Tag: travel

What goes in my head when a trip ends-

What goes in my head when a trip ends?

“….it ain’t me..” with its strummings and beats fill my ears as the bus whooshes towards Bangalore. Selena Gomez is good. I never realized before that she sings this well. For me, she reminds me of  ‘The Wizards of Waverly Prince’. Aah! Disney Channel back in the day.

Anyway!

“….who’s gonna walk you through the dark side of the morning…”

I’m left to think of what I’m taking back from this trip. When you’re traveling alone, a lot of these thoughts come dropping by. Of course, the extra kilos and pictures, are a given. But, what else do we take back from a trip?

What do I take back from a trip?

The feeling of this place?

A sense of exploring something new?

Another place ticked off from the checklist?

Content for my blog?

Meeting people? And friends?

What is it that I’m taking back with me?

The bus stops to pick a few more passengers. As I notice other vehicles go past ours, I try my best to form an answer.

I’ve hated the feeling of getting stuck. Of not moving. This miniature depiction of my emotion is apt. Is this the answer?

Travel helps in knowing, if I intend to, I won’t get stuck. From decisions. From questions that life throws. I might end up choosing the wrong direction. Catching the wrong bus. Missing my bus. Getting delayed. Been there, done that. Fashionably.

I can try to not confine my boundaries. And even break the ones that I’ve set. Others haven’t.

What else do I take back?

The randomness of conversations. Ones you would remember as long as you’re part of it. You’ll remember the laughter. The faces. The sadness behind those eyes that they hide. The excitement of capturing something new. The people. Yes, them. I take parts of them with me. Imagine how they’d deal with situations. Making them part of my stories. The ones I write, the ones my reveries write on their own.

What does travel teach me?

A lot. And nothing.
I’m not being vague. This is how it is.

I’ve realized people, wherever you go, end up being a lot alike than we picture them in our stereotype. Travel helps break those very stereotypes. Language never seems to be the ultimate barrier. Communication isn’t limited by the language when you want to talk, get help or help others.

Travel teaches adjustment. Type of food with varying spice levels, adjusting to ways of answering the nature’s call, sleeping in different places, talking, listening or just learning more about cultures.

Sometimes traveling sucks too. Just like life does. The edited pictures might not tell the stories of those places. And they should not. It is a different experience for each of us and is so subjective. No one can live our lives. And no one can travel for us, but we.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Zosstel_View_Lunch

Travelogue: The Gokarna Chapter

An uphill walk of close to 2 km in the hot-humid climate after a tiring bus journey with cramped-up leg space, we reached Zostel. And this view, right here, made it all worth it.

Gokarna_Travelogue_View_From_Zostel

As I write this Gokarna Travelogue, I’m taken back to the town that I’m definitely going to visit again. Apart from the beaches, what excited me was- Zostel. When places live up to their hype, which happens rarely, there’s nothing that beats that in making you feel good.

Where is Gokarna?

Gokarna is a temple town on the borders of Karnataka and Goa. Located at about 500kms away from Bangalore.

How to reach Gokarna?

A bus journey of about 12 hours which costs you 600-700 INR or a longer 16-hour journey via train which can be cheaper can be taken to reach Gokarna.

Here’s an illustrative map of Gokarna comprising of beaches and temples.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Map_Zostel

The beaches in Gokarna include the main Gokarna beach, Kudle, Om, Half-moon and Paradise beach. There’s another rocky beach between half-moon and Paradise – aptly referred to as the Hell’s beach. We covered this as part of our 5-beach trek on the second day of our trip.

Gokarna_Travelogue_HalfMoon_Beach

 

Hungry and tired, we decided to find solace in the food served at the Zostel restaurant along with the amazing view for company. Decent pizza and a little extra-fried chicken with a side salad along with orange juice, while we settled down adjusting to the heat.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Zosstel_View_Lunch

Gokarna_Travelogue_Orange_Juice_Zostel

 

After a somewhat heavy-lunch, we curled up in our dormitory, instead of sweating it out in the humid sun.

Headed out in the early evening for a walk around the market leading to the Gokarna beach. The temple town was active and yet even in the hustle-bustle was calm.

The beach is quite clean and less crowded. I decided to let Nehru’s pre-independence words flow into my mind through the ‘discovery of India’.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Beach_Reading_Book

 

 

Watching people observe puja and Surya namaskar, as the sun went down for the day is quite something.

