Skip to main content

Featured Post

Review of Executive Lounges at New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS)

During my recent trip to Uttarakhand , I was faced with a problem I had never encountered before. We were passing through Delhi, but we had hardly any time in the city. On earlier visits when I have had to change trains/flights at Delhi, I have always arrived in the morning and left again at night, visiting relatives in between. This time, I was arriving in the city at night, and leaving again early in the morning. There was hardly any time to visit people. I would only have a couple of hours with them before I’d have to leave again. For the first time, we considered booking a hotel, but there again, we were hesitant about the actual hotels, the costs involved, and the logistics of getting from the airport to the railway station and then back again from the station to the airport.  That’s when we remembered reading something about a corporate-managed lounge at Delhi station. We soon figured out that we could book online and pay by the hour. Besides, we also learnt that there wasn’t ju

The Family Traveller - My Experiences and Thoughts

I just read an article in the Club Mahindra Blog (Clay) by Lakshmi SharathThe Family Traveller, where she talks about the differences between those travelling alone and those in a group and the kind of amenities they look out for. I started commenting on the article only to realize that it was getting too long, so I decided to write a post on it instead, interrupting my current series on my vacation. So, here are just a few of my thoughts on the same subject. Please do read her article here before you start on this one, so you can understand what I am talking about.

To begin with, I am also a family traveller. I travel, not just with my husband and 6 year old kid, but also with my in-laws, and sometimes cousins too. I totally agree with Lakshmi that most family travellers look for not just the basic comforts during travel, but in fact, they look for a home away from home. They want everything that they are used to at home – the same kind of food, the same kind of routines, everything working like clockwork. Many a time I have wondered why these people come on a holiday. They might as well just stay at home!

There are many such people in my family itself, and it still irritates me, even after all these years, when they sit up till late at night watching some stupid serial on TV, just because they “can’t wait to see what will happen next!”, and can’t wake up early the next morning to go to the place we have come so far to see. “Oh! It doesn’t matter – the place isn’t running away anywhere” is another refrain I have come to hate. Food is another matter of irritation – someone wants only phulkas, while someone will not touch potatoes, someone wants rasam, while someone else doesn’t want any masala in the food!

Thank goodness, my hubby and in-laws aren’t like that! We all have our own priorities, likes and dislikes about the places we want to visit and the things we want to do, but once out of the house, we forget all about the house and our normal life and habits. Be it the mode of travel, accommodation, food or activity, the rule is simple – take what is available. It certainly isn’t easy, especially with a kid, but teaching by example is the only way to get a kid to do what you want him to do.

At the age of 6, Samhith enjoys travelling, and looks forward to visiting new places. He wants to go trekking, and see more birds, animals and new places, and is upset when someone tells him he is too young for it. He doesn’t complain about food unless it is too spicy or hard, and enjoys every mode of travel, no matter how slow or uncomfortable. Yes, he is too young to camp out or live in the rough, but as soon as possible, I would like to take him on such trips. As of now, the closest he has been to the wild is at the Jungle Lodges resorts, and that is the trip he remembers best.

Of course it has not been easy – we have had to reinforce the idea every now and then that a holiday is not for comforts – it is for seeing things other than you see at home. It has helped that we have been travelling so much since he was born, that he has opened his eyes to the immense beauty of nature, to the variety of birds and animals, to the beauty in stones and shells, and even to the beauty of temples. He has been hearing mythological stories for so long that he enjoys temples just for the stories associated with them!

One of the biggest problems that I have begun to encounter is when I am at a resort with many more family groups. While both Shankar and I like to do our own thing, and are happiest left alone, Samhith gets attracted by all the groups of people and wants to be with them. That, by itself, is not a problem, but it turns into one when the kids get out their video games or sit watching TV! This vacation, the problem arose when he saw a kid with a video game, and I refused to allow him to use it, saying it was inappropriate. The mom took umbrage, saying that I wasn’t allowing my child to do what he wanted to do. “Kya, aap vacation may bhi bacche ko daant te ho??” (What! You scold your child during the vacation too!!). I was too stunned to answer, but thankfully, Samhith came away with me, and we were soon engrossed in collecting feathers, and he forgot about it. I can see many such incidents occurring in the future, and the only way I believe I can circumvent it is being open with my son, and also being firm. The very idea of playing video games sitting in the reception area of a huge resort with acres of greenery right next to the sea is unimaginable, and something I cannot accept!

The other problem is with the transport. People just can’t imagine taking their children by train or bus, and fly everywhere. This time, I travelled alone with Samhith from Ernakulum to Tiruppur, Tiruppur to Puttaparthi, Puttaparthi to Tirupati and Tirupati to Bombay, 3 of the journeys by train, and one by bus. I had only booked second sleeper tickets for the train this time, and I must say, both of enjoyed the trips. The bus was unexpectedly horrible, but he managed to take that in his stride too….. Everyone I met was shocked that I was travelling alone and that too by bus and train, but both of us enjoyed every minute of the journey. I am really proud of him, and hope he continues to be the same. I certainly wish he won’t turn into one of those whom Lakshmi talks about – asking for a TV in a jungle resort or a pool in a beach resort.


Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

Gokarna Part II – The Five Lingams

We continued our Gokarna trip by visiting four other Shiva temples in the vicinity, all connected to the same story of Gokarna. The story of Gokarna mentions the Mahabaleshwara Lingam as the one brought from Kailas by Ravana, and kept at this place on the ground by Ganesha. (See my earlier post- Gokarna – Pilgrimage and Pleasure). However, the story does not end here. It is believed that, in his anger, Ravana flung aside the materials which covered the lingam- the casket, its lid, the string around the lingam, and the cloth covering it. All these items became lingams as soon as they touched the ground. These four lingams, along with the main Mahabaleshwara lingam are collectively called the ‘ Panchalingams’ . These are: Mahabaleshwara – the main lingam Sajjeshwar – the casket carrying the lingam. This temple is about 35 Kms from Karwar, and is a 2 hour drive from Gokarna. Dhareshwar – the string covering the lingam. This temple is on NH17, about 45 Kms south of Gokarna. Gunavanteshw

The Havelis of Bikaner - A Photo Post

The lanes are narrow , twisting and turning amidst buildings old and new. Crumbling old structures with intricate workmanship stand side by side with art deco buildings, and more modern constructions, which follow no particular style. Autos, bicycles, motorcycles and vans rush past, blowing their horns as loudly as possible, while cows saunter past peacefully, completely unaffected by the noise. In the midst of all this chaos, children play by the side, and women go about their chores, as we explore these by-lanes of Bikaner, and its beautiful Havelis. Facade of one of the Rampuria Havelis

The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan