Thursday, April 21, 2016

9 Advantages of Solo Travel In India




So, as I pack my bags again to return to Kolkata from Odisha my mother asks me a question. 

"You will be travelling alone in a night train."


I look at her and then the thought strikes, most of the time (99.9%) she does not know that I am travelling alone. The second line of thought is well she is my mother, if she will not worry then who else will.


When I look back in time, it has been over a decade of solo travelling. It started from the time I entered college and luckily this phase is still going strong. I read at places how unsafe solo travelling is for a woman especially in India. However, I believe I am lucky to be born in India and one of the reasons behind is that this country has immense beauty and enigma in every bit and corner (really... "Main toh tera jabra fan ho gaya").


Anyway coming to my point, there are advantages of being a solo traveler and I cannot trade it with company.



1. My Travel My Rules:


Have you ever tried going out with a group of people? There is a horde of complications. Some or the other Aunty (say bua, mausi, tai) will have too much of walking after just a kilometer of walk. Some or the other Chintu or Bubloo will have to take a leak or will be ever hungry. It means break at every few minutes and you may miss out on some moments.

Another huge issue is waking up early. I am an ardent early riser when I travel. Go with a group some or the other uncle will be snoring till early noon and you may end up missing moments like this:




Darjeeling Just Before Dawn
Just Before Sunrise

When you travel alone you decide how much to walk, where to walk and most importantly when to walk. You can rest and put halt to enjoy the view. It gives you the pleasure to set your own pace and this brings to my second point.


2. Good things needs appreciation:


If you are like me then in all probabilities you need a travel partner of similar frequency. I like to stop and appreciate fine piece of art. I may spend hours in a museum or by a hill side to observe little details. Having a company in this situation can be fatal as they person might end up killing you out of boredom. If you love details lone travels is for you.



Leaf
Some small Himalayan Leaf
I found this red leaf clinging to the edge of a hill. It was velvety to touch, minuscule and beautiful. It grabbed my undivided attention for few good minutes

3. Meet new people



As much as I love to speak less and be on my own, but meeting new people and observing them has its own distinct flavor. When you do not have a company to interact you become more observant. It helps you to notice mannerisms and little nuances. They in turn make you an excellent observer of life. So, next time you travel solo make sure you put your phone down and look up as the real world and people are waiting for you.


Children
A Child's Play

I met this kid during one of my train travels. He was a little adult with whole set of opinions and mischief.


4. Food all the way


While I travel, I prefer local food joints and small portions compared to fixed lunch and meal. My general observation goes that when you move in groups or even two's many times you have to select the eateries. Your companion might not like your way of eating or rather snacking,


Poha
Poha all the way


I love street delicacies and look for local flavors while going out. The "Poha" while in Madhya Pradesh is an ideal breakfast for me.


5. Silence is the advantage


There are certain moments that require and demand silence. You just want to feel in the essence. Imagine a company who is constantly speaking out of excitement. Well I know you just feel to push him or her off a cliff. Well surprise when you are alone its all silence and all calm.

This was the moment of a lifetime for me. The sun and the ever changing hue of the mountain. I could manage just one or two clicks as I was awestruck and transported to some other realm. Silence and being alone helped a lot.



Kanchenjunga
The moment of a life time

6. Introspection


We live in a super busy world. We have a lot of noise whether from the people around or the social media. When you travel alone it helps you to unwind. You find answers to many of life's questions or situations when you are without noise and company. When you return, you are a new person.


Peace and spirituality
Peace incarnate

Reaching at a particular height, say 8000 ft. above the sea level creates an enigma in you.I can find all my answers here. The simple flag and my time with them was some valuable introspection.


7. Karma Chanchal (Adventure)


Yes, that is what I found written on the Barabar Caves (more about it later). The place has history, nature and adventure combined. I went there and was the only traveler for the day. 

Traveling solo has a sense of adventure to it. You have a varied array of emotions. It can be anticipation, calm and if you are lucky enough a sense of enlightenment. It tickles the adventurer in you.



Barabar Caves
Barabar Caves


8. Always a Traveler never a tourist


There is a difference between both of them. When you go in twos or group the chances are higher that you will end up being a tourist. You will pose, click pictures of famous places and that is it. A traveler on the other hand feels the place. He or she will explore the areas and avenues where no one sets foot. The person will know the place, feel its true colour and will have more than a bird's eye view of the place.

When I travel solo, I have a tendency to know beyond the convention. I ask local people directions (no, I hate using google maps). I plan my way erratically and even go for zig-zag walks. 



Traveler
Some exploration


9. You and the train. 

Indian railway fascinates me. When I travel alone I get to observe the stations, the scenes and the variants more. I can order any food from anywhere and no one stops. I can get down at nondescript stations and no one grumbles.Travel alone and romance the train.

Orchha
My Romance and the venue for a perfect date



These are my reasons or advantages of travelling solo.


What are yours?

Do let me know. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

An Old Haunting




Old haunting is the best one 
They stay within you 
And you visit them often
They are mist surrounded
When you first lay your eyes on them
Within you they grow
And they deceive you
You did not ever know
Then while you look back
They again come back to you
You remember the haunting
And now that your innocence is snatched
Ignorance has long shed its last tear
You see, the reason they haunted
The mist is clear
The sun shines 
And you look back and smile
They are now with you
You feel the warmth of old blanket
It is still there, the old mist lingers
Your old aroma in them is still fresh
The days bygone are within you
Those warm nights with cool breeze 
Sing a song and you smile
There is a pause
And in this pause lies your life.

(This one song was in my head for the entire week, It haunted me as a child, It now brings a smile...)

South Park Street Cemetry

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Improper Talk

This is the view I am seeing as I write on this post. The 1000 rupee or more question is why do we do the things we do? What compels us to act or behave in a particular way? Why does our perception change from one individual to another? Open up the brain and you will get the same structure, the same frontal lobe, the same medula oblongata. So, why is the cool girl beside me sitting there with two hot guys and chatting on and I a married person is sitting alone after completing hordes of assignment by noon. I have the answer because I chose to embrace the indifference of one guy leaving the attention of others.

Off late some people had a strong objection albeit disgust to my wacky sense of humour or my satirical tongue. It keeps me thinking that weather I should hold my horses? You know my horses or mare to be put appropriately are kicking a lot of ass lately. No, by ass I didn't mean the nether region used by humans for sitting and as rappers from around the world put it for shaking. I remember I was spanked there by my teachers and it took Mr. Christian Grey and Miss Anastasia Steele to make me understand the titlating advantages of spanking. Anyway my satirical horses are kicking some serious ass here. The ass in turn are comparing me to a female dog who has an insatiable urge for fornication (read s**t) I today confess I have an insatiable urge to travel and I cannot belong to a single place ( that makes me a travel s**t) and as the old Hindi saying goes "dhobi ka kutta na ghar ka na ghar ka" so, by that conjecture I am a lady dog. However, I am a lady nonetheless, who has no ghar and I can't sleep on Ghats, The high tides will drown me. Trust me my head is so heavy that I will drown. You, don't believe me, but it's true. I could have been 6 feet 3 inches, my kundali said so, but I came down to be a foot shorter because of heavy brain and gravity.

As the time goes by I see more and more beauties pouring in the venue. They make the duck face, the fish face and I make the classic frown face. No one minds and I realize I have a very own customized frown face. Can my face get any more frowns. I, then realize the problem. Most of the times I am not serious but I have a serious face. So, I joke with a poker face. It's a little wonder then why me and my brother ace at card games. There are pictures of me giving intense expressions. People ask me what am I thinking. You, see I have an image of a thinker all through my life. I sit in quiet thoughtful posture most of the time these are my usual thoughts:

1. I should have eaten one more chapathi for yesterday dinner. It would have made my morning bowel go wush.
2. The sweat tastes salty, the nose mucus should also taste similar
3. I am hungry (looks at the nails) damn clean nails, I have nothing to eat.
4. What if my long nose grows more like Pinocchio?
5. The crow is flying high, look out it might have bowel issues.

There are times when my husband asks me what happened, expecting a deep and profound answer.I keep quiet and give him an intense look. Most of the time I am thinking about my bowel movements or planning for a secluded place to pick my nose. Or at the most thinking on the lines of "why did Kattapa kill Bahubali?" (Na don't bother, I have not even watched the movie full).

Having a serious face with innocent looks is the worst part if you are sarcastically inclined. I am concluding the meaningless post that I have no idea of by concentrating on getting a new update for my face.