Here’s when I saw an old man performing a ritual which intrigued me. 

We treated ourselves to a simple vegetarian lunch of Paneer+Rotis, along with a minty drink called, ‘Lemon Mint Nana’ which was quite good. We repeated the same the next day as well.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Lemon_Nana_Prema_Restaurant

We had decided to head out early for the 5-beach trek and pack up our stuff and keep it safely in Zostel’s Common room.

The 5-beach trek included Kudle-Om-Halfmoon-Hell’s beach before reaching the Paradise beach. We had our breakfast at Om beach in one of the joints which

Gokarna_Travelogue_Morning_Kudle_Beach

We had our breakfast at Om beach in one of the joints which was open in the early hours of the morning, overlooking the sea. Bread omelet and black coffee to start the day. What more can one ask for?

Gokarna_Travelogue_Breakfast

 

The post-Om beach trek towards HalfMoon was the best of all. Walking over the hill in the tiny pathways in-between trees was an entirely different experience. At one point, we had this majestic view of the entire sea and standing atop that section of the hill, making us feel so small.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Arabian_Sea_View

 

 

Since we were walking along the sea, over the hills, we came across boards which read like, ‘No way! Many people DIED here’ and we might have felt a little scared had it not been for the funny font and dripping paint.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Trekking_signs

 

As we crossed the half-moon beach and came across these amazing smallish gorges, we hid from the sun as the heat increased.

[Tip: Start your trek before 6 AM so as to avoid the harsh sun]

As we reached Paradise beach, which is a small section in the beach stretch, I just took out my book to read, while my friend took a dip in the sea. Of course, I couldn’t resist the water much longer and stripped down to dive-in.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Om_Beach

 

Instead of the trek, there is the option to take the boat which makes stops at all the beaches for you to do a quick photo-session if that’s what you want. While returning we actually took a boat to Om Beach instead of heading back on foot.

The view is great from the boat and you can also spot a few Dolphins. But this still doesn’t beat the trek and I’d highly recommend you to to do the trek.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Om_Beach_View

 

We were hungry and a cheesy La Polo Chicken Pizza along with King Fish became our lunch. Fish wasn’t great but the cheese made up for it.

In the last few hours in Gokarna, we went back to Zostel and took rest in their common room. I loved this part about Zostel, even after you’ve checked out, you can still keep your stuff, chill in their common room (which is amazing) and freshen up in the common bathroom as well.

We had to board our bus for Bangalore by 7 PM and a quick stroll around the beach, shopping and some home-made ice-cream and peanut-butter to bring back home, and a goodbye to Gokarna.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Homemade_IceCream

 

There are few places that you visit and then decide there itself that you’re gonna head back here soon. Gokarna is that place. I liked it better than Goa and this sits right at the top of beaches in India that I’ve visited, along with Varkala and Malpe.

 

Gokarna_Travelogue_Kulfi_Beach

wazoo khana mosque

Delhi Travelogue: The Wazoo Khana

wazoo khana mosque

The Wazoo-Khaana.

While walking towards Humayun’s fort, I walked into this mosque to offer Zohar prayers. Old, not-taken care of, withered over time and hardly anyone at the mosque. The Wazoo-khana at the mosque reminded me of innumerable other mosques of the yesteryears. Now, they all have swanky tile-fitted-running-water wazoo khanas. Don’t mistake me for speaking of this modernization in a dismissive tone. I’m more of a purist and cherish the sacrilege-like feeling associated with a Wazoo khana. 

A good number of mosques still have this, but perhaps I rarely visit the ones which don’t have a tap running with a board mentioning, “Wazoo ka paani zyaya na karen.. Paani Allah ki rehmat hai”. Only to see people read it while water while the water flows out at speed faster than their reading.

Anyways, at this mosque, one needed to take out water from the adjacent well, fill it out in the badna and then perform wazoo.

Every-time the mosque near my office runs out of water and the water-tanker doesn’t arrive, we have to take two small mugs, out of a bucket of water, for use. Inconvenient. But we all end up saving almost half the water we’d normally use.

And more importantly, we read the signage: “Wazoo ka paani zyaya na karen.. Paani Allah ki rehmat hai” without letting the water flow away down the drain.

Post offering the prayers at this mosque, everyone gave me sort-of welcome smile. As if they recognized that I’m not from the place. Probably, I clicked a lot of pictures to make sure of that.

The mosque I was talking Masjid Khairul Manzil. You can read about the mosque in this post about Delhi’s architectural marvels, here.

amer-fort-inside-jaipur-travelogue

Travelogue: The Jaipur Chapter

Scratching through the wee hours in teeth crushing cold, my bus, Good morning’ed Jaipur. It was cold. Everything which I could pack to keep myself warm was not much of help as I had hoped.

It was December after all. It took 5 hours from Delhi to Jaipur. Here’s my Jaipur Travelogue.

With no hotel booked as this was supposed to be just a day’s trip, I walked around the surprisingly crowded bus stop at around 4:30 AM! The upbeat brokers strolling around made sure that I know the rates of nearby hotels as I sipped a cup of chai.

I started towards Jal Mahal by asking directions from locals after the bus I boarded dropped me near the main market. This bus has to be the tiniest Mini-bus that I’ve ever traveled in and which was driven by the oldest driver I’ve seen driving anything. He was clearly in his late-80s but the way he was handling himself appeared to be a seasoned professional nevertheless.

I walked by to see the city waking as the street lights on the clear roads slowly shutting down, one at a time, theatrically. The roads and the visible infrastructure around the city appeared good and the early risers were helpful in showing directions. When traveling down south, (Whether its Chikmagalur, Kodaikanal, Allepey, Varkala, Mangalore, Yelagiri, Kochi or even Chennai), sometimes, language does become an issue when asking directions. I mostly try to understand by gestures and then confirm after every few minutes as Google maps, which is still fun. In this case, Internet had ditched me and I had to talk more than I usually do.

jal-mahal-jaipur-travelogue

The picture of Jal Mahal, in my mind, was a wee-bit different than what was in front of my eyes. It reminded me of the man-made islands in Zoological parks around which you row boats. Only, in this case, the island was a Mahal and ,of course, there were no boats to row and enjoy a closer view. I wished there was a way to access a better view like the birds flying above the mahal. But then.

However, it was a lovely sight to wait and ultimately breathe in the sunrise along with hundreds of pigeons flying around to give me company.

My next stop was the Amer fort. Along with the rising sun I trekked (sort of) uphill on the straight road. I was glad to have packed lightly which made things easier. Meanwhile, I was introduced to an unheard cultural practice by a passerby heading in the opposite direction when he told me about a temple on the hills. On completion of a wish (mannat), which you ask the deity here for, one has to offer a bottle of liquor as offering. This was new and interesting.

amer-fort-jaipur-travelogue

I could already notice the boundaries of the fort from a distance. The off-Yellowish lines visible from a distance added on to the excitement. Scenes from movies and innumerable music videos had featured this sight quite a lot and it all came running down. It was exactly how I had imagined it to be.

There is a lake called Maota is adjacent to the fort and gives it a scenic semblance as you walk alongside to enter the fort. Amer was built by the Meena Tribe and later occupied by Raja Man Singh I.

amer-fort-garden-jaipur-travelogue
The insides of Amer Fort: As I entered, I noticed the Chaar Baagh (Four Gardens) formations which are a prominent part of Mughal Architecture. Like the ones which I saw in Delhi a couple of days before. With the shining sun illuminating the pathway towards the fort entrance, the doors literally make for a Grand Entrance.

elephants-at-amer-fort-jaipur-travelogue

A more-than visible print of Elephants being regulars here can be seen with their “discharge” all over the pathway.

amer-fort-inside-jaipur-travelogue

Rajasthan in general is a primary tourist attraction even before the “Incredible India” campaign kicked off. Finding foreign tourists in huge numbers is quite expected and this early morning at the fort definitely was one of it.

The fort has a multistoried layout which is no less than a Bhool bhulaiya of sorts with the tiniest of windows and doors spread throughout the structure. This characteristic was quite prevalent in almost all the architectures at Jaipur(which I visited) and I presume in Rajasthan as well. The Hawa Mahal is basically an ensemble of these tiny windows. Interestingly, I also noticed a few of the cleaning staff, which comprised of women, draping a Ghoongat (Dupatta used with a veil).

garden-in-amer-fort-jaipur-travelogue

I also heard from one of the guides who was explaining to the foreigners that these windows helped the women folk to easily witness gatherings, markets or processions in the sanctity of the mahals and forts.

