Tag Archives: Travel

Kunti Betta Trek | First Trek Experience

It has always been my aim to travel more. Ever since I was a child. Ever since I got a job. Ever since I dreamed of switching to a better paid job. Those milestones have been achieved, but not so much the goal of travelling. But the last weekend of April (27-28th), one of the long-standing items in that ever-increasing wish-list was ticked off. I went on my maiden trek to Kunti Betta and boy, what an experience it was!

Kunti Betta is approx. 125 km away from Bangalore, making it an easy weekend destination for trekkers from the city. We booked our trip for Skandagiri from BookMyShow, but last minute the trek was changed to Kunti Betta (I’ll share another post where I talk about the trek organizers). The fact that Skandagiri is at least 50 km less far compared to Kunti Betta was attractive for me, because I wanted to reach home sooner after all that tiredness. However, in life, you can never be too rigid about plans, and so we jumped on the chance.

We started around 11.30 PM from Marathahalli, but due to the ineptness of the driver, we took almost 5 hours to reach to Kunti Betta. I have never done a trek before, let alone night trek. There was darkness all around, except for the pale moonlight. The path ahead was not visible unless we shone our torches. The giant rock formations was on all sides, and there was an eerie silence except our chatter, footsteps and the mewl for stray cats. In fact, as we walked on in the wilderness of nature where men’s laws do not apply, I expected to pretty much see a snake crawling out from the rocks.

One thing this trek taught me: I need to work hard on my stamina. I started panting within five minutes of the trek. Some of the rocks were too high for my five-foot high frame, so my friends and fellow trekkers had to help me up. It meant me placing faith in people who I knew little for moving forward. That requires trust-building. I was also feeling like I could perhaps not make it entirely up to the top, but I pushed myself to keep going. It’s not a nice experience to be left alone, all in the middle of wilderness where Google Maps struggles and wait out the night.

Reaching the top was a beautiful experience. I saw the black of the night turn into shades of blue (inspiration for a new painting). I saw the blue give way to the green and the daylight flooding us from all around. While as much as the scenic beauty is breathtaking, you know one wrong step and you can end up with your neck broken. So, you are on your edge, always alert even when you are inspired. Much like our early men who fought other animals for a space in the food pyramid.

The descent I expected to be harder, especially with the rocks that were too high and sloping for me to climb. But guess what, humans always find a way. I used the rocks as slides and happily slid down.

On the way back, we also did some kayaking – the very first time in my life. I think I am okay at it. I cannot possibly explain the joy I felt seeing so many mango trees at the Q Experiences resort (where the kayaking happened).

In spite of some of the rough experiences with the trek organizers, the joy that I got from this trek is priceless. I remember telling my friends while we were going to Kunti Betta, “If the trek is not worth it, seriously I am going to hate the day.” But when the cool breeze at the top dried away my sweat and I felt the freshest in many days, that’s not the thought that came to my mind. I felt peaceful and even called up my mother on video and showed her the pretty picture.

For those of you who prefer your visuals to your text, I have made a small video of the trek on my YouTube channel. Feel free to check it out:

Have you ever trekked before? Do you remember what it felt like, the first time you climbed up a mountain? Share your thoughts with me. Oh also, I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Travelling to Mysore, Karnataka | Day 2

Hi everyone! Hope you had a chance to read the first post of my Mysore trip. If not, you can check it out here. Today, I am back with the promised final part of the series, so here we go!

For me, travelling means exploring the city as a local would – walking small distances, taking buses, going for a morning walk. Day 2 in Mysore was planned with that theme in mind.

Kukkarahalli Lake:

Our first stop was was Kukkarahalli Lake, which is a famous for bird watching. There lake is surrounded by trees, giving the impression of being in a forest. There was a good track built on all sides of the lake, where we saw many health enthusiasts going for a walk/run.

For me, walking by the lake meant reconnecting with my inner self, being in harmony with the colors and texture of the natural world, far from the artificial cubicles where we spend a lot of our time these days. That, and a bunch of wonderful pictures 🙂

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After the morning walk at the lake, we headed back to the Airbnb for breakfast and check-out. Our next stop was the Mysore Sandalwood Oil Factory.

Mysore Sandalwood Oil Factory:

This is a pretty offbeat choice of location to visit on a 1.5 day trip, as most people like to visit the usual touristy places in Mysore (e.g. Vrindavan Gardens, Chamundi Hills). However,  I have always been curious to know how the things we use daily get manufactured. A part of this interest sparks from the basic science school education (which I could remember as the guy was explaining the oil extraction process). The other part is, as someone who works in an industry which is all about automation, I could see huge scope of automating the manufacturing process – till today, they separate oil from water manually. For me, such a business model is not very sustainable/scalable, as it is very people-dependent.

The facility is a small one, and a big part of the tour is restrictive and not demonstrative, so I would not necessarily recommend this if you are planning to visit Mysore, unless you have a kid who goes to school or you are yourself a manufacturing-enthusiast.

Oh, and by the way, a 5 ml sandalwood oil bottle sold at the factory outlet costs 2,500 INR – so I could not really get any souvenir from there. The other stuff, soaps and incense sticks we can get in any market.

Mysore Palace:

Next stop was Mysore Palace – but this time, the interior tour (cost: 50 INR per adult). Mysore Palace is a combination of Hindu, Mughal and European architectural style, and I especially enjoyed the richness and detailing of woodwork on the doors, and on the ceiling of Diwan-e-khas, the private chamber. There are portraits of different members of the royal family along the walls of the palace, and also of some British royalty – especially loved the magnificent frame of a queen and king, whose names I cannot unfortunately recall.

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The charm of visiting the palace somewhat faded because we went during a very busy time and we were constantly pushed around in the crowd. The best time to visit this would be when it is relatively emptier and you can appreciate the paintings, the ceiling and floor designs and picture yourself in the bygone era, with the palace being lit by earthen lamps, and women in flowing dresses walking in the halls, silent on their feet, but laughing easily and happily. Sometimes, when I am in places of historical importance, I just feel amazed when I think that there was an actual world that existed inside those palaces, and how far we have moved away from those times: to take a simple example, what the world of women must have been within the walls of the palace vs. today, when two girls can visit the palace on their own without having anyone to escort them.

Lunch Scenes @ The Old House:

It was almost 1 PM by the time we headed out of the palace, and it was time to grab some lunch. I had looked up The Old House while planning the itinerary – it had a rating of 4.6 on Zomato. The idea was to eat one meal at a nice place on the trip and this Italian place became a good choice – the first day had been good ol’ McD for both lunch and dinner 😛 .

Pooja tried Aglio Olio and ABC juice, and I took my usual white sauce alfredo pasta. Both of us loved our dishes, and Pooja literally loved the ambiance (she said I had done good research on the food place – pat on the back, whoo-hoo!) and we definitely recommend it to anyone who likes Italian. They also have wood-fired pizza, if that is something that entices you.

We also checked out a tiny apparel store (Maya Lifestyle Boutique) just next to The Old House – they primarily sell pure-cotton and khadi clothes, as well as natural oils (Pooja purchased a bottle of tea-tree oil). A nice attraction there was a bunch of turtles they kept in front of the store, and a bunch of kids kept throwing them food and admiring as they moved and ate.

Railway Museum:

Our return train was at 3.30 PM, and we still had an hour in hand, so we visited the railway museum right next to the station. There is an entry fee of 20 INR, and separate fee for the toy train ride.

The museum houses a photographic exhibit of the evolution of railways in India, and engines and other train parts which were used in previous decades. It is an open, outdoor museum, with quite a bit of greenery, so we also did a bit of photography and video-graphy there.

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And with that visit to the museum, our trip came to an end. As the train was leaving the platform, I kept thinking that I had lived in Bangalore for so long, and it took me three years to actually visit Mysore even though it is merely 3.5 hours away by train. Mysore is a nice weekend getaway from Bangalore, and the best part of the city is its mix of history, nature, and modernity. My memories of Mysore would be of a green city with pure air, which gave me a nice break from the world which sometimes feels like it is closing in on us, choking us with its complexity.

P.S: I will be uploading a video of the trip on my YouTube channel probably this weekend, so if you are interested, do follow me and and press the bell icon so you are notified of the update. If not, I’ll share the link on the blog in a future post, anyway! 🙂

 

Travelling to Mysore, Karnataka | Day 1

Like every year, my current year new year resolution was to travel more. In fact, if I look back at my new year post on this blog, I am very specific about the goal: travel to at least three places. November is around the corner, and I had not quite gotten closer to that goal: until this Friday, that is.

My travel partner was Pooja, my friend-cum-colleague from Mu Sigma. You might remember her from my Pondicherry trip. Our Mysore trip was to be 1.5 days long. We took an early morning train (Mysore Express: 6.00 AM at SBC) and were in Mysore by 8.15 AM. It was the day of Dusserha, and we were told that the we could expect to find the place crowded. I sort of expected that to happen at the station as well, but turned out that was not the case.

My first impression of Mysore was of a rather quaint and quiet town, with a wonderful weather. Pooja had packed us breakfast (bread and boiled eggs) and we ate that sitting on the platform – our Airbnb check in was not until 9.30 AM. We had plenty of time to kill until then, so we decided to take a walk to the Airbnb after breakfast. Besides, what better way to know a city than take a walk in it?

The walk to Brindavan extension, which is where our stay was, solidified my first impression of Mysore. It is a city with clean, wide roads. We did not see much traffic in the morning hours. Both sides of the roads were lined with trees – it reminded me of Durgapur, my home town. In addition, as we would later find out, the transport cost is far less compared to Bangalore standards. All of these features kind of tick the box for me as far as a quality of living in a city is concerned. I told Pooja that I do see Mysore as a city where you could settle down.

Our Airbnb was in a nice residential area with ATM and convenience stores nearby. We booked the room five weeks in advance for approx. Rs. 1,400 a night and let me tell you, it was worth every rupee. There was a well-furnished kitchen area (accessible to the guests), clean drinking water, a wide, spacious balcony with comfortable seating arrangement and a lovely view of a coconut orchard.

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Our room was clean, well-ventilated with a double bed and air conditioning. The bathroom was clean and clean towels were provided. It felt like home away from home. In fact, I’d have been happy to chill in the room for the entire stay.

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The primary objective of our trip was to witness the Dussehra procession in its full glory. We left the Airbnb around 11.30 AM, and took a bus to the four-point circle near the railway station. By then, I was quite hungry and we ate lunch at a McDonald’s with a nice roadside view at the four-point circle.

After that, everything was a bunch of confusion. We didn’t quite know where to go for the procession. We went in front of the palace, but entry was barred due to the procession. Some person tried to talk us into buying passes to go inside for Rs. 1,500, but we decided to stick to the outer area to see the procession. After asking few people, we reached KR Circle. It had already started getting crowded, and the circle area was closed off by the police for the procession. I could see people on rooftops of the shops and houses in the circle area. Pooja and I somehow managed to sit on one of the roadside boundaries, like you’d sit on a motorcycle. It was uncomfortable for sure, and the crowd kept pushing and pawing. To top it off, there were a bunch of over-enthusiastic local young men who kept blaring a  cheap wind instrument that the vendors were selling. The sun was strong, and the procession was nowhere to be seen.

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After waiting for about two hours, the procession started. There  were elephants decorated beautifully, folk dancers singing and dancing and so on, but from my vantage point, I had a poor view of things. Frankly speaking, for the large part of the procession, I kept asking myself why was I putting myself through this torture. The event reached its climax when Ambari, the golden howdah passed us. The crowd went up in a collective roar, people raised their hands in prayers, and finally, I started feeling better about being there.

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As the crowd started dispersing, we went back to the palace. We thought we would visit the interiors, but it was closed for public viewing at the time. Instead, we roamed around, took some amazing pictures and sat on chairs in front of the palace, waiting for another 1.5 hours for the palace to light up in its famous Dussehra way. Meanwhile, Pooja and I chatted about Mysore, life, work and countless other things.

