that when I will reach home!!!  I can never explain this bit as I really enjoyed in Gurgaon and would have loved to stay back another week!!! But sometimes unknown feeling r better to leave to its own rather than trying to explain.

The Office

In Office..the Yadav Sisters

The head office was good with a good set up. It was the people over there that caught my admiration. A bunch of lively and yet professional group infusing life in everyone they come across and probably in every inanimate object!!! No wonder I felt so at home with them. It was not emotional while leaving on Friday evening but yes I felt if I was recruited over there it wud have been great…Shweta and Shruti the two bubbly and gorgeous sisters, Kavita, the queen of the group, Shilpi, a sweet personality and all others they really make a jovial team over there. It was really fun to learn and work with them.

The Fun Side of the Island

The Apartment Community...Essel Towers

Yessssssss…now we r on the fun-side of the Madagascar-ian island of Gurgaon – my accommodation…it was on the 16th floor of a huge apartment and within a planned community. The 1st thought i got was very dramatic though and influenced by ghastly TV soaps and commercials – it wud be a sure success to jump n commit suicide from the balcony. Of course, I was not up for it. Instead after entering my room what caught my fancy are the big wardrobes… I wish i would have bought all my dresses to increase their beauty…but alas!!! 3 days r not enough… so I just settled down and almost after ages browsed through TV again (last was in December ’10) … here are some picz of my room, the fun island.

Just a Glimpe of the Wardrobe I mentioned

On 18th the evening was great as my long time friend Dipanjan came to visit and a nice evening chatting about common interests , in the lounge, made the whole day great, along with other exciting factors of the same day. I got so tired that had dinner and plunged into deep sleep right away….even forgot to check my mobile balance leading to some tensions at home front… but cud clear the air the very next day.

Another side of my FUN-SIDE Island 😀

19th I went to office early around 8am to avoid the heat and catch up with the Yadav sisters and Kavita. The whole day went off just great like the previous day, in office and before I knew it, log off time was there. Was excited that I could meet up another long time friend whom I have not seen for 2 years! and then another nice evening with him, with a small visit to the nearby shopping malls. I didnt realize before, but i was lodged in the shopping mall heaven of Gurgaon…wish I had enough time and resources in hand to make most of this “boon”… but then except for the people, shopping malls dnt vary in the basic nature much…so it was okay also…all I know, I was enjoying the reality of being on a official tour and catching up with friends whom I wont be able to meet that easily again.

20th I saw the repetition of the earlier day only….exciting time in the office…going to the top floor lunch room with Khushboo n the group and then before I knew it was time to say goodbye to all. After coming back to my ‘home away from home’ I just packed all my belongings back and plunged into TV browsing…another happy and small outing with Rohan provided much needed relaxation for me and then before I knew it was time that this beautiful dream was drawing to an end. But all good times come to an end, as all say (why, why, why, why and whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!)… after reaching home I made everything ready so that I wont get late and then the day came to an END.

I dnt know whether I have learnt anything from this trip except for how to manage booking the cab n other tidbits, from this tiny journey…but all I know I had a great time being on an official tour for the first time in my life. Wish they wud have been a regular part of my job 🙂 …

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Gangtok – The Most Cherished Moments of my Life

Ever since my chilhood, I have always felt mesmerized by the sublime presence of those mighty mountains. I wanted to feel the cold air on my face; breath in the fresh nature and get rejuvenated with the balmy greeneries all around. It was a much coveted and never-to-be-had dream to spend some days in the some hill stations and have a wonderful holiday. I used to listen to my friends in school after Summer vacation that they may have visited Shimla or Sikkim and used to envy them seeing the pictures. So when this chance for visiting Gangtok came, it was like a million dollar offer to me and I immediately accepted or rather was almost on my knees in gratefulness before my parents as they accepted 😉 .

“Gangtok”, the queen of Sikkim. It was also the first hill station that I ever set foot in. So the experience of first encounter to a different world within our world was something that till date enthrall me without fail. It was so ethereal that I can hardly scratch out the exact word to describe my feelings!!! Now I would like to skip the boring details of the bus journey to  Siliguri; but one thing I remember and must share here – it was the speechless expression I gave to my parents seeing the bus!!! It’s called Rocket bus for its speed and I expected some fancy bus for my fantastic journey….n what came in front of us was enough to wring out a huge drop of sweat from my head (like those in Japanese animation :D)…So I would like to drop a blanket over this episode and let us directly reach to the jeep that carried us to Gangtok, my heaven… 🙂

So here comes the journey to Gangtok…the hilly road winding along the the sprightly river Tista all the way from Siliguri to Ganngtok; small residential areas, roadside dhabas, digging in smoking hot noodle soup, happy smiling people….it was as if I am inside a movie!!! Tista surely infected us with its cheerfulness. The river itself was like a happy prologue to a never forgettable experience of holidaying in hilly area.

It was a long four hours journey from Siliguri to Gangtok in a shared jeep; and we had to travel overnight to reach Siliguri also. But the excitement was such, that nothing mattered. It was just the expectation of a dream like holiday destination that kept me wide awake. And then ultimately we reached there in Gangtok. My feeling was as if I have just awoken from my sleep and have opened my eyes to a new realm. I remember the weather was a bit cloudy, but refreshingly cold and it was the charm of that weather which took away the last sign of tiredness. A boy rom the lodge we stayde, was already there to show us the way and led us to a picture perfect lodge; Subhas Lodge. It was small but very well arranged with its ever-smiling manager and home-away-from-home hospitality. We got a room where there were one double bed and one single; just perfect for me!!! That room also had a wide window without any grill and opened towards the slopping valley outside. I was in a dream like state with everything so perfect. I wish i had the picture of that lodge and its manager.

