Hi to all who came across this blogpost and wondering what do i mean by Are you Travel ready? Everyone is travel ready then why this question? Well through this blogpost, I wanted to tell people what all things one should carry while travelling. If you are a travel enthusiast and have travelled alot, you can contribute to my post by adding things which I may have missed. If you are travelling for the first time and a little confused about the things you should carry then this post is for you.
Its always good to have a checklist before you start packing. Few things which I always carry are:
Toothbrush, tongue cleaner and toothpaste (smallest available pack)
Facewash (smallest available pack)
Showergel (smallest available pack)
Shampoo (smallest available pack)
Sanitary napkins (a must for female travellers)
Make up and make up remover
Thread and needle (i always have this in my bag)
A bowl, spoon, fork, a coffee mugReady to eat packets (mostly cup noodles, cornflakes)Biscuits and some snacks
Undergarments (quite obvious)
Use and throw panties — incase the hotel does not have laundry (which is not possible now a days) or the laundry is too expensive
Camera and its accessories (plus extra batteries and memory cards)
I visited my grad school after eight long years. You won’t believe how excited I was. All the memories were flashing in-front of my eyes.
I don’t know from where to start. Let me start from the beginning 🙂
After my 12th board, I wanted to go for engineering because
Bhaiya did engineering
I thought it was really cool to stay away from parents so I would be free to do anything at anytime and no one will say a word to me.
I never had an insight of what I should do with my career so engineering was an easy option. The only thing I knew was I have to study something in order to get a job!
I took a year gap to prepare for engineering entrance exams. I could not clear IIT JEE and AIEEE obviously as I was never focused. Also, because I was preparing for the above stated (1, 2, 3) reasons and didn’t really want to do engineering. In that respect, I really admire darling sister. She was focused since 9th grade about her career, what she wanted to study, from which university and where would she like to start her career from (as in which company, what job etc.). Everything was clear to her. And she made sure she was always on right track towards her dream job.
Coming back to me now, I got some rank in Orissa Jee and was called for counselling in August-September. Meanwhile, my parents decided I should not sit idle and waste another year in order to wait for the Orissa Jee result. They suggested me to apply in the colleges for basic science / arts / vocational courses. Well, even then I had my own tantrums. I didn’t want to study “Arts”. Seriously!!! Yes, I said that. Because, again, I was not sure what would I do by doing “Arts”.
Other colleges would take admission on the basis of marks obtained in 12th board exam but St. Xavier’s College used to take entrance test for all the branches. I gave admission test for Mathematics and Physics. I wanted to take Maths, particularly, only because Papa was a masters in maths. I never liked Physics because of the teacher who taught physics in school and, chemistry was always so confusing that I really never understood.
The physics teacher in school had once told me thatI would never do anything in my life. I will sit at home and will spend my dad’s money. Yes! That’s what he said. He made that comment only because I did an experiment wrong during our practical sessions. In spite of encouraging students to excel, he was discouraging me. I was so disappointed with his comment that I started crying. That’s why I never liked physics!
Unfortunately or fortunately, I cleared Physics entrance in St. Xavier’s college for Bachelors degree. My name was on the third list. I was really horrified with the fact that I will be studying physics. Will I be able to understand what they teach? What if the professors in college were like my school physics teacher? What if I flunk in exams? So many things were going in my head. But, then, I thought these classes/lectures are temporary because I was secretly waiting for the Orissa Jee counselling. It was first day of the college, and I reached college an hour before the lecture time. I am the kind of person who prefers to be on time or before time.
For an hour I was just roaming around in the department, going through the noticeboard where there was the admission list. I got a chance to look at it to know who all will be attending lectures with me. I got my eyes on the anti-raging notices saying ‘senior students are not allowed to rag the fresher, in case of any ragging complaints the student will be suspended for that semester’, the syllabus for first semester, attendance notice warning students if they fail to achieve 80% attendance then they wont be allowed to sit in the semester exams, and previous semester’s result list among other things. After doing time pass for one hour it was time for me to attend my first lecture. I was getting goosebumps and exactly the same feeling as Lucky gets in the movie Main Hoon Na, when he visits his college library first time ever.
The first lecture was taken by Prof Dipankar Dey (DDey sir we used to call him), head of Physics department. I really didn’t know at that time who he was until one of the students sitting next to me told that he’s the HOD. He took the lecture of Mathematical Physics. He made that session so interesting that my hatred for physics vanished in the very first lecture.