I headed back in a crowded bus which charged around 14 rupees and dropped down near Jal Mahal which was in contrast to what I saw earlier. A makeshift market place had emerged around the pavements selling shoes, clothes and even food to be fed to the pigeons roaming around soaking the morning sunlight. The pigeons were not alone BTW!

birds-near-jal-mahal-jaipur-travelogue

I headed over to the City Palace which is located amidst the Jaipur market. Renovation work was underway on one of the gates.

city-palace-jaipur-travelogue

 

 

The insides are filled up with these glass colored window panes which add on to the many decorations in the palace.

The tiny staircases leading to the terrace are little suffocating and I cannot imagine getting lost in the dark in one of those. Nightmare.

city-mahal-jaipur-travelogue

 

However, once you’ve reached the top, the view is supremely beautiful. Not just that, the feeling of getting out in the open and watching the whole city is sublime.

city-mahal-topview-jaipur-travelogue

 

Venturing out of the City Palace, I went around the market to grab something to eat. Now Jaipur is called the Pink City. So, when you walk around the market, one can notice that the shops, walls and everything where you can lay your eyes on has a shade of pink.

jaipur-market-travelogue

 

It’s not Pink. But Pink. The market looked very organized and pink. (The pink color maes it all a litte funny though. But its not pink).

rabdi-jaipur-travelogue

I stopped by to have Rabdi (in the pic above) and Malpuas in the market. Eating these was just out of sheer hunger of not having eaten anything since morning and I ended up at the first outlet I saw. They were pretty decent and I would have definitely got a better one had I done any sort of “food research” like I usually do. But then, Internet!

hawa-mahal-jaipur-travelogue

The Hawa Mahal in my head was supposed to be this mammoth building but it wasn’t so. Only when I started taking pictures, I realized why it was so. The Road opposite to the Mahal is pretty narrow and for a good picture, one would either have to take a side-shot to capture it perfectly. Of course it still looked good.

It was a Friday and I needed to search for a mosque to attend Jumma Prayers and even though I was hungry, I held on as I had to meet a friend who works nearby an IT park.

jaipur-travelogue

The nice people of the city guided me to the right bus. A vegetarian thali for lunch while reminiscing about college days was great and as always it’s great to meet known friends in unknown cities.

rajasthani-meal-jaipur-travelogue

I headed back in another bus and then also took a tuk-tuk just to have an experience on how the city moves around in these.

tuk-tuk-jaipur-travelogue

On reaching the Bus stop and getting onto one of the Delhi bound buses, I realized how much I could do in just one day. Due to time crunch, I could hardly get my hands on Rajasthani food but if I ever visit this place again that will be my priority.

Jaipur is a traditional city which has kept its original charm even with steady development. At least the areas I went around appeared to have better civic sense. Of course the public transportation can improve a lot but the folks of the city make a tourists’ life much easier.

Goa Travelogue

What’s an Ideal Travel Plan, anyway ?

When you have to take a vacation and just plunge into the abyss of forgetting your work-pressure and simply get a break, where does your mind picture you enjoying?

 

For me, it has to be a Beach. Any Beach. The sound of waves rushing in, the waves giving the breeze a high-5 and your eyes enjoying the magic happening. Does this paint a picture for you ?

Taking out my cycle from the parking lot, I was trying to figure out my weekend plan. Probably a movie or catching up with a few friends? Maybe cooking something new in the kitchen ? or simply binge watching a tv-series while ordering food from any app which gives a discount.

Damn!

Eat. Sleep. Repeat mode awaits!

You wait for the weekend and end up doing one of those three things and then head over to another week of office.

Have to do something. Have to do something.

Goa.

And then it popped up just when I crossed the traffic signal. A green light lit right there.

Headed home, switched on my laptop, checked for flight schedules, but most were over due to the weekend rush. Finally got confirmed bus tickets as well as hotel bookings and bam! in just an hour, the Uber was downstairs taking me to my bus stop.

So, in just around an hour, the Uber was downstairs taking me to my bus stop.

The hour spent was to check how should I head to Goa. Should I take a flight ? Naah. Too expensive, although the website was offering me a good deal as compared to others. Still, expensive.

