Huh! Long time, was on a long country wide trip along with Mom and Dad. Was fun. The entire trip has been aptly named Teerthaliya. Finally back home last Sunday, and now I feel a little settled. After lots of initial small problems of bike, television, internet, etc. the most important of all was solved today. INTERNET. Got my Reliance data card recharged for the unlimited connection for a month. Now I only hope the speed does not betray me.
About the trip, in detail
March 12th: I left Lucknow for Delhi to receive Mom and Dad, who were coming from vizag. Saw Revolutionary Road (review some other time) in the afternoon, had a beer and then met them in the evening. Things one has to do, if no one comes down to meet in Delhi. There was a time when I specifically used to go to Delhi to meet up. Sigh!
In the evening, I took mom and Dad to the Seesh Ganj Gurudwara (Thus started my teerth yatra, er! Teerthaliya) and then by the Delhi metro to CP, where we had dinner. We got into the train to Haridwar in the night.
March 13th: All day in haridwar and Rishikesh. Well, for those who are getting a envious hearing about Rishikesh, remember I was with parents. So, no rafting, nothing. I instead saw the Ram Jhula and the Lakshman jhula, with a crore temples in between. We even had lunch at the famous ChotiWala's restaurant. The entire passed away like that, and the evening aarti on the ghats of the ganges was a perfect end to the great day. We even went to Patanjali – the headquarters of Baba Ramdev. I should say, he is the best marketer than anyone of us. Just a simple Yoga guru, has marketed himself so well, and look at him today. He has attained a Demi God status living in a huge campus.
March 14th: Reached Amritsar early morning, and checked into a hotel. Had morning breakfast and the famous tea at GIANI tea stall – the aroma of which still lingers on. We then went to the historic Jallianwala bagh, followed by the revered Golden temple. Ah! Rab ne bana di Jodi has made the temple so glamorous. Everyone is now enthusiastic to click a pic at the same place where shahrukh had posed. A movie is a best place to market a product, place, experience, anything. Top it with Shahrukh, and it is guaranteed to sell. As it was said, "In bollywood, only sex and Shahrukh sell!". We even went to the Wagah border in the evening, and it was an unforgettable experience. Now if anyone asks me if I have been abroad? My answer would be, "I have seen the Pakistani border. That is the closest I have got to abroad!" We retired after having a sumptuous filling of the famous Punjabi Butter chicken.
March 15th: I did not want to go anywhere; all that was left in Amritsar was temples. I did not want to be assaulted by a few more. But, mom was adamant, and we had to give in. We first went to the Vaishno Devi mandir( yes, a replica of the famous Jammu temple here in Amritsar), and then the Durgiama Mandir. Somehow, I feel all the temples to be alike, and I don't understand the motive of visiting all the temples possible. I have come across people who vow to visit 108 (or any random number) of temples if their wish if fulfilled. What difference would it make? We spent the rest of the day near the golden temple (again a temple!), shopping.
March 16th: Reached Lucknow at about 11AM. Ah! The campus seems so wonderful, I am already missing it. Sad! I would have to leave the place in a few days. I attended the convo rehearsals in the afternoon and we set out shopping for the famous lucknow Chikan work dresses, in the evening. We were back to campus at about 8PM, right in time for the dinner. We met up a lot of people, and I introduced a lot of friends and their parents, to mom and Dad. A general sense of camaraderie between us, juniors, parents and even the faculty made the evening memorable. After Mom and Dad retired to bed in the provided Guest house, I set off to H13, to participate in the uncorking of MOET CHANDON by Doc. Oh! The Champagne tasted awesome.
March 17th: Woke up quite late, and then after talking to Mom and Dad for some time, I started getting dressed for the D-Day. I reached right in time for the convocation, fully dressed in the best of my spirits. The ceremony was a memorable one, which I am sure going to cherish for a long time to come. After the convo and photo clicking ordeals we set off to the snack arena. Baka was doing the honours of being the cameraman for the day. The StEX committee juniors also had a surprise in store for us. A cake cutting ceremony and small return gifts – An IIML Calendar. Very thoughtful of them. Would sure miss the committee very much. Me, Abhinav, Praveen and Puneet made for the perfect team and the juniors just added up to it. It was a wonderful time spent with the committee. We set out shopping again in the evening, and finally after having dinner at the food court at Sahara mall, we returned back.
My last night at L, sure requires a para of its own. Afterall, Bharat Jhurani finishes everything in style ala BJ! Mom and Dad retired to their rooms after returning from the mall, and I went down to my wing. Bottles of Beer were waiting, and so was Abhinav's ass. It was his placement party. Gulped one beer after another, and finally after 3 bottles down, me srini and Chitta sat outside my room remembering all the good time that we have had the past two years. It was 4Am early morning! Nostalgia! I was too full, and went to Abhinav's room to sleep as there was no mattress in my room. Well, as was expected, I puked. Abhinav got the perfect parting gift. Sorry Abhinav! How could I not puke on the last night at L? He he. Would remember this for long, and so will Abhinav I am sure.
March 18th: Mom and Dad came in quite early and we started packing. My head was still heavy with the overdose of the previous night. I dashed off to gupta's for two full glasses of Lime Soda – perfect to get my head back to normalcy. We set off to the station at 10:30AM, and off to Kazipet. The train journey was quite long but was made interesting by the company of fellow IIMites also present in the same train going to Hyderabad.
March 19th: Reached Kazipet at about 2PM. I set off to a movie – BANK, to escape the ennui. In the evening me, mom and Dad chatted away waiting for the train in the waiting hall. The train started off for Tirupati at about 8:30.
March 20th: Reached Tirupati early in the morning, and we set off to Tirumala (hill top) directly. After getting the pre booked accommodation there, I and Dad set out to the tonsure hall to get our hair tonsured. Yes, after growing real long hair for months, I went bald! We did the Darshan in the evening, and retired early.
March 21st: After waking up early in the morning (that is at 8:30AM!) got ready and set out for the second Darshan. I somehow cannot understand the logic. Doing Darshan twice I don't think would warrant better punya!! After whiling away all afternoon and also some shopping, we hired a taxi to get us back down the hill. The train back home started at about 9PM.
March 22nd: Reached vizag at 11AM, where jatin was ready to receive us.
END OF TEERTHALIYA