Enthusiasm took time to sink in and after a light meal we retired to our rooms and had a sound sleep for some hours. Then started our Gangtok trip in the real sense. We started exploring the market area and surroundings in evening. And just like a child wondering expressing wonder at everything it sees, my heart was getting filled with everything I saw, smelled, touched…Coming back to home it was another ethereal scene that was awaiting us. We opened the window, and the first thought was – has the starlit sky descended down on the valley!!!!!! In every stair of that slopping valley there were residencies and the light looked just like the stars in the sky; only this time they were in the valley down there…with a heart full of happiness, peace and expectation for more wonders, I went to sleep the first night i

From the next day we started on our site-seeing trips. We visited the flower exhibition with its variegated flowers and orchids; the museum with its rich collection and somber ambience; the highest point in the city and the vibrant local markets – bringing back with us lots of souvenirs and rich memories. But it was the Tshangu Lake next day that was the icing on the cake for me. With a temperature that is freezing for the plane-living people like us, this lake presents breath-taking beauty and unfailingly charms every single visitor there. However, apart from beauty, there had been funny moments enough to keep us entertained (though it was at my and my sister’s cost 😦 )… When jumping into the cab I wore just a regular sweater on my dress and the driver and some others advised me to put on something more…But as u know, we are the hot blooded teenagers n not supposed to feel that cold (at least that was my idea!!!), so didn’t listen to them…now ultimately the scene was, with every turn that our cab started to take after sometime, I also started covering me…first with another jacket…next turn – a muffler…next turn – my gloves…next turn – nothing left and I was feeling my nose falling off in cold!!! But the entire incident gave other good chance to laugh (sigh) … 😀

On the way home that day I took the memories in heart which are still alive. Evey time I feel like going away somewhere, it’s these places in Gangtok that I feel like visit again and again. Another memorable place I visited in my Gangtok trip was the Rumtek Monastery.

No matter how many times I visit each of these destinations within Gangtok, it will never be enough. Their surprising freshness and enigmatic charms keep me ever thirsty for visiting this hill-station again and again.

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Much Ado about Auto – My Hyderabad Life:

Life is all about taking chances, availing opportunities and learning endlessly. At a time when almost each new day some or other doors for a brand new career is opening, would you not be interested in availing a “COURSE” that will no doubt equip you with practical knowledge and in hand/on-the-spot practice? If this is not convincing enough, let me shed some more light on the wide ranging benefits of this course. You will be endowed with the gift of gab; you can acquire the timely weapon to stop the invasion of money-eating monsters and what’s more, at the end of the day you will gain much knowledge about the way of the world and the degree you will earn would give you the title of being “Material-wise”!!!

There will be no boundaries of the traditional four-walled classroom; the timing – flexible enough, not distant but a regular course; you can just chill, preserve your energy, watch and learn; the course fee – nominal and the scope, as discussed – limitless!!! Now you must be wondering what this course is??? It’s nothing but a lifetime lesson in money management through riding auto-rickshaws in Hyderabad!!! Sounds fun right?

So, gear up my near and dear ones, my friends and others out there; come to Hyderabad to avail another opportunity this “City of Golden Opportunities” is offering you! Want to have some primary ideas? I’ll give you some interactive examples; you can anytime put yourself in my place and start learning. So, here we go:

On a Regular Office Day:

(Scene no:1)

Me: Ameerpet chaloge?

Autowala: Tuht!! (Meaning  – for this short distance? NO WAY/ how can you even ask!! Pagal hay kya!!)

(Scene no:2)

Me: Ameerpet chaloge?

Autowala: Ameerpet??? (Acting and expression shows he is trying hard to remember that Pandora!)

ADVICE: Leave him wondering forever to locate Ameerpet in Hyderabad.

 

(Scene no:3)

Me: Ameerpet chaloge?

Autowala: “farty de do” (means, Rs. 40/- u have to pay).

***IMP***:  BEGUMPET Shyamlal Building Area to Ameerpet Aditya Trade Center is hardly Rs./-33-34.

Me: Forty nahi hota hay udhar taak.

Autowala: “To kya hona?” (Means how much you are offering?)

Me: Meter se chalo.

*** Either the autowala will take you reluctantly or you have to walk away at this point.

*** Now if you somehow manage to get into the auto various other scenes follow; take out your notebooks students and make these important notes:

Points to be noted:

  • Meter starts changing after 1.5 km. Every 100 m is 70 paisa.
  • It’s excellent to have an idea at which place or near certain landmark what the meter can generally be. You will be quick to notice unusual long jumping of the meter!
  • Have change always ready or else do not expect to get back Rs. 2-3 as they never may have seen changes in their lives!

Acquiring “Gift of Gab”:

This is one of the never to be overlooked benefits of this extraordinary course. Have a look at these examples:

(On the meter being Rs35 when the autowala demands Rs. 40)

Autowala:  “Farty” de do…

Me: It is 35.

Autowala: 5 rupees se kya farak paadta hay??

Me: Exactly; to 5 rupees kaam le lo!!!

Dear friends and students, there are untold number of interactive lessons you will be taught. Just remember, this moving classroom is a place which doesn’t allow you to lose your focus and day/night dream. So get enrolled and earn a degree that will pay you no matter which city you live in next.

Categories: Hyderabad Life, Personal, Reflection, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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