I don’t usually like buses, but hey, adjust maadi.

The backpack was dusted and any clothes (mostly clean ones) which I could find was thrown in. This wasn’t supposed to be like any of my other travels, where I plan, pack and explore the place.

This was supposed to be just a vacation and hence, the idea was to head there, chill on the amazing beaches. Maybe cool my heels while I finish those half-read books or jot down a few blogs on my laptop.

And isn’t that what goes in our head when we plan to travel? The expectation on what we would do once we are there.

My itinerary:

List of Beaches to explore: Baga, Anjuna, Calanghute and Vagator.

Sea Food: Whatever I could lay my eyes on!

Party: What’s that?

But a lot of it doesn’t go according to our plans, right? My Goa travelogue can give you a clear picture of what I (actually!) did there. And yes, it was exciting.

Of all the things that are with me from Goa, this planning process -from that green signal to booking tickets, remains an unusually exciting part. I plan things. I don’t usually do things impromptu.

I’m at a loss in imagining how all this would have been in an era of no-internet? Would I have rushed to the bus stop and enquired about the timings and tickets? Or would I have just binged on good American television along with a few cheese burst slices?

Goa Travelogue: Baga Beach

Travelogue: The Goa Chapter

How often has this thought of “heading home and packing bags and get out of the city” hit you ?

If you’re anything like me then a gasp of yes would have already come out of your mouth by now.

Anyways, I wanted to keep this as a solo trip and Goa was the first place which popped in my head and as a result of which you are reading this Goa Travelogue.

For years holidaying has been synonymous with Goa. Of course, most of those trips are planned with friends. Mine, initially, was also no different. But the thing is, most of these planned Goa trips never work. Especially when it comes to Goa.

It was already late in the evening, rushing back home, checked hotels for a 2-day stay and luckily got one at Stayzilla. Bus seats were there too. Booked.

Over to Goa.

Reached late. Took close to 16 hours of a tiring bus journey, a very expensive cab, and almost an hours’ walk to finally arrive at my place of stay.

No, not the one with Stayzilla, as those guys ditched me again. Hotel was booked, payment was made and yet they cancelled it, while I was on my way. Had to make another arrangement through Airbnb. A very unconventional hut greeted me, along with a group of hippies in a jungle!! If that wasn’t scary enough, the not-so-clean bathroom made sure that I looked out for an alternate. Luckily, got an alternate arrangement at a homestay. This whole experience is even more adventurous, but let’s keep that for some other time.

This new place was near Anjuna Beach and luckily they also had an Activa Scooter for rent (Rs 800/Day). It was a decent deal, considering, I just couldn’t get anything else.

Travel Tip: If you’re travelling Goa for the first time, my advise is to rent out a vehicle as soon as you get down at the bus stop in Panaji. Any other mode of transport in the city will cost you a lot.

Calanghute Beach:

I was here around evening on my first day. Having hardly eaten food, and a heavy bag on my shoulders, I looked for a “proper” place to eat. But even after going into one, it was pretty difficult to get your order placed. I headed over to gulp a glass of juice in the outside market.

Goa Travelogue: Sunset at Calanghute Beach

Calangute was one of those beaches where I didn’t spent much time as it was also getting dark and I needed to head to my room. Of course, not before enjoying the beautiful sunset out on display.

Anjuna Beach:

It was almost noon by the time I headed to Anjuna and this sight here lets you in with a sense of your being. The last day had been really hectic, with the extended bus travel, hotel change and hardly any time to properly eat. I finally had breakfast and then lost myself again into enjoying the view.

Goa Travelogue: Anjuna Beach

I took a long walk on the beach, clicking a few pictures in between; while the Arabian-Sea splashed across my folded jeans. Cold water splashing against the semi-tanned legs, indeed felt good.

Goa Travelogue: Anjuna Beach

Baga Beach:

The only name I knew in Goa was Baga. I didn’t looked up any travelogue like I usually do when planning a trip and apart from Baga, i hardly knew anything about Goa. Except my friends telling me, “Tu Goa jaake kya karega? Tu to peeta bhi nahi” .

This beach is crowded, but extremely well managed. You can see “baywatchers” (Sadly, not like the Baywatch Girls) out their repeatedly warning people to not go too deep. (Did that sentence come out right? :P).

They look more like DJ’s to me. What say ?

