Monday, May 7, 2012

A visit to the hills - Travelogue I

 They say the preparation to a vacation is much more enjoyable than the vacation itself. And I truly believe in this adage, now that I’m experiencing it :-)

It’s the month of May and May brings freshness in the form of a holiday for many. So how can I be left behind?

I’ll be off to my summer vacations very soon with my friends (Neha, Nikhil (Nair), Nikhil & myself), to the quaint hills of the north. To be precise it’s gonna be a tour to Darjeeling, Gangtok and North Sikkim.

Darjeeling Tea Estate, West Bengal (Source: Internet)

Even though the trip is to be commenced on 24th May, the experience through which I’m going through right now is unexplainable. There are a hundred emotions running through my mind and random thoughts which crop up every now and then. This is truly what they call pre-vacation pleasure and I felt the need to jot down this experience, lest it be elapsed in the traffic of my thoughts.

Presenting to you, my experiences of pre-vacation excitement and the subsequent day-dreaming about the same:

1.      Vacation means shopping – both before and during – and so I think of the number of shopping excursions I need to undertake so as to spend my 10 day vacation in style and comfort. Not to forget the luggage which will accommodate my brand new purchase along with my toiletries, accessories, books and other wanted and unwanted things.

2.      I think of the night before my trip, when I check and double check all my packed items against the checklist of items to carry.

3.      I think of the sleepless night before the trip.

4.      I think of the wonderful day when I get to leave office at 2pm, as against the usual 7 or 8, to take my train from Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) to Howrah. This is just the beginning (*grin*)!

5.      I think about the hurried and hasty drive to the station (since I stop in between to shop some more) while thinking about my friends curses and abuses about my penchant for punctuality (the lack of it, that is) and I reach just in time to catch the train.

6.      I think about the chaos in the train before everyone settles down. I think about the last minute remembrance to get a bottle of water or a pack of chips, to attend goodbye calls from family and friends and lecture/advise calls from mom, I think about winning the fight for window seat after I deposit the luggage, I hear the announcement blaring on the intercom signaling the train’s departure and catch a glimpse of the station before it blurs off, silently praying to the Almighty for a safe journey.

7.      I think of the co-passengers with whom we will be sharing the compartment, who will either entertain us or bore us to the end.

8.      I think of the food served on the Duronto (we will be taking the CST-Howrah Duronto) and immediately the taste of the chicken curry, the slurping sound made by Nair while finishing off his soup, flicking off a salad from Neha’s plate, the request for a second helping of desert from Nikhil, comes to my mind.

9.      I think about the games we plan to play in our journey (cards and UNO for our entertainment and antakshari and dumb charades to entertain and frustrate others), and when we are bored of annoying each other (and others), we will silently return to the world of books.

10. I think of the scenery unfolding before my eyes through the tinted glass window and snuggle up with a cup of chai to relish the moment.

Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim (Source: Internet)

I think of all these and many more, however, some of these experiences I want to cherish and write when I’m actually visiting them. Watch out this space for more on my travel-o-experience and some scintillating photographs.


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