After the first lecture, I thought there won’t be any more lectures. But we had all the scheduled lectures. I had an impression that normal colleges would not be regular in terms of classes and students would be more free to roam around. But I was wrong. St. Xavier’s college, being an autonomous institution, was very strict in terms of lectures and discipline. With each passing day, I started enjoying physics. I didn’t make much friends because I thought I was there for some time only. By the time my Orissa JEE counselling came, I had already attended two months of college and got busy with the assignments and practical stuffs.
I went for my Orissa JEE counselling. My turn was in second half of the day, but there was a big screen where we could see the seats filled in different colleges. Till the time my turn came to fill the form for the desired college and branch, almost all the seats in good colleges were filled. I had two options: Engineering from some random college in a branch which i never thought of or Physics from St Xavier’s College. I was just thinking during the whole counselling process and was discussing with Papa about future plans. Then all of a sudden I stood up and asked Papa to come with me. He somehow sensed my decision. The only thing he said was lets wait for your turn but since I was not ready to sit, we came out in the middle of the counselling. The only thing Papa asked was whether I was sure about it? Would I not regret later? I confidently said I won’t regret. I came back to Ranchi with a happy heart. Next day I went to college and everything seemed so good. I sat with new girls and became friends with them (Ankita, Rafia and Spriha). For the next three years, these three girls and I were inseparable. We would come to the college together, sit together on first bench, would prepare for semester exams together. I made other friends also from my department as well as from other departments. But these girls were special. Mummy would pack lunch for me and she would ensure she packed something new for me everyday. After the lectures in college I would ensure I reach home on time and get back to study. No roaming around in college after lectures. Sometimes after college if we would want to spend time together then either they would come to my place or I would go to there place but no hanging around outside. No movie, no birthday treat in restaurants, no shopping, nothing. It was not that our parents would restrict us from all these things, it was just that I wanted to spend more of my time in figuring out what next. Three years passed in a blink without realizing when and how. It felt like yesterday I was there in the college as a fresher and today I was an alumni. But I was somehow happy that college got over and I got admission in NIT Rourkela for Masters in Physics. I was more happy because of the option 2 I stated in the beginning of the post.
After a few days Mummy moved to Kolkata with Papa and after a few months of their stay there, they moved to Mumbai. After completing my masters, I came back to Mumbai. I got a job in Mumbai and then in Bangalore. I never went back to Ranchi after my graduation.Two years back Mummy Papa moved to Jamshedpur. Since we are now working professionals, our vacations depends upon manager’s yes/no and if there is any important deadline to meet. With all these things my frequency of visiting home has reduced to twice / thrice a year. For some it may be sufficient but I feel if I could visit home more often.
There are two ways to go Jamshedpur from Bangalore: a) take flight to Ranchi and from Ranchi take bus/cab to Jamshedpur, b) take flight to Kolkata and from there they can catch a train to Jamshedpur. Till last year I was taking route b. Only this time I thought of going home via Ranchi. This is the less tiring route. I have decided that from now on I would take this route only. After spending a few days in Jamshedpur, it was time for me to be back to work. Since my flight was from Ranchi, I decided to go a little early and meet a very dear friend (Rishabh) who got engaged just a day before. Due to some function at my place I could not attend his engagement. Rishabh is an Art of Living student and Geologist by profession.
We decided to meet at college. I was really excited to go back to college and see how much the college has changed. I was also excited to be back in Ranchi after 8 long years. I got down from bus and took a cycle rickshaw to college. Every single thing took me back to the time spent during the year 2000 – 2010. It reminded me of so many things. Going to Papa’s office, shopping with Mummy Papa in church complex, spending summer vacation at Tripathi uncle’s place, eating ice cream at Firayalal, going to wool house or Kashmir vastralaya with Mummy during winters because she would knit sweaters for us, that New Lords tailor where Papa would give his shirt and pair of trousers to get stitched, Punjab sweets from where we would buy sweets, Hanuman Mandir where Mummy would take me to every Tuesday, Daily market where I used to go with Mummy on Sundays to buy fresh vegetables. I don’t remember when was the last time I had cycle rickshaw ride so I ensured I get on one of them. Later I realised I was smiling like an idiot.
