Low Budget Getaway: Jodhpur

Low Budget Getaway: Jodhpur

In our sincere attempts to grow up, which is largely a conscious decision after being pointed out quite a few times by our elders we forget to cater to the child within us. We tell as many people as possible about how mature we are, and slowly we start believing our own lies.

We are not happy and there’s no way we are meant to live and die in the same place where we were born. The truth is that we are meant to travel, just as much we are bound to have a career and marry someone and have babies. But this truth is conveniently taken away from us.

In 2015, on my 24th birthday, I made a resolution to myself that I will travel once every month, low budget and on weekends. I pretty much did. And you can too. If not now, sometime soon. This travelogue might help you dream.

July 2015: Jodhpur

Basics:

  1. Why Jodhpur: Small city perks: beautiful fort and a unique Blue City, people have painted their houses blue to maintain some coolness in an otherwise hot atmosphere.
  2. Distance from Ahmedabad:
  3. Preferable AC Sleeper Bus (Night journey)
  4. Stay: Cosy Guest House
  5. Trip Duration: 2 days (Weekend)
  6. Budget: Rs. 4500-5000 (per person)
  7. Ideal Season: Monsoon (It doesn’t rain there but it will be cooler), Winter (Avoid Summers)

What People say you must do

  1. Visit Mehrangarh Fort
  2. Jaysar Mahal (Opposite Fort)
  3. Clock Tower
  4. Raja’s Palace
  5. Museum
  6. Mandore Gardens
  7. Shopping from Rajasthan Handloom

Continue reading “Low Budget Getaway: Jodhpur”

Low Budget Travel to Kaas Plateau

Low Budget Travel to Kaas Plateau

There was so much fog, we could hardly see the road; and we drove the car through it, absolutely point blank with the fog light on. But there was no choice. We had to keep moving. If someone was coming from behind, they would hit us. It was getting dark and we were wet and cold but the kid within us was happy because it had won. Today, the kid had literally walked on clouds!

About Kass Plateau

Kaas plateau is a plateau in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra, 22 kms from Satara city and 136 kms from Pune, declared as one of the United Nations World Heritage Site for its historic volcanic formations on its terrain and huge water bodies- beautiful lakes mesmerised with the mountainous and the greenery reflecting on them. In monsoon, Kaas blooms with more than 150 types of grasses, shrubs and flowers.

One Mesmerizing spot we found on the way

How to Reach

We took a late night Duronto from Ahmedabad to Pune, so as to reach Pune by 8 AM. We had booked a Zoom Car (a startup that rents good self-drive cars at effective cost) for our journey to Kaas. There are two ways to reach Kaas. You can either go through Tapoli via Mahableswar or through Satara. The former way is longer if you just have a weekend in hand, while Satara is just 118Kms from Pune so you’d reach pretty much in 2 hours (maximum 2.5 hours if you take excessive pee-chai breaks) through NH4 with roads that look like they have cut mountains and made way for themselves. Our aim was to reach Satara by 11:30-12, so we had the rest of the day to our journey. Continue reading “Low Budget Travel to Kaas Plateau”

The Traveller’s Discourse: Tourists vs Locals

Being dumb is the birthright of a traveller. And why not- you land up in a totally new place with specific expectations, knowing not much (or worse is knowing nothing), and then you try to figure out one thing at a time. For example, it is a heated afternoon, empty road and you can either look at the google maps or the signal while the traffic cop doesn’t know that it is very normal in your own city to skip signals in the afternoon. We like to ask for directions as many times as possible. It’s the tourist’s right to stand right in front of Red Fort and ask where is Red Fort. It can get tricky to be dumb in Mumbai or Pune because you’ll get one back:
“Bandra kis taraf hai, bhaiya?”
“Har taraf Bandra hi hai madam ab toh. Aap Bandra mein hi khade ho. Ab aage kaha jaana hai wo socho.”

Continue reading “The Traveller’s Discourse: Tourists vs Locals”

The Other Angle: Top Best (Interesting) Bookstores in Mumbai

The Other Angle: Top Best (Interesting) Bookstores in Mumbai

The last trip I made to Mumbai, it was focused on bookstores. The idea wasn’t to buy too many books (that is never the idea, but it always happens). It was like you know how people want to go to Siddhi Vinayak, Haji Ali, Mahalakshmi, all of which I have already seen; for a book lover, bookstores become one of those sense of attractions. I looked up whatever information that was available on Google (especially Quora) and made a curated list. Mumbai is such a big city that you cannot finish everything of anything. I was determined to make the best out of two days- Sunday and Monday, that I had in hands.

Of course, this trip included other interesting places (apart from bookstores) such as the walk around Colaba, Kalaghoda, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mani Bhavan and Starbucks (because coffee is an essential ingredient for stimulated literary and philosophical conversations).

This piece is not just about the bookstores but the experience that goes within while you explore them. If you don’t like spoilers, please don’t read further (disclaimer).  If you are not going to ever see these places or want to have a literary tour irrespectively while you still plan to go and discover these and more places yourself, you are the right person to read this one.

The BookStores that were on My List:

  • Kitab Khana, MG Road
  • Strand Book Stall, Horniman Circle Gardens (definitely sounds like horny men but luckily found not a single one)
  • Smokers corner, Kala Ghoda  (Found no smokers here, and Kala Ghoda is a street statue of a black horse made in the memory of Prince of Whales’ horse)
  • Oxford Bookstore, Marine Drive
  • Mani Bhavan, Laburnum Road
  • Trilogy, Worli
  • Victoria Book Center and Library, Mahim 
  • N Bookstore, Bandra
  • Crossword, Bandra 

Continue reading “The Other Angle: Top Best (Interesting) Bookstores in Mumbai”

Glimpses from the Artsy Udaipur

This was my second trip to Udaipur in the same year. When I went there in February, I had a little time at bay, me and a friend; we had decided to skip looking at the City Museum and, instead went to the old city.

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And this time when I am back, I am even more intrigued with the same question I had left with, the previous time. What makes Udaipur so creative with its wall art, sign boards and those little things they do to stand out. Is it a part of the creative and colourful culture of Rajasthan? It has lakes, forts, and all the Royal palaces, for sure. But this is something I just could not ignore.

Continue reading “Glimpses from the Artsy Udaipur”

Hometown



Hometown means Emotions

Tons of emotions

Ones that come down with tears

Even if you have been so far

For too long

And didn’t care much

Didn’t stay in touch.



Hometown means Vulnerability 

Where your roots belong

Whether you want it or not

Whether you stay there or not

You are a part of it

Whether you were born there or not

That’s where it all began.


Hometown means Memories 

Constant flashes of the happy past

Loved ones that are no more

Where you picture your little self

Walking towards the alley

Holding grandpa’s hand

Now Every part of you wants to

Recreate that moment

You long for that touch.


Hometown means Free time

With things that looked different before

And people too

Time is all you had

Late mornings late Lunches

Badminton, Rains, play, mosquito bites

And Smell of the earth.



But somethings still remain the same 

Like Mausi’s yummy food

Like the people who are meaninglessly still love you

Bringing tears that don’t come out

But overload within

Without your permission.

 

It’s not the place you’re in love with 

It’s the smell, feel, the people and the memories of the place

You don’t go back to your forefathers and ancestors grave because you must

But because it adds it up perfectly.

Hometown is Summary.

 

(What do you think about this? Would love to know. Comment here or mail it to at rtnair91@gmail.com. If you like what I write, make sure you FOLLOW the blog.)

How I travelled once a month for an entire year!

I was going to turn 24 last May. Just like I turned 25 this May. “23” was one hell of a year. It’s perhaps like that for a lot of people. There’s so much to do, so many expectations and somehow you always fall shot. It can get depressing, and everyone around you seems to be doing much better than you. Then “24” sets some imaginary benchmarks. Especially the society around you, who wishes you should have been married and pregnant with your first child until then. But luckily not my folks, they were instead worried that if I do not pursue post-graduation now, when will I do it? (about which I still haven’t decided anything) But somehow I heard it made me think that the clock was ticking, for all the important things that I’ve always wanted to do.

Like most of us, I had dreams of travelling (although I never put travelling as a hobby in my CV, for that matter, I never had a CV) and I thought I too will travel one day, when there’s stability and I have the time and the money. And then I thought what if I die before that time or money comes into my life? There are/were some really inspiring friends (on Facebook) who were travelling for their job, some travel as a part of their job and some just travel. I respect them so much. I did not have that luxury. I had my company, which is almost like having a baby. It is your first love and your responsibility. So I decided to find a midway out. Most of the times we wait for new year to set a resolution but I made one on my birthday, that 24 is going to be the year when I travel once a month, mostly weekends but at least once a month. I made the resolution first and then figured out the ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and with ‘whom’.

 

L to R: Diu, Jodhpur, Kaas, Dandi, Ranthambore, Dang, Sula, Mussourie, Jaipur Literature Festival, Udaipur
L to R: Diu, Rao Jodha National Park, Jodhpur, Kaas, Dandi, Ranthambore, Dang, Sula, Mussourie, Jaipur Literature Festival and Udaipur

It’s been a full circle, one full year today and I’ve fulfilled my resolution. It’s not been easy.

Continue reading “How I travelled once a month for an entire year!”