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As the clock edged seven, we got off our chairs and walked towards the front. I was about to get my phone to recording mode, when amid the collective cheer of the crowd, the palace lit up with thousands of lights. In that moment, in the sheer excitement and happiness that was part of every single person in the crowd at the time, I was glad that I was in Mysore. I was happy that I was lucky to witness a special moment in history, and it was, in fact, the excitement of the crowd which made it even more special. It made me not miss the Durga puja back home and feel a oneness with what I call the spirit of India.

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Leaving the palace made us understand what people said about Mysore crowd in Dussehra. We walked all the way from the palace to the McD where we had lunch, and for the major part of the way the traffic was not moving at all. Fortunately for us, both Pooja and I are enthusiastic walkers, so we just walked all the way (hoping it would help me lose some belly fat 😛 ).

This was the end of Day 1 for us in Mysore. Day 2 was even more fun-packed, because I had planned the entire itinerary for that day and we were able to stick to it to the T. I will be back with the next and final installment of this series soon. Until then, do enjoy the pictures I clicked, and let me know what was the best thing you liked about Mysore in case you visited the city.

❤ ~Arpita~ ❤

Copyright © 2018 Arpita Pramanick

ArtSci Fest 2018, Bangalore

Hi there,

Yesterday, I happened to go to Phoenix Market city to check out the ArtSci Fest. They have segregated an area in LG floor and set up a makeshift gallery. The exhibition comprises of art by 22 artists across the country, so if you are an art lover you must visit the place. The show is on till 5th of March and public display starts from 24th of this month.

Though the show is under-installation at the moment (with pictures still being put up), the organizers were happy to let me in. I spent quite some time there, looking at the art, taking pictures (photography is allowed). I also got a chance to speak to the veteran artist from Kerala, Shafeeque Punathil. He was an old, friendly and humble man. We spoke at length about art, modern art, Shafeeque’s 40-year old art career. I never expect a man his age to be this grounded and willing to discuss his thoughts. He showed me his art on his Facebook timeline, spoke to me about his late wife and his daughters. I truly enjoyed speaking to him. He also kindly offered to take a photo of mine:

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The art of display ranges from pure traditional art to modern abstract art. I am not aware of the contemporary Indian art scene and do not know any of the artists on display, but to look at the splash of colors was simply amazing. There were some wonderful sculptures which make you sit back and take notice.

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If you want to see more of these art, check out my video:

However, if you are based out of Bangalore, you must visit the place in person to appreciate the majestic display.

Let me know in the Comments what you think. 🙂

Until later, smile and be creative! ❤

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Update #2

Hola writers and novelists and readers of the blog!

I am back again with another update on my WriMo progress. It’s November the 9th and I am done with the 15K words, very much in line with the goal on the ninth day.

Eight out of the nine days I have been able to complete the daily goal of 1,667 words, except November 7th, when I had gone to visit the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore (I might cover that in another post – let me know in the Comments if you are interested). Primarily, idea is spending more time in solo travel in the coming days and I wanted to make the start from places within Bangalore. There is a lot to Bangalore that I am yet to see and I am looking forward to cover them in 2018.

Okay, back to the writing update now: I am done with two short stories (spanning 6K and 4K words) and am working on the third, which I actually began before the 4K story, but is not complete yet. I am confident, at this rate, I would be able to complete the 50K goal with as many as ten stories. I don’t have ideas fleshed out for all the remaining seven stories yet (have only two more ideas left in my bucket list) and I am constantly looking out for inspiration to strike me. In fact, my Nov. 7th travel plans inspired the third story, which I started writing after putting a temporary pause on the second one.