Goa Travelogue: Baga Beach
Even with the crowd, Baga has a certain charm attached to it, a stroll across the stretch of the beach is a joy undefined. And you’re not alone in doing so, you can see hordes of Solo travelers, giving that a try. And yes, you can tell who is a solo traveler. There’s that unmistakable vibe and a passing glance of smile, which explains it all.

I sat, with drenched lowers on the sands at Baga, along with a water bottle in my hand, stark contrast to the other “bottles” which everyone seemed to have. The view of the ocean, kids playing, groups of friends having fun and even cows having a Sun bath, while I munched on peanuts. Meanwhile, wondering how come beef consumption is fine here, even when it’s a BJP ruled state.

Goa Travelogue: Sunbathing Cows

Baga is the most happening beach, I’m told. Late evening when I visited, it remained crowded with all the “party animals”. I excused myself to enjoy my dinner.

Vagator Beach:

Technically, I didn’t put my foot on this beach at all. I was meters above it, at the Chapora Fort. Or as people like to call it “the-Dil-Chahta-hai-fort” as a few scenes were shot here.

[To the Uninitiated, Dil Chahta is a famous Bollywood movie directed by Farhan Akhtar]

Goa Travelogue: Vagator Fort

The place is full of people humming the title song along with clicking selfies.Yes, I’m not kidding even a bit. I went to the other side to sit atop one of the rocks, gawking down at the shiny waters while the wind blowing down sunlight off my face.

Goa Travelogue: Vagator Beach

Now, let’s talk about the Goa Food:

This was one of those trips when I ate less and roamed more. However, I’m not complaining.

I started my day with a decent English Breakfast. The street leading to Anjuna Beach is lined with numerous options, and randomly I checked into one, after finding space to park my rented Activa. A decent start to the day.

How wrong can you go with an English Breakfast anyway ?

Goa Travelogue: English Breakfast near Anjuna Beach

I was craving for some good sea food, but amidst all the beach hopping and merrily driving around, time was running out. Also, since I wasn’t sure whether Meat would be Halal or not, the number of food options were limited. Plus, almost all the restaurants serve alcohol, which kind of creeps me out anyway.

Goa Travelogue: Pomfret near Bagha BeachI tried Pomfret at one of the popular joints in Goa, called Twenty23 which is almost in the middle of Calanghute and Anjuna. Very Expensive, and perhaps the most expensive food item I might have ever eaten till date. But a good fish is worth the bucks you spent.

The last day, before I headed back to Bangalore, I ended up meeting a few of my batchmates in Goa and ended up with Calamari on my plate. Pretty weird taste and I guess it’s mostly an acquired taste like most sea foods. However, I might not eat it again.

[Also read about my Mangalore trip, where you can enjoy Seafood and lovely beaches]

What I got from the Goa trip?

The Goa trip was my way of getting back to solo travelling. There couldn’t have been a better time than this. Although with the long weekend, it ended up getting way too crowded and defeated the purpose of going to Goa in off-season, yet finally having ticked Goa off my list feels great.

From Goa, I got back my travel mojo. I got back the joy of simply strolling around beaches. I got back the adventure of adjusting to change and of course the happy vibes from the beaches. However, it still doesn’t beat the best beach I’ve been to.

[Wondering which one is it ? Read Here]

My sole intention was to only cover beaches and enjoy my time without any itinerary. Must say, I was successful in achieving my goal.

Spreading a little Happiness

From all the trips that I’ve done till now, the one last year to Pondicherry has been the best yet. Reasons ? Well I have a lot of em.

This happened to be my first solo trip. I was excited to finally get something off my bucket list. I loved the whole experience of what it brought along with it. Travelling around to explore something new. Meeting people, trying out new cuisines and spending time without having to worry about time itself. Interestingly, the Pondicherry tourism tagline goes by, “Give time a break”. And I did.

During my stay, I was roaming around the town on a bicycle as well as a Vespa on the two days. On the second day, when I had pretty much roamed around the place, was left with time and petrol to spare.

One person, a middle-aged man, was asking for lift to passerby. I stopped my bike close to him. Happily, he boarded the bike and said something in Tamil. After having established that I knew none of it. Except of course Tamil Terriyadu (which means I don’t know Tamil). We conversed in a little broken hindi which he knew, surprisingly. He thanked me for that and I moved on.

