Often in the last 3 months I heard questions on where exactly I was – My location pins had people confused, people began to question my omnipresence. So I decided to write this post up to round up the amazing adventures I had in these months. This one is going to be long – so please bear with me
As usual, December marks the time of year-end holidays and heading to India always means that I get to skip the polar weather in Michigan and thaw for at least a few weeks before heading back. Flying from frozen North America through a snowy Frankfurt and then reaching the cool weather of Bangalore was as always, a pleasurable experience. The long undisciplined queues at immigration counters in Bangalore at unearthly morning hours, however, was not.
I hopped in to my workplace the next day and as usual was greeted by the 3 most inevitable questions – “When did you come? When are you going back” and the hardest one – “Why are you here?” The last one almost always has me wondering if I should ever answer it at all. I begrudgingly recite the national pledge in my mind and try to skip the question with a sheepish smile. This is sometimes followed by “Did you travel alone ? Why are you not travelling with your husband” – I find it difficult to explain to people about the fancy I have in taking flights alone. It is only then I get to laze around stores in the airports, not hurry to the next gate and meet a lot of new people. And beyond it all, I grew up from being a kid long ago to tag with someone for travels. Yes, I enjoy company, but I also enjoy solitude.
Sun, Sand and the beaches
After 3 days of failed attempts to duck to safety from the flood of above questions, I set off with friends to the only destination in India where party, beaches and people from all over the world unite to create a charismatic ambiance – Goa.
From the beaches to the night markets, from the crowded roads and lanes of happening North Goa to the peace and quiet of South Goa I soaked it in all. And when you have amazing friends for company, great food, drinks and tons of fun what can you complain about. Here is a sneak peek of what is to come.
In Cultural Chennai
In a matter of few days, I was heading to Chennai to meet my other half of KindleandKompass. This was our first meeting after launching the blog. 14 years of friendship between us has only aged like wine. And together we have achieved more, and ever more than before, this year with the launch of this portal for our rants and thoughts. So off we went to Mahabalipuram for our quick day picnic to the UNESCO world heritage sites at Mahabalipuram.
When we meet, it is always about the stories of our past, the people of the present and dreams of the future that fill our discussions – and this time was no different. And with Rama expertly maneuvering the car through hoards of people, cattle and vehicles, I only had to sit back and keep her engaged with endless talks. We are still writing up stories of this journey for the blog but here is one for the spoilers
Heading home – to the land of green, God’s own Country
Straight from Chennai it was time to travel to Wayanad. The prodigal child was returning home:) This place has always and always been close to my heart despite never completely growing up here. If there is a place I would call home, it is this. The winding hills and the cool temperatures and the morning mist always welcomed us back with arms open. It would not be an exaggeration if I said that I get goosebumps every time I reach here.
Christmas with family and re-visiting the few places like Iruppu falls, Tirunelli was on the cards. The goal of doing these was always to travel through the forest and have the luck of seeing some wild animal – we have never been disappointed while doing these trips – there is always an elephant or a wild bison or their packs that show up on the road side to make these journeys eventful. This time it was Jeep that narrowly missed a bison charging to cross the road – yes, it is that eventful!
To a frozen Planet
A week after reaching Wayanad, we had to fly down to USA to apply for my work permit. Oh, did I mention it – the hassles we have to go through to keep the working status in Planet Trump. So on the day after Christmas, we landed in a frozen white Chicago at -20 degree Celsius for the do! A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have believed I could live in subzero, let alone 20 below 0. Life teaches you nothing is impossible. Midwest teaches you there is nothing called bad weather, there is only bad clothing.
It was 2 days business in Chicago and before we knew it, we were back in the return flight from Chicago by Air India via Delhi. We had a pleasant surprise of flying back with the same crew all the way back 🙂 That doesn’t happen all the time. And Air India has clearly improved their service. They only missed one of our luggage’s this time 🙂 After a hide and seek of 3 days, our precious baggage finally found its way to us.
In Namma Bengaluru!
It was time to be back in Bangalore to sort out numerous things. For 4 days we ran hither and tither finishing up some personal work. It continues to amaze me why Bangalore’s road construction never ends. The metro construction has gone over for nearly a decade and it is still a mystery as to how many points in Bangalore have been successfully connected. We only wish the Government had it moving faster and alleviated the traffic chaos that continue to haunt the city every single day. On a positive note, the failure of one system leads to the creation of another – the wonderful job done by groups like “The Ugly Indian” deserves a shout out for the transformation brought to numerous overlooked areas in metro Bangalore.
Before we knew it we were back to Wayanad and celebrating a few occasions with family. In came Jan 22nd sooner that I knew and it was my date of return.I also managed to read and review couple more books and have those up on the blog – here are the links to those two in case you missed it – Sita and The Guide.
Two days before the date of return I had the extraordinary pleasure of attending the rock concert by Thaikkudam Bridge at Opus club in Bangalore. Must I say that Bangalore has its vibes. The vibrant, young and cosmopolitan crowd of Bangalore never lets you down. It is for this reason that party you must, if you are in this city I call my second home.
The End to a Dilemma
So on the morning of return, after an action packed holiday, after an overdose of friends, trips and parties I decide that there is probably nothing for me to do after I get back because my work permit had to come anyway . Those who are close to me know that for all the days I was here, this was the single biggest question I kept asking myself and to their agony, all of them – “Should I go, or should I not? (My mind screaming : Just Don’t Go)”
In the end, I happened to have a few really convincing friends who put their foot down and told me to not go. So decision made, I go ahead and reschedule the tickets to mid March and welcome my weeks long sabbatical – The first of its kind of a rest I have taken from everything in my life – it was always either studies at school, college or work. I had almost forgotten what it was like to do NOTHING. So here is to doing nothing, a break to sit back, relax, blog and plan more adventures.
Mantra for the time being – Eat, Sleep, Drink … REPEAT!
More to come… We are going serious on the rants section
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