With all the memories flashing in front of me I reached college. I didn’t see much crowd in the college maybe because of exams or maybe because of summer vacation. The college has changed a lot but the scooty stand and Xerox counter is still the same. The very first change I noticed was the auditorium, they have named the auditorium in the loving memory of late Father C De Brouwer. He was an inspiration. The second change that I noticed was they have changed the library entrance. The college has expanded and new buildings were there. Construction is still going on. Now they have new building for Arts, Humanities and Mass Communication. The boundary wall between the old St John’s school and our college is no more as the college has taken that part of the school. Some departments have been shifted to St John’s school premises. The chapel has been renewed and shifted to a new place. Earlier the chapel used to be open for students also. In fact, darling sister has been to chapel. But the year I joined college they closed chapel for students as they found that students were missing the lectures and doing time pass in chapel. The old canteen has been renewed. And the new canteen has a playing area too. They have kept indoor games also. The owner of old canteen now sits near the St John’s school premise. After roaming around in the college for one hour we decided to sit in the canteen. It was then I realised that in my three years in college I never visited canteen. When I confessed this to Rishabh he said you missed the fun. He, then, started telling me about the time he spent in college canteen, about his elections and college fest. While he was telling me his stories of college canteen, the only thing that was coming to my mind was – can I just go back to my college days? In order to focus on studies and career I somehow missed enjoying the college life!!
It’s very important to enjoy every phase of life without getting stressed out for the future. Be focused towards your goal and dreams but don’t forget to enjoy the present. With this, Baba Nimisha Kashyap is signing off with a hope to write another blog post soon.
This year I have decided to travel as much as I can, as far as I can and click as many photos as I can. My travel story started in march with a week-long trip to Delhi, though I don’t count Delhi in the story because Delhi is more like a second home to me and I prefer relaxing there than roaming around the places. But Delhi has got lots of places to cover, historical monuments, some old markets, places to eat.
My second destination was Orissa, specifically Bhubaneswar, Nayagarh, Puri, Konark. Orissa holds a special place in my heart. I have lived in Orissa (Rourkela) for two years, during my masters, and that was the first time I was away from home, made new friends, learned how to live in a hostel with limited facilities, and learned the local language as well. Learning local language helps you in connecting with the local people. May be that’s the reason I have got more friends from Orissa than any other states. Trip to Orissa was pending for the last five years and I am glad I made it. It was possible only because of my friend Smita, the only friend about whom I have spoken on my blog till now. It was her wedding which took me back to Orissa that too in summer (April), when the temperature was 48° C. One more reason to travel was the desire to see Odiya wedding and a hope to capture some moments in my camera. Below are some glimpse from the wedding.
She on her mehndi
Odiya bride and groom
Apart from attending wedding in Nayagarh, I went to Jagannath Temple, Puri. People are not allowed to carry cell phones or camera inside the temple premise, also there are dedicated counter outside the temple for people to take off their footwear, and submit mobile phones and camera. There were priests all around the temple, trying to allure the visitors by saying they will get a “special darshan / more close view” of the lord (it’s trap, don’t fall in the trap) and they don’t have to stand in the long queue. In return to all these services, the priests charge a hefty amount. Since I was with my friends who keep visiting the temple quite often, I was aware of all these “favours” offered by the priests and hence, my money was saved. Since Konark is just 35 kms away from Puri, one cannot give a miss toKonark Sun Temple. This temple has its own history. Konark Sun Temple is one of the seven wonders of India, also a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO.
My third destination this year was in June when I went to Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu, with my girl friends. Same time last year I wnet to Ooty, Tamilnadu with some other friends (again an all girls trip). I liked Kodai more than Ooty. More details about the stay, places I visited and my experience will be covered in my next blog post can be found here.
My fourth destination is yet to happen and the destination has been decided. Well, I can’t disclose the destination now. All I can say is it’s again one of the world heritage sites in India and this place is on my wishlist for the last two years. Keep guessing till I write about it further. 🙂
One day, a bench like this will be residing in my garden. I’ll have my morning coffee on it. That would be a time when I would have grown old, I will have kids and they would be somewhere in the world earning for their living. I won’t have the tension of projects, deadline, meetings etc., because by that time I would have retired.
I would often lie on the bench looking up into the tree, past the trunk and up into the branches romancing with the nature, till the time I could see moon and stars.
But for now, I have to run office, I’m getting late for a meeting and I also have a project deadline to meet.
P.S. This pic has been taken by me at Nandi Hills, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Dr. Tirath S. Sehmbhi from Punjab, young, dynamic and 67. All I know about him is that he is in London for the past 45 years or may be more. He did his studies from Imperial College, London University. He works at my client’s site. I had heard a lot about him from my other colleagues who keep visiting the client’s site. Now that I am at the client’s site, I met him. When you see someone in the foreign land from the same country as you are from, you feel connected. I was also feeling connected to this Uncle and may be the uncle was also feeling the same. He is senior at the work place so ideally I should call him by his name i.e. Tirath or “Sir” but I call him uncle. He is not talkative but, yes, he has lot of stories to tell, and, sadly, no one to listen them. “I am more patriotic than anyone living in India”, his favourite dialogue, he keeps telling us. I have never questioned his patriotism and don’t have any intention to do that.
It’s my second week in Cambridge. I went office on my usual time. At lunch time, I asked him if he would join me. It has become a routine now to ask him. Without a fail he would reply, “Beta main to lunch ghar se laata hu”. Today he saw I didn’t have lunch with me he asked me before I could ask him, “Beta ji aapka lunch kidhar hai”. I told him I keep fast on Tuesdays, and, therefore I didn’t bring lunch with me. To which he asked me if I take fruits. I told him that I do take fruits but forgot to bring it today. He offered me his fruit bowl which he would take after his lunch daily. I was a little embarrassed. I didn’t know what to say him. I was quiet for a moment, then I said I had fruits in the morning, thanks anyway. On that he said “le lo beta, isi bahane mujhe yaad to karoge”.I took the fruit bowl, said thank you and I went.
Even if he had not offered his fruit bowl, then also, he would have been remembered always. It’s hard to forget someone that you know you’ll remember always. 🙂
Sardar ji Uncle will always be remembered for his kindness, stories and of course fruit bowl.
I am not a big fan of visiting museums or art gallery. So, Madame Tussauds museum was never on the list despite the fact that, its a wax museum with branches in a number of cities. My colleague wanted to visit this museum and I did not. But I decided to visit this museum because of my colleague’s sake. The wax figure of Indian film stars are not much similar to them so I was little disappointed. But, the 3D movie show and the spirit of London show was the main attraction for me. And if I happen to visit this museum again, I would be seeing 3D movie and taking the spirit of London ride only.
The spirit of London ride is the journey of London’s history. One has to hop into the London’s infamous black cab, and witness the historical, cultural event which are responsible for its growth into one of the leading cities of the world.
A very dear friend of mine had said once that if you want to get into photography, start with your mobile and explore each and every feature of that. At one point you will feel that your phone has limitation and then you go for a DSLR. After exploring my phone’s camera for the two and a half year, finally i’m a proud owner of Canon 700D.
P.S. Pics clicked before this post, are from my mobile iPhone 5c.
Marine drive happens to be my favourite place in Mumbai. My first visit to marine drive was in the year 2011, Dec 22nd. I had been there with bhaiya and his best friend Rohit bhaiya. Both of them were busy talking and I was getting bored. I could not enjoy the beauty of marine drive that day because it was dark and i couldn’t see the water. I wanted to get down and put my legs in the water. But bhaiya didn’t allow me :-|.
Second time I visited this place with my college friend Smita in the year 2012, Dec 24th. Smita and I were not great friends back in college. Now we are good friends but still not great friends 🙂 So Smita came mumbai to visit his uncle. And so we met. She asked me to take her to marine drive. Last time I had been to marine drive was exactly a year ago. So I was confident enough to take her to marine drive. But then I didn’t remember which station we had to get down at. I was trying to recall which station we got down last year for marine drive. Okay I know for someone who is living in mumbai, it shouldn’t be a big deal. But it was for me as I was just seven months old in mumbai. Anyway, we (Smita and I) took the local from Goregaon. We were talking and gossiping in the train. And we got down at the station called “Marine lines”. I thought this is the place where marine drive is and obviously I was wrong. To go marine drive one has to get down at churchgate and from there one can walk or take taxi. We came out of the local station and we could see the sea. And so I assumed it to be Marine drive. But then that’s not where we ended up. I wanted to take her to Nariman point, exactly the same place where bhaiya took me last year. But we could hardly see Nariman point so we started walking. Yes we did! And we walked some 3 kms in search of Nariman point :-P. It took us some 30 mins to reach the destination and by the time we reached there we were tired. Both of us were happy to be there. We got down, she started playing with water, we asked one of the guy to click us. We were there for an hour and then we came back.
Third time I visited this place with my grad friend Ankita. This time I made sure I get down at right station and I don’t repeat the same mistake. 🙂