Although it was just a start. When you’re driving you can see a lot many asking for lift. In strange and peculiar ways sometimes. Some do the standard waving, while others excitedly wave around to catch attention.

I again met this young lad, clad in a lungi who asked me for lift. We talked a little where he was surprised as to why I was travelling alone. Yes, I get that a lot too. And due to some reasons, I’ve not been able to travel alone much. He enquired about my stay and whether I liked his town or not.

I was almost on my way back, where I met this teenager. Torn jeans and sadly not for his fashion sense, but actually torn, without any shoes or slippers walking along. Occasionally turning back to see if someone stops their vehicle to reduce his effort to walk back home. Or to wherever he meant to be taken to.

I stopped and he was almost expressionless at that time. I signaled him to hop on, which he did and finally put on a little smile. He knew a little English, so we talked. I asked him about what he does to which he replied that he was a daily wage labor and usually heads back home at this time. From what we could talk, it was not very clear because of the language issue. I took out my camera and told him to pose for it, which he was very reluctant to. He then offered to take a picture of me in my camera. Even though I had to teach him on handling the camera, he did take one.

This picture was clicked by the him..

This picture was clicked by him..

 

Having clicked me, he was happy. As if he has learnt something new. He returned me the camera and shaking hands he went away. I was waiting for the signal to turn Red,  while I saw him dancing happily and running into the lane.

I was smiling. It felt good. A different kind of good.

This Entry is part of the #LookUp Stories series by Housing.com in association with Indiblogger.

6 months after I started working…

Friday.

Last Working day of this month. The penultimate month of the year is about to end. I have my confirmation letter in the drawer beside me. Oh yes, completed 6 months on the job and can officially throw away the trainee tag out of my Job title. (Aah! That feeling 🙂 )

The weekend is almost there, right when I’ll step outside the office, the anticipation growing, while I type this. Work has been roadblocked by the absence of one of my boss (Oh, I have 5 of them) and the urge to write something instead of continuing to work for the day.

There’s a lot to be said about what’s my work like to me, but with the lack of any comparative standard (as this is my first job), I’m at a loss of words (actually, appropriate words).

I’ve prepared this list of things that I’ve got to do, and things that I’ve done. The list stares at me in the board of my cubicle. It’s a long list of things. But the post-its on top of that elusive list tells me, If I can do those, I can kick the others’ asses too :P.

It has been years since I’ve regained my confidence. Getting it back has been the biggest achievement for me in the last 6 months. To categorize this as having “proven myself”, will be too much of an exaggeration but yes, would love to brag that the road has been chosen (chosen wisely). Sometimes, I wonder how thing would have been had I taken the Sales job offered back then. But then, I am thankful for this one.

List of Things to do

A lot of credit goes to how things went during my MBA days. And this includes both good and the bad (Ohh, real bad!!). Somehow, the way things fell in place only makes me understand the beauty of Allah. I mean with every day, I become more mesmerized of his blessings. I’ve been really lucky in a lot of things.

One other chapter (I call them as chapters too) that I’ve added to my life in these months is fulfilling my desire to travel. It is not just about the places which I travel to, but the journey itself. My one-trip-a-month has been going on right since I joined this job. I do look forward for many more such trips, especially now when I’ll get to have more leaves (Permanent, you know 😛 ). While Pondicherry was the first time I travelled, explored and immersed in a place. Mumbai, with its charm and Mangalore with friends had its own magic. And of course the bike trip to yelagiri was another way to catch up with nature, myself and falling in love with the road.

A job teaches you a lot of things. To manage yourself completely.  Learning to handle your finances, to look forward to salary day and yes to forget about everything related to work over the weekend!! (I’ve already forgot :P)

It has its share of frustrations as well. The work-cribbing, the bad coffee, bottle-necks, deadline pressures, work getting more technically inclined (you have no idea, from MBA in Marketing to being branded a web developer in office) and no system in place.

But when I look at things from a different angle, understanding of not looking at your bosses or work environment from the eyes of existing employees, necessary deadlines to make me complete work faster, learning technical things which any other Marketing job, wouldn’t have made me do and working like a one-man army without a constraint.

Did I forget something? Yes bad coffee?? They replaced the machine so its decent now. And even if not, there should be one thing to crib about your office right? 😛

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén