Posts Tagged ‘travel’

I was going through Outlook Traveler’s Kerala and Lakhsadweep, when I came across this book ‘Chasing the monsoons: A modern pilgrimage  through India’ by Alexander Frater. Immediately, this thought came to my mind how fascinating it would be to actually beat (and not chase) monsoons over a period of two months. Tracing the exact same path as monsoons, but each time, each place beating it by a day or two. Start in Kerala, move to Tamil Nadu, go all the way to Bengal crossing through various states and then head towards Delhi. At each of these places, talk to people about their anticipation of monsoons. Be it a lowly farmer whose existence still depends on the erratic monsoons, or rich Delhi boy who lives most of the time in his air conditioned environment, everyone waits for the monsoons. Everyone loves rains.

I amazoned the book afterwards, and found this description:

“On 20th May the Indian summer monsoon will begin to envelop the country in two great wet arms, one coming from the east, the other from the west. They are united over central India around 10th July, a date that can be calculated within seven or eight days. Alexander Frater aims to follow the monsoon, staying sometimes behind it, sometimes in front of it, and everywhere watching the impact of this extraordinary phenomenon. During the anxious period of waiting, the weather forecaster is king, consulted by pie-crested cockatoos, and a joyful period ensues: there is a period of promiscuity, and scandals proliferate”

Sounds super-super awesome, ain’t it?

How about actually doing this? It’s going to be a grueling two month journey in the hottest part of India at the hottest time of the year. To use public transport all through the journey, to try and live with locals as much as possible, to document/experience their emotions along the way. I am pretty sure it is going to be incredibly difficult and demanding physically, but at the end of this what lies in front of us are lifetime of stories to recount. Who’s in? 🙂

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Stranger, so long.

Different people travel with different travel philosophies. Some travel because they want to take a break from their planned, daily lives, some to satiate their adventure gene. Some, because they are still not sure of what they want in their life, and are hoping that travel would provide them with that one unique experience which will guide them for the rest of the lives. And some, as I have recently read, want to collect flag from every country.

Some want to maximize the number of countries they have visited as a boost to their already inflated egos. For some, it is the best way to form life long friendships, forged on the hardships of the road and mutual mischief in a foreign land. This post is aimed at someone who associates with the latter.

I will be your perfect friend for today, but don’t expect me to call/mail after we have departed from our common ground. I will laugh with you, I will hold your words dearly, we will do the stupid dance together till we make fools of ourselves in front of everyone out here. We might exchange addresses before leaving, depending on how this ends, so that whenever we are in each other cities, we can give each other a call for a coffee.  But I will appreciate if you leave any of our future interactions on chance. It will be much more meaningful to both of us. On this pint of beer, let’s try to make it as one memorable night of our lives. Tell me about yourself, tell me about your plans and tell me about your insecurities and in return, expect a frank third person opinion from someone who holds no grudges against you. Oh me, well we have the entire night to ourselves, don’t we?

And I will be true to my promise. I will give my complete attention to someone, try to sort out his problems, will profusely tell him about my life, value his opinions, try to act on his suggestions in my life to come. But I would like to limit the entire experience to that raw, nascent form without dragging it to something ordinary.

And the night ends. Stranger, so long.


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It took me a good 30 minutes to come up with a name of this blog. So, in the first post, I am going to describe the thought process that went into choosing  a name (no wonder, there are books written for naming your baby):

“I want to have a travel blog, where I can write about places I have already visited and my future plans for a backpacking trip in Europe/Australia. That’s easy, just make one in WordPress. What should I name it? How about a simple travelog. Heck! it is already taken, what was I even thinking. Well, the blog title should contain three main important labels: it should be about travel, it should be a log, it should contain little personalization of some sort. What about traveldiary then? taken, obviously. Let’s check for various thesaurus options for log: account, book, register, tally. hmph. plenty of options I could use. Let’s think something about travel part. traveltally? travelregister? travelaccount? naah, they sound too un-cool. May be I should look beyond travel. How about voyage. Let’s check bonvoyage. Taken. How about transliteration in Hindi then? Safarnama? Naah. I want something in English only. Thesaurus entries for travel: wanderlust, trekking, tour, transit. The last one is exciting. I could have a transit count in one pane of the blog, which would denote number of times I have crossed a border. Ok, transit settled then. Transittally? Naah. Lets think about it later. What about the personalization part. I am a disorganized traveler, I never plan my trips, there is always someone else who does that for me. My strong point is doing a field work for that city, reading wiki, wiki travel, blogs about that place. I am a reader who is traveling. hmph. That is an interesting theme. So Reader + Transit + log. I have a kindle now, and the formats I use in it are mobi and epub. May be I can leverage reader and log into a file extension epub. how about transitepub? Naah. epub is too visible. etransitpub? This sounds cool. Let’s check for it. Ah! got it.”

Not a very cool story, but I liked the whole arbit thought process that went into it.

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