Sunday, July 28, 2013

Driving down the memory lane...

Hello my twinkling stars,

How many times do you get a surprise visit from your siblings who are married and stay far by.

2 years back one Early friday morning I woke up to the daily routine.I was on my way to eating breakfast and running to college ,when I got a call from my brother that 2 of my cousins & my sister mylil nephew where on their way to home. I was so happy . But when they got home they had packed bags and I was asked to pack my bags for 1 whole week!

After several attempts of finding out where we were going I got nothing out from them but "Its a Goddamn surprise, Now get the hell into the car" was all I got !
My curiosity got the better of me!

After announcing he would be driving throughout the trip , we took of in his Jaguar. I had no clue to where we were heading but was overwhelmed to find myself in the company of my nephew and darling siblings. The journey had not yet begun and I knew this would be the best drive of my life!

As far as they din't plan to take me to Thar and starve me , I din't mind surprises.
But by the time it was afternoon I knew where they were heading. to. It was to my Grandparent's place, my native.It was almost 8 years since we had been there.I wish mom was with us.

It din't stop here. We got down on a railway station and that's where the biggest surprise lay. There they were my 3 more cousins, mom and my aunts waiting with tickets and packed bags !
This was going to soooo memorable !!!

My grandparents place was in a warm cozy place far away in UP.
They made visits to our home so it had never been imp to visit their place.
Amidst all our life activities we had forgotten the bliss and happiness the place held.

The journey by train was a fun event like always.
We read books. Got down on every big station and splashed water just for the sake of it :P
Something had changed, adults were behaving like crazy kids! :D
And the craziest thing was when we got down and were filling bottles with chilled water and the train started moving , it was not until we heard mom shout we realised the train had started moving.And that was the first time I had jumped on a running train with face wash on face ! CRAZY AS HELL!
We laughed and laughed though mom was furious.

The next hours were just the same. Eating samosas, playing games. Aaaah , it was pure bliss I tell you.

When we reached Lucknow railway station, my uncles was thee to pick us up.
The drive from railway station to our Home* was the bestbestbest.
We drove through busy streets, bazaars, recalling our few heartfelt childhood moments.
We stopped by to eat the famous pani puris.
The half naked kids kept tapping the windows of our jeep.
It was a hot afternoon. we stopped by a dhaba to dive into some tasty Lucknowy food.
Finally having eaten our fill of kebabs, birayani and rumal roti we were back on road.
Granny's place is quite far the city.

It was 4 in the eve when we were nearing our home, when we spotted a park where we used to come with grandpa. We couldn't stop ourself and asked uncle to stop there.
Got down and though we were not aged 12 we played on the swings, rolled on the grass.
Talked about how we used to run away during mornings to pluck free roses from this park when we were kids.            


And when finally we reached I wasn't tired but I felt Alive.
My cute lil niece were waiting out . And shouted "Didi agayeee..!!!"
The journey, their smiles, the memories ..they were so right.
 This was my best journey, my best drive!
I hugged my grandparents and made a mental note to take this drives more often...

A chance to win a trip to Michelin Pilot Experience at

Friday, July 26, 2013

Around India in 18 days...

                                                  Pages from my diary....

I picked up the telephone on third ring. It was my didi calling. My heart warmed at her lovely voice.So many days since we had spoken.The phone call ended on a happy note (magical would be a proper word)All four of us sisters and brothers where going on a adventure trip all over India.My happiness had no bounds.
This had to be the happiest journey our lives.
All preparations were made.My Munna now far more aged than I could ever imagine had clearly announced we would be driving in his Audi  car. We couldn't debate with him on this. He is so fond of cars (Worships every part of it)!
Leave notes were written.Bosses were informed.Bags were packed.
Gudiya n didi arrived on the morning we had to departure.It was a long time since I had met my lil brother n sisters and I had packed small gifts for them.
We left our iphones and blackberries home, to give ourselves the much needed break from technology grabbed those huge maps headed off to have a blast.-------
“Mom we will be back in a few days ! Its not the end of the world “ I said impatiently seeing her teary eyed kissing munna good bye.Lord ! Didi handed me over a list.
DSLR- check
First aid-check
tents and stakes- check
sunblock- check
Spare petrol- check
Sunblock n makeup- check
bathroom essentials- check
Map- check
Iphone left at home-check
Dad's antique Nokia 1100 -Check (Mom insisted we take at least one cell)
Music Dvd’s- check
Hidden money under belt- check
I wanted to roll my eyes at the list , she must have forgotten to add “Brain” which I hardly use. *sigh*
Two of the four among us knew to drive.Which my brother n di came to an understanding they would drive by switching between 3 hours of driving.
We started out journey from South to the beautiful heritage of Chennai villages and ruins before heading to Jaisalmar of Rajhasthan .We joked about how we lived in India and knew so little of its culture and traditions unaware of the adventures stored ahead us.
We planned on touring Chennai,Rajhasthan,Uttar pradesh and Punjab for a few. All detailed info about our trip were with di.
We had no itinerary or places to stop at list of sorts.We were more interested on this super long journey rather than stopping at places , so we decided to stop if we found a place exciting or just drive on and on.
I was not interested in the details,.I just wanted to enjoy their company.Live this moment with them.
Munna got down to let Di drive we were heading towards
we decided to stop if we found a place exciting or just drive on and on.
And I was so tired in a matter of seconds I fell asleep.

The village people were too friendly.Its hard to communicate with them.Most live in poverty and are illiterate.The kids trailed our car until we swept away far from the village.
I made a breakfast of bread and omelette in the morning.The staff were very friendly.Once we said our goodbyes .We drove along the ruins of beautiful temples and bazaars along the panes.
2 more days passed until we reached Jaipur and drove to Pushkar and from there to Kumbhalgarh and then to Jaisalmer.
Rajhasthan itself is one beautiful state.So many varied cultures n people.
The havelis and Palaces.We spent the night by the sand dunes  at Khuri, about 40 km away ..
We sand while we drove,Played antakshari, heard MJ songs and gave a lift to old man on our way to the north.
But at the end of this 9 day journey upto rajhathan there were changes.In us.
Once we reached Up. We drove through the busy streets , colorful rickshawalas crowded the streets.We visited a few places.Ate shamiya kebabs.The local lingo of Up is very interesting.
While driving through a village we came across farmers who were having a Panchayat for solving issues.the farmers were thin , sweating from the sun.
Few well dressed man sat on chairs while the dhoti clad half naked men sat on hot grounds.
Cool breeze blew as we drove through the Punjab ke mustard farms.
We found deserted places to camp in at nights, lit bonfires had crazy dances around it, ate at roadside dhabas.
And this was the first time the Audi A8 broke down.Some problem with the water heater.
There were farms we ran  fluttering over sarson ke khet with chiffon dupatta.It was such a wonderful time.We laughed  and ran along the plants.
We stopped by the road side dhabas to eat easy Punjabi food.
The next destination was Leh ladakh.
Love the Audi. No difficulties at all. Di was so very fond of it at the end.
The serene inviting views gave us time to reflect on everything we came across during this trip.
Since we had no tech gadgets , there were no calls or texts to disturb.Not bringing phones was the best decision.
Driving back to home was fun too.The cloudy mountains along the leh kept us captivated. There was one tiny hitch, that we ran out of fuel near the Ganges river.A river where People bathed.But the place was stinking I couldn't wait to get back to the comfort and fragrance of our Audi A8.thanks to Ambi pur.
Once we reached home , we spent time playing chess with mom and dad .
Watched our fav sitcoms and gossiped .
Washing our friend who gave us comfort company all along the journey.The Audi.My brother seemed to enjoy all the attention we were showering on his car.
Soon it was time to bid goodbye.
I will surely buy an Audi A8.Perhaps someday.I just love the car now.
we hugged and promised to keep in touch and planned to go often on such trips.
18 days around India and here we are , happy, content, thoughtful. A few lessons learnt. Nothing is perfect , nor was our road trip with break downs and long tiring hours of driving.Neither is our country perfect.neither are we.
This post is a part of the contest “My idea of a perfect road trip” by Ambi pur held on Indiblogger.