Wednesday, December 07, 2005

a purple trip to the pink city.......



" To see once is worth more than hearing a hundred times "..I had heard a lot about the land of Kings - Rajasthan..But, never got an opportunity to see it..Rajesh's wedding in the Pink City gave us more than a reason to plan for a rajasthan trip.. The 6 of us : nagu, kee3, sonal, aish , kisna and me, were game for this trip.. the air and rail tickets were booked 2 months in advance - speaks about the amount of planning that went into making this trip happen..after heated discussions via mails, chatrooms, in bistros and pantries, an itinery emerged..we had to drop the jaipur-Amritsar-Dalhousie trip due to the non feasibility and time availability ( i guess nagu's ability's are still working ).. the Jaipur-Delhi-Dharamshala trip aroused transient response and died out soon..We finally decided for B'lore-Delhi-Pilani( not decided )-Jaipur( sure coz Rajesh chose this palce to get married)-Udaipur(not sure coz it'd be an overdose of forts )-Mount Abu-Jaipur-Delhi-back..But, this was seemingly the most work-out-able plan as the team was OKAY with it..


Rajesh's status message in Google-talk ( 10 more days to go...9 more days to go..) would remind me every day about the approaching day..I was as excited as the groom himself ( think straight ).. for, this was the first time for me in many ways..i was taking off the ground in an aircraft for the first time, was crossing the tropic of cancer for the first time..and for others too, it was the first time of many things..like wearing his new kurta for the first time for kee3..wearing monkey-cap for the first time for nagu..riding on camel's hump and so on....


Lord kisna, as usual was busy with his holy karmas..and he dropped out, creating a "vacancy" in the team..Sumeet filled up this vacancy with his great PJ's, nice old songs, UNO cards, big smile and a bigger a*@ ( we 6 guys were a tight fit in all those autos and taxis..but, thanks to nagu's small frame )..

the D-day arrived..we boarded the plane..i tied my seat-belt as the hoistess gave instructions indifferently ..this journey was the longest in distance, but shortest in time..we were welcomed by 2 of sonal's buddies..We spent time discussing about the possibility of going to the first "undecided destination" of our trip - Pilani..what a way to start !!..We had enough time to think over this coz the Deccan aircraft on which sumeet was aboard, was wandering aimlessly in sky or was rather SIMPLYFLYing...and we missed all our dear buses to Pilani and Jaipur..Nikhil and Tabrez, Sonal's friends helped us get a taxi to Pilani..and our first road journey began.. .it was a beautiful drive in the moonlight and we sang the whole trip..aish's tam songs, sonal's punjabi numbers, kee3's and sumeet's oldies with nagu's "desi beats" ..very soon, we were in BITS pilani..and aish was home...

It was natural for aish to jump around here and there with excitement in BITS..we saw the campus till we were exhausted, while aish and sonal continued on their nostalgic expedition around the campus..we left for jaipur later in the day..

that evening we met rajesh at his residence..his blushed face was closely competing with his red kurta..a great food and slow dance of his uncles and aunts to retro-tunes was memorable..

we spent the whole of 26th sight-seeing jaipur..hawa mahal, birla mandir, jal-mahal, amer palace.. junta spent tens of grands shopping at RTDC..i really cant believe, we shopped so much.. a visit to Chouki Dhaani - a Rajasthani theme village, was a treat to our taste-buds and eyes..camel ride was the best..and people compared it to what not !! The next morn, we shopped more in the juari bazaar..aish did not shop, rather she demanded for the materials at the price she wanted and had them !!..guess this is not called shopping..whatever...Sonal wasn't too far behind with her convincing "bhaiyya.." ....

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then came the actual purpose of our visit to rajasthan : rajesh's wedding..Rajesh looked like a kid and made the wedding scene appear like a child marriage..sonal's and aish's enthu drew us all to the dance floor..and i cant believe, that my shy being was dancing midst the prying eyes of the crowd..i was reminded of my college days when we used to dance ( am not sure if i can call it dance )...having loaded our tummies in sonal's aunt's house, we could hardly eat..we had a bus to udaipur at 11, and none of us were interested to move away from the wedding scene...we spent the night travelling to udaipur with the sweet memories of the wedding..it was a long and beautiful journey..

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a hoard of auto drivers and hotel guys approached us as soon as we landed at udaipur..this lake-city aroused very little interest in us..the pichola lake wasn't as great as we had read in books or appeared in master card ad..and the city-palace was much a repitition of Amer..boating in fatehpur sagar lake was a nice experience..the most exciting thing that happened this day was, India winninng against S Africa..We left for mount Abu in a Rajasthan transport bus..

the bus climbed the aravallis while the sun climbed over the horizon..a temperature indicator read 4 degrees celcius !!..A localite, one Mr gaurav mehta was kind enough to guide us to a decent hotel and negotiated the taxi price too..it's difficult to find such people, but in a place like Rajasthan, it's not too difficult i guess... We enjoyed the views of serene aravallis..the temple of arbuda, the sajjangarh fort ( a kid-guide showed us the place..his Rs.20 package included 20-dialogues as bonus !! ), gurushikhar, the mind-blowing delwara temple made a perfect mix of trek, archaeology, devotion and fun..the beautiful day ended with a beautiful sunset at the sunset point..

After a taxi drive to abu road, we took the Ashram Express to delhi..While the rest of the junta in our bogie slept, we played UNO - what an addiction !!..Whenever the TC arrived, kee3'd hide his cards and sit silent..makes me laugh when i'm reminded of it..

our Delhi itinery wasn't fixed yet. Sonal had her train to Amritsar at 1.40..Aish had her cousin staying in Noida..I still believe that when nothing is planned, things work out really well..We went to Noida..and in no time, we had a Hyundai Accent and a chauffer !!..after droppping sonal at railway station, we set out to see the newly opened Akshardham temple..and who says Accent is a 3 + 1 ?..it was 1.5 + 1.25 + 0.75 + 1 +... all in all, we 5 and the driver !!..the ride thru' Janpath was amazing..and i had never seen anything more cheap than the stuff in SN market..and the shopping frenzy continued..aish continued with her shopp..err whatever...

Sumeet's flight was at 8.10, and though we left the market at 6.35, the traffic jam cost him his flight..we tried hard to get something done, but the "dhakkan" guys were too deaf to listen to us..sumeet bought a fresh ticket for a flight next morn..our flight was scheduled at 10.10..the 2 PVC pipes that we were carrying, which had the rajasthani paintings aroused special interest in the security personnel..i was flying back with mixed feelings..i wasn't interested to go back to my work place again..the sumeet's incident..or may be i was missing something....I saw Delhi's landscape soon turn into a golden jewellery, that slowly moved away..the captain anounced.." FYI, we're travelling at an altitude of 39000 ft, ie ~ 12 km above the surface of earth..at a speed of 740 kmph..head-winds of 120kmph....."....

B'lore looked more beautiful from the night sky..it was like scanning thru google-earth..Yet another enchanting trip had come to an end..

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end"




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