We had 3 days coming up - Friday, Saturday & Sunday - it was a long weekend for ID..My immediate thought was to plan for Bhubaneshwar(bbr), where my friends from Trivandrum are put up...but, I remembered many unsuccessful plans that I had made like this earlier - it was unsuccessful 'coz I dint get the tickets..
So, I checked with my friend - but, she had to make family calls..I tried for a trip to Darjeling & Gangtok, but, they were working out to be way too expensive for 1.5 days..so, my last shot was a try at the booking counter for a ticket to bbr, and voila! I got tickets! Reserved tickets by train - scheduled to leave on Friday afternoon and return on Sunday evening. I called on my friends immediately, and they said they would come to pick me up..That was the beginning of my retreat - an unexpected & exciting start..
I have travelled alone before - travelled to Delhi in unreserved compartment (yup! all the way - enroute to a trek to the snow filled mountains with YHAI), 'i've travelled to blore alone...heck! I came here alone! But, this trip was different! somehow, very different in my head! After all those trips, I returned home, but, this time I would return to my temporary home - paying guest home...My folks paid for those trips, I paid for this one...I knew my plan earlier- it was organised or I would hang out with my cousins or some such, but, this time I was to spend 1.5 days with people I barely knew (I knew one lady D, from Trivandrum..one lady R, had come here to help me out..and the other was my namesake whom I had not met, only heard about!..so, they were more or less strangers to me although they knew each other well!) So, you see, this started out to be a trip of its kind..
I was elated to see my friend D...we went to dine at a good restraunt called Mayfair..I gorged on Masala Dosa...yummm!! She stays at the company quarters - plush apartment -she pays the rent, but, its really a nice place with a small tv & people around..so, we sat & yapped until 12.p.m...I got to know the other 2 a little bit..
The plan was to leave for konark at 8.a.m & after that stay at Puri overnight...
Enroute Konark- we stopped at this 'peace' monumnet built by Ashoka's children - I belive after the Kalinga war, he drove upto the point and realised the devastation he had caused..the sight before him made him change his mind to become a buddhist..I would probably change my mind (if i had one.. :D)too..
Komark is an interesting temple - the sun is worshipped there...what makes it intresting are the carvings on stone & the temple is built like a chariot...it has some obscene scupltures (as do almost all old monuments) but, it was interesting..I had a guide in my namesake..she told me the story behind every wheel and well, we had a good time..
Destination Puri - we had reserved a room at the Hotel Holiday Resort - its a sea facing resort with Sauna, Jacuzzi, et all...it was the best part of our trip! We reached by noon...had lunch & slept for a bit..headed to the famous Jagannath temple in the evening - which was over crowded. I belive the day we went was also the day when 'eligible girls & boys' pray for their marriage to happen soon...me, I prayed for world peace - truly! Lets not get into my thoughts on all these things now, I will blog on that later :p
On returning, we got some french fries..and then, headed to the beach..we just sat there...4 of us...we spoke when we wanted to..otherwise, remained silent..we spoke whatever we wanted to..everything but, work (that was the rule!)..then, we moved to the huge lawn in the resort..got back to the room in time for dinner and pigged to our hearts content..
We drove back the next morning..I had just enough time to see the huge office they work out of..it was nice to see my friend D - she was really proud to be part of the center, and I was happy for her....we rushed to catch my noon train back to where I belong (for the next 1.5 months or so atleast.. :D)
The train journey back was a nightmare during the day..When I saw Swades - the scene when Shahrukh goes to a village in a train full with people, I dint quite belive things are that bad...I saw during my journey back that it is not that bad, its actually worse!! The previous train was cancelled, so, the train was filled with people who had bookings on the previous train too. For sometime, it was very difficult with people falling all over you.. there were people in the passageways, inbetween the berths, everywhere...but, after a while, everybody adjusted...it was an interesting note in human behavior - the adults cribbed while the children were quite..the adults shouted & cried while the children smiled & stood whereever told to..after a while though, everyone settled down...all said and done, I dont think I would like to travel in that train again...
I hope to leave this place in 1.5 months, and intend to make the most of my trip while I'm here...afterall, who knows when I'll come back, if at all..thats what life is all about isnt it? Like my colleague at work says,
"JIYO MERI JAAN...JEE BHAR KE JIYO!!!!"