I consider myself blessed to experience the amount of travel I have been doing for the last few years, ever since I am off college. It seems like I am becoming a travel addict. Hours and days long journeys don’t seem long anymore. Now, I enjoy the moments in my travel. I am no more just desperate to arrive at my destination. In the last few years I have travelled across India (sailing across more than a dozen of the dynamic Indian states), whereas until 2013, I was just restricted to the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh border and their coastline.
However, it is to be noted that I haven’t got quite the amount of time to explore and experience each of them the way I desire, digging deep inside, exploring the waves of life. But, it’s just the beginning; I am just in my mid-twenties. Nevertheless, I still experienced the wonderful cultures; I still talked to hundreds and hundreds of people around. I learned small bits of many languages and their dialects, and the fact that I am a polyglot helped me most of the time. Sometimes my ability to get absorbed in the multitudes of cultures and environments helped me dive into those wonderful experiences. Today, with this post I would start my series of posts, “A Traveler in Me”, talking about some of those wonderful experiences, that I already had and would have in the months and years to come.
The wonderful experiences started off with the visit to one of my most favorite cities, Kolkata. I have had some really great friends staying over there, thanks to whom I got chances to visit the city more often, than I would have naturally gotten. It wasn’t the best experience the way it started off, as it was the first big city I went to. So, it took some time to accept the people, the fast life, and their lifestyle. However, the fish-and-rice meal, the egg fry in the streets, the sweets and desserts, the historic places beginning from the Howrah Bridge to The Victoria Palace, the science city, the salt-lake area, the old town, the new town, the dirt and odors in the streets, the Kalighat and Dakshineswar temples, the cheap auto fares, the hot and beautiful ladies, the big malls, the khidirpur mobile phone market, the first 3D movie on a big screen (Man of Steel) and many more made much for the compensation, rather it was overwhelming. It was a dream experience, coming into life. It felt, this city is a really great place to work and build career, a great place for hangouts with friends on weekends. I just wished to have my stay there, for a longer tenure. May be, I would do that in the future. It was in the mid 2013, when I went there on a close friend’s invitation. (Dolu bhai, it’s you :D , thank you so much.) And, it began this way!
The next big visit was off to the Silicon Valley of India, the city of dreams, the city of technology, the wonderful Bangalore (now Bengaluru). It was on the event of a family function at my cousin’s. A complete joyride with about 20+ family members having the journey on train, having quality family time, and then travelling around the city, the parks, the malls, the temples, the zoo etc. The city lights weren’t that new to me this time. I had already tasted it, so had expected the big buildings, the luxurious cars on roads, the IT attire and uber cool looks of people. Things were somewhat predictable. However, there was something which was terrible! You may ask any Bangalorian, what he/she hates in Bangalore. I bet, 90% of them would respond with the answer, “It is the traffic, nothing else”. I wish there would be some positive changes in the coming days. Anyways, continuing… Bangalore is one of those golden cities that accept just anyone. One really fantastic part is, the local people are aware of almost 5-6 languages. You will never be in trouble communicating; rather a tea seller might respond in English or Hindi or even your mother tongue, you should not be surprised. The weather, the drizzles, the mediocre temp etc. are some of the boons to the city. However, these also make it one of the costliest cities in India to live in. I know the pollutions are increasing, hence the temperatures too, but I believe this would change in coming years with some technological solutions coming into the general lives, if my calculations do not go wrong.
The next big zone for me was the Telangana region, and more specifically my most favorite city in India, Hyderabad. With some situational constraints and my noble intentions, I got a chance to spend 3 full months in the Secunderabad-Hyderabad twin cities! I always loved bicycling, and no wonder why would I have not done this over there, when I got a chance to stay there for more than 90 days. I have wandered around the city alone, in some clean roads and in heavy traffics too. I wonder, why and how have I overtaken many SUVs in the traffic on those numerous instances. I used to do bicycling of about 35 kilometers on an average in a day, continuously for 30 odd days. I viewed the beautiful Hussain Sagar and its views in almost every possible angles. It was not clean though. Then I switched my location to central Hyderabad (Abids) from the Paradise area. I was attending a wonderful temple of learning, ACE Engineering Academy with a target to learn Computer Science again, after my debacles in the yester years! I was too lucky to get a great set of new and dynamic friends from various states, who had come there with similar intentions, some with dreams, some for making a difference, and some just to explore the dimensions of life. It was great interacting with each of them in every single instance. I loved the Hindu-Muslim understanding, the respect and care for each other, and the brotherhood going beyond religions! It was not that I just saw this in a limited set of intellectuals; it was eminent in many random streets of Hyderabad. There were negative people too; I tolerated their arrogance, their attitude. I bursted out in anger at times, but I learned tolerance there.
I not only visited the popular Charminar or Birla Temple, but also I latched onto several random locations in and around the city, sometimes on my bicycle, sometimes just walking along and quite often on the local JnNURM city buses. I had some close relatives living in the city, I did visit them once in a while, and there were college time friends too to hang out at times. The real big city in IT, next to Bangalore, gave me great experiences. I probably saw too many dimensions in my life, may be just because I stayed there for a considerably longer period than my earlier stays, which used to last no more than a week or two. The Hyderabadi Biriyani, how can I forget that, those evenings with friends and/or relatives at Paradise or Bawarchi, the mutton biriyani or the chicken biriyani or the pure veg biriyani. And, how can I forget those early morning idly-chutney breakfasts, so tasty and probably the best one can get, healthy, authentic and pure. It was heavenly to me, food, studies, fun, exploration, meditation, fitness, the city lights and much more… all were just in place. It was so perfect. Fortunately or unfortunately, my time there had ended. I had to wrap all up and come back home, to go on and on… It was January 2014 by then.
To be continued…
Thank you, as always for the generous time you spent reading it!
Here, I leave you with a photo collage of these visits, with a hope to see you again sharing some more exciting experiences!
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