Thursday, February 19, 2015

Travel Diaries ::: Toast to Life !!!!!

What a year it has been so far. Bangalore, Pondicherry, Delhi, Chennai Jaipur and still Kolkata to go – Phew!  Am I complaining? – Not at all. The best thing about travelling is that it not only enriches you with experience – it makes you learn and unlearn about people, places at the same time.

My soul has been captive for a while now, lingering in the cells of Excel and Word of the world, trying to make a living for itself. So at the first opportunity, it got, it decided to break free. And here it was walking freely and breathing fresh air, at the serene beaches of Pondicherry. The word Free- is quite freely used these days. No pun intended but more on that later.

As we (me and my friends) took a walk in the evening at the Promenade beach, we were reminded of our very own Marine drive, where we used to frequent once upon a time in life. Of course the hustle-bustle of the city life was distinctly missing though we definitely did not miss it much. As we strolled further, one thing that struck me was how easily people from foreign shores had managed to adopt our culture, both in terms of dressing, style or otherwise, of course adding their own bling to it. And here we were, even after staying so many generations together; failed to adopt each other’s culture and religion.

There is something very sedate about this French colony. Be it the back waters, beaches, the houses or food joint, every element, adds perfectly to the tranquility of this place. While the whole nation wanted to know from the itinerary to spread, of Uncle Sam’s Visit in Delhi, far away I was basking in the arms of Mother Nature. Suddenly Face book and Twitter felt secondary. A long conversation was what inner self was looking for instead or may be a long awaited letter was waiting to be penned down.

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Delhi has been in news this month more than one reason apart from of course my visit and yes of Uncle Sam too. Lol. AAP’s victory was more like Media’s victory over Modi, salvaging some self-esteem after being royally ignored post LS Elections. Never short of classic headlines or lack of it – TOI panned out next day – AAP’s sweep with “Broom-Astra” – and once again it made me wonder – what was cheesier – the TOI headlines or the couple PDA on my Face-book Timeline. Ha ha, poor jealous heart of mine. While PDA is freely available on our timeline these days, promises of AAP have been also been pretty free flowing pre-elections. From oxygen to Wi-Fi – Delhi is all geared for being free-hold state. Last heard, Wi-fi would be free for 30 minutes in Delhi – Married men are still not complaining as they feel paid Wi-Fi is a better bargain than Wife.

Unfortunately, in India, while scarce resource like water and electricity may be offered free, freedom of expression doesn't come free of cost, as AIB would have learnt it the hard way. Poor guys, little did they knew that irony would catch up with them in form of lawmakers, and turned them into one what they had set out to achieve – The Roast. Talking of Roast, we should all raise toast to AAP, not because of their humungous win, but to drive home the larger point- Nothing is invincible and change is inevitable. Be it success, failure or relationships. Hmmm....

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While the Muffler-man fulfilled his mission of winning Delhi, it is time to recall mine undertaken at the end of last year – from being Fat to Fit. Unfortunately the same has hit a major roadblock – thanks to my over-indulgence of flavoursome, delectable mouth watering cuisine in recent times. From French cuisines of Pondicherry to Lal Maas in Jaipur, my tummy has witnessed all sorts of yummies.

While travel is enriching, what makes it special, is the people with or for whom you travel. Would the boat ride to Paradise Beach as much as fun as the sun down party in Jaipur, if there weren't friends around to share a drink or a selfie?  Wouldn’t my Delhi trip been bland had I not been able to surprise my brother who donned a stunned look at my presence. Yes these little moments make life memorable.

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Memorable reminds me of the Jaipur trip, where we had our Off-site recently. Blast would be an understatement. Be it dancing together during the live concert of Euphoria or watching the sun slowly sink behind the landscape, leaving our eyes to brood over a crimson red sky or sharing a joke under the carpet of stars, we celebrated life as if there was no tomorrow. Sometimes indeed random people and random moments make for the best toast for life. Did I miss someone – I did miss a few. I wished they were with me, sharing those moments of joy. Your heart quietly tells you missed them, as they are special.

Thankfully, all we need is few good men or women in our lives, who are there to make our life Awesme. Not just when we are partying but otherwise too. Be it over phone or workplace, or sometimes even when you are stuck in the busy streets of Bombay, there might be someone beside you, trying to bring smile in your face. Time to remind, its Mumbai now. Alas after so many years I still am striving to be politically correct J

Picture Credit : Picture 1: Sandeep Balan. Rest : Google.

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