In the past, whenever I have written stories, I have mostly completed them in a day. I find the process of writing a short story over a course of three to four days very helpful. First, it helps me get out the rut of being the the same characters’ skin for too long a time – I have noticed the plot points tend to suck and I end up beating about the bush too much if I am writing continuously for a long period. On the other hand, a day gives me fresh perspective and new ideas to fill my stories with. Because of my full-time job, I work with a lot of different people, coming across multiple viewpoints and thoughts around the clock. This helps me see life in a different way every single day. All these experience enrich me and by extension, my writing. Sometimes, I find the reflection of the current character I am writing in a coworker. Sometimes, I find a suitable dialogue for my character while I am in the elevator. This has helped me a lot in layering the characters. A charater who started out as docile will suddenly show streaks of mischief because I am in a different mood the next day.

As of work, we had somewhat of a kickoff call on the new project yesterday night. The pressure has not yet started building in and probably won’t as well for most of November, which only helps my cause of NaNoWriMo.

Fortunately for me, I have a senior team lead in the new project, which leaves me with a lot of time to focus on the details of my work instead of worrying about management. I am truly starting to think of it as a bliss. I had been leading a team of four people in my last account and it had kind of thrown me in a dump. It took me a long time to get over the emotional tiredness that the engagement has caused me. Right now, I find myself with a newly-found freedom at work, to do the things that I have always wanted to do.

Meanwhile, I am also continuing with the regime of exercises and good food at home. Any kind of routine makes me feel good about myself: the fact that I was able to get back to my word count yesterday after I staggered on Nov. 7th made me feel so much confidence yesterday.

It is incredible how much a day’s work can do for you: be it in your writing project, or your day job or your exercise routine. If, at the beginning of November, someone asked me to give them a book of 50K words by the end of the month, I would be like, “Are you kidding me?” But everyday, as I spend an hour on writing and consistently meet the daily word count, it feels as if the book is writing itself, without much effort from my side.

How’s November treating you guys? Let me know your NaNoWriMo progress in the Comments below.

Until later, keep at whatever you are doing one day at a time! I will bring you the next update soon! ❤

Shantiniketan Day Trip

On Feb. 18th, to celebrate my parents’ 25th anniversary, we went on a day trip to Shantiniketan.

Shantiniketan is situated at roughly 50 km from Durgapur, my hometown. It is home to Viswa Bharati, the unique educational institution that Rabindranatu Tagore, the much-famed Bengali poet, set up. Shantiniketan has seen footfalls of noted personalities throughout the Indian history. From Gandhi to Amartya Sen, this place has hosted many.

It was an honour to breathe in the same air that these people have breathed in, to stand on the same soil, same buildings where Tagore once walked.

We spent most of our time in the Rabindra Museum, knowing Tagore, understanding his life. The other part of our trip was spent inside the houses around the museum in which Tagore lived and hosted guests.

I also happened to witness a baul singing under a tree. Also, saw some great creative artwork like Slate Sketches in the adjacent Shonibarer Haat. Had the good fortune to watch Santhal women dance in the same hut.

Here are some pictures, relishing the moments of the day. Hope you like them!

 

 

 

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Yours truly, under the Banyan tree

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Open air classroom

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The Fish by Artist Ramkinkar Bej

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Santhal women dancing

 

 

 

Pondicherry Trip

I was off to Pondicherry from 29th to 31st January. The trip was one of the most awaited things on my ‘To-do’ list, so I am glad it happened and that I am back from the trip with truckload of memories. Here’s the highlights from the trip along with some pictures. Enjoy!

Highlights:

  • Overnight train journey on Friday (28th) with a friend and three of her college friends – two of whom I got to know on the trip itself
  • Ordering and eating Pizza at the train station – it was fun telling the Domino’s folks, “No, not Flat No. 6, it’s Platform 6, please!”
  • Trying French bread at Baker’s Street, which wasn’t exactly pleasing to my taste buds

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Baker Street, Pondicherry

  • Visiting the Sacred Heart Church

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  • We stayed at the Fab Esparan Hotel – which wasn’t exactly up to my liking looks-wise, but the people were real nice – they let us keep our luggage for more than 8 hours post check out for FREE!
  • Tried out wood-fired Pizza at Cafe Xtasi – I am not really a pizza person, but I liked the thin crust pizza from there
  • My first tryst with oceans and beaches – Rock Beach, Serenity Beach and Paradise Beach
  • In those few days, I explored so many sides to beach life –
    • watching the dark, choppy waters just before sunrise
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    Sunrise at Rock Beach, Pondicherry

    • watching the sun rise like red ball through the clouds over Bay of Bengal
    • sitting through the afternoon and watch evening fall on the sea
    • watching fishing boats on the sea
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      Yours Truly, At Serenity Beach, Tamil Nadu

    • watching people sunbathe with books – just like they show in movies
  • Visiting Auroville

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At Matrimandir, Auroville

 

Have you been to Pondicherry? Which places did you visit? Which eateries did you try out? Share your experience with me!

 

Secret Santa Gift Unveiled!

Come to think of it, I realize that I am not really materialistic. Sure, I love my things (think books, dresses, water bottles, sketch pens) but there is really nothing that I own that I probably cannot live without (aside from the obvious necessities). I realized this more clearly when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to buy with the Secret Santa gift card that I got. I spend hours but could not come up with anything that I could buy. I thought  of bags, stoles, shoes, books (which I had contemplated on buying over the years) but realized that I did not feel the need – a real need – of anything at that point in time (it is separate that my earphones gave up on me just a couple of days later and I had to buy those ASAP). I had nothing on my wish list!

So finally, I decided to buy something which I wouldn’t probably buy with my own money – because I would think it was too luxurious to spend money on. I ordered myself a travel journal! I had promised that I would brag about it in an earlier post, so here I go!

First Look:

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I really love the color combination of this journal! In its oldish brown tint, it makes me feel like an adventurer from several centuries before. Plus it lists on its cover page the names of three cities which I obviously want to visit once in my life.

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The opening page houses a nice little envelope with loads of pictures of stamps (again reminds of old times when we used to get letters with stamps via post). I love the unique button and thread feature that is used to lock the envelope. It is so simple, yet so effective.

Highlights:

The journal is broken down into several sections to document the journey:

  1. Things to do before I go – Helps me keep tabs on the things I need to go before I leave
  2. Things to pack – The must needs!
  3. The Adventure Begins – Here I am to list down everything that I did
  4. Favourites
    • Restaurants
    • Bars and clubs
    • Hotel
  5. Addresses – Little contact cards to remind myself of the people I met on the way and keep in touch

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I really love how this little book fills me up with endless possibilities! It makes me want to meet new people, know them and see life through their eyes. Imagine this:

You go to visit someplace. There are tons of other people there. It is by sheer luck that all of you are at the same spot at the same time. All these people who are visiting this place come from different backgrounds. All of them have different motivations in life, different reasons for why they chose that particular place. Don’t you feel curious to know what brought them there? What were they trying to escape from before they reached that place? Were they there with friends, having the time of their lifetime? Were they there alone, contemplating on a recent personal loss?

Endless thoughts like this fill my mind when I glance at my little travel journal and I instantly feel happy!

Add to that the lovely quotes that are scattered throughout which totally energizes the mind and makes you want to travel.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to travel more. I plan to inaugurate this book by end of this January – in Pondicherry. Really looking forward to that trip!

If you want to get yourself a copy of this lovely journal, see here. I bought it for Rs. 390 but right now it is available for only Rs. 277 – I was really surprised to see the current price. But I won’t let that make me feel bad because I really love the product!

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Do you keep travel journals? Have some nice memories associated with them? Please share it with me in the Comments.

Morphing into a child at Cubbon Park, Bangalore

From this month, I am adding a Travel section to this blog. I have often spoken about my love about travel, but rarely blogged about my travel adventures here. For now, I plan to publish at least one travel post per month. This month I bring you all the greenery and freshness of Cubbon Park, Bangalore.


Date: 02.06.2016

Place: Office Cafeteria

My colleague-cum-friend, and a wonderful travel partner by now, Pooja, asks me if I want to go to Cubbon Park this weekend. I don’t even think before saying yes. I don’t even know where Cubbon Park is, what is special there. I just say yes, because it’s been a long time since I went somewhere.

So on fourth of June, Saturday, Pooja and I reach Cubbon Park around 2.30 PM. We both are hungry and bubbling with energy. The first thing I observe are the tall trees flanking the roads, and people in black-and-white dresses coming out of a office. Lawyers. “Is there a court here?” I ask Pooja. “Yes,” she replies. I exclaim what a wonderful place it is to work, surrounded by greenery.

There are benches under the trees. We go sit in one. We have brought lunch with us. I made aloo parathes, which unfortunately, got cold. Pooja made some really spicy pasta. Few feet away from us, a family of pigeons and squirrels are also having their lunch. Squirrels are my favourite! I feel privileged to sit by their side and eat my lunch. It is  perhaps the most natural lunch that I ate in my life.

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Lunch beside squirrels (though I don’t think they are much visible in this)

After we finish eating, we venture out. “There’s an aquarium somewhere nearby,” Pooja says. “Sure, let’s check it out.”

On the way to the aquarium, we see the wonderful statues they have made from tree trunks.

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A tree-house?

The entry fee at in the Goverment Aquarium is a mere five rupees. I am surprised by the fact that you can get to see something for so cheap in Bangalore. There is a good collection of fish in there, in two separate stories. The room is dimly lit, except the fish tanks. It is a psychedelic experience. We meet the parrot fish, whose pouts Pooja admires. We learn that parrot fish, once tamed, will eat food from our hands. We also see snake-head fish, whose heads really do resemble snakes. Some fish are restless, moving across the tank in second’s time. Some are patient and float slowly, especially the lone long-nosed fish.

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Parrot Fish at the Aquarium, Cubbon Park

After the aquarium, it is time for the Children’s park. Pooja wants to get on some rides. As a child, I haven’t ridden much. I am the more viewer type. Plus, my mother didn’t appreciate spending bucks on some thrill that lasts few minutes. But today is different. I want to try out something new, with Pooja. Her enthusiasm is catchy. She asks if I will be scared. I say, “Not at all.”

It is not really fear that I am feeling as I sit on the boat-shaped swing, though I watch from time to time at the mechanical joints. What happens if the hinge breaks? Slowly, the boat is filled with little children and a few adults. After some time, it swings into motion. High and high we go, and then whoosh, we come down. I know I hate this coming-down feeling. My stomach feels empty. The air is filled with the screams of the little children. They scream as the boat rises, they scream as the boat comes down. They are giggling, but they are screaming. I am suddenly transported to my childhood days when all my classmates would shout wildly in the few minutes the teachers left us alone. The smile on my face grows wider and wider.

After the swinging, it is time to do some break-dance. It is Pooja’s favourite ride. For the next few moments, I discover what it must feel like to be a piece of cloth in the washing machine, or an onion in the mixer grinder. The accelerations are sharp and erratic. I am hurled into Pooja and vice versa. We laugh non-stop.

By the time I jump down the break-dance, I am bubbling with energy. I hardly feel that we have walked for so long. My childhood is back with me.

After the rides, we roam some more. We take a few pictures. We see Karnataka High Court. I pose beside the lion in front of the High Court gate, determined to look ferocious. I hardly manage to stop smiling.

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Who’s the scary one?

After this we see some more wood carvings. I take a panorama picture in front of the Library housed inside Cubbon Park. After two hours of breathing in the freshest air, we leave the Park.

Visiting the Cubbon Park was one of the most exhilarating experience I had since coming to Bangalore. I live near Whitefield, which is hardly as beautiful and decorated as MG Road. It was refreshing to see that part of Bangalore.

If you are travelling from Kadugodi/Hope Farm/ITPL, you can take 335E bus which will directly take you to Corporation. Cubbon Park is a few minutes walk from there. If you do go there, do not forget to also visit the Vidhana Soudha, which is the legislative building of Karnataka. It is a majestic building, imposing in its own right. There are small eateries selling popcorn, corns, juices in many places inside the park in case  you’re hungry.

If you have a kid, Cubbon Park is one of the must-visit places for you.