About me

Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie..

Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... Love reading books- sometimes i read 3books simultaneously, crazy about music- need it all around me, all the time and ofcourse, i totally am ga ga goo goo over my 7yr old naughty brat- Floppy!! errr, Prince Floppy!! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Of Flying & Airports...

I am always fascinated by people.. And my favourite hobby is to watch them, observe them... not stare or oggle- mainly at airports, train stations and bus stops... Some are anxiously pacing about, some are glued to the screen [phone or laptop] and others caught up with their kids [controlling them, making sure they are within eyesight range, or trying to feed them/change diaper etc].. You get the drift.

Now, over the last few years when I began travelling, I have taken flights quite a few times, especially when it was to the Northern parts of India or the handful of international trips I have done. In most airports, except one or two, the security check counter for women would be at the far end and just 1-2 counters. We would all rush, wait near the conveyor that swoops our hand bags away, making sure our bags don't go way ahead before we go stand in line for the security check. 

Before the actual flying..
During the last few flights I took, I have done more ground staff work than any of the ground staff at the airport.. I have told people to go put their phones, water bottles, shawls, wallets, handbags before coming to the queue.. In most places, there are no boards telling you to dump everything but the boarding pass when going through security check.  So, these lost souls will hold on to their wallets, purses, handbags, mobile phones,water bottles etc and then get sent back by the lady/guy at the booth, and go through the circle again.. clueless!! 

I wish there were sign boards telling people to dump it all.. with images of the things in case they cant read english/hindi/tamil/whatever other language is the local one...

I also wish the folks at the security check were more approachable & not so stiff [they are in most places, I get that their job is mundane and they deal with millions of people etc.. but still] ...

I wish people who are travelling ask others [either in their family/friends circle or the guards at the airport], gain some knowledge before they land up causing delays for others...

I wish most airports add extra check in counters for women, considering the number of women travellers is quite high these days..

I am not a pro, but I do pay attention and am constantly observing others, plus I don't hesitate to ask questions [no matter how silly or vital] while travelling.. It has always helped and the staff has smiled as I thank them and walk away!! This has made me confident while travelling and helped me help others... 

So, when headed for security check, 
1. Put your hand bags, no matter how big or small in the conveyor belt.
2. Remove laptop and place it in a separate tray 
3. Place your shawl/jacket in another tray
4. Do not crowd the area and wait for your bags to move ahead before heading for the queue...
5. When going into the security check area all you need is your Boarding pass.. 
6. You will get priority if you have a baby/toddler with you [ so move ahead]
7. Women & men have separate counters.. Pay attention and follow the herd... ;-) 
8. Within India, you can carry water bottles in hand baggage... 
9. Put your wallet, phone, passport/other ID cards inside your handbag when going for security check
10.  Wait for your bags to come out of the security conveyor and don't get antsy waiting for it... 

Boarding and Flying

These days most airports are "silent airports" which means no railway station like announcements.. So, do check the screens displaying departure details, note the Gate numbers.. Sometimes there are changes in Gate numbers which are shown on these screens.. 

Airlines also send SMS about flight delays and Gate changes, so check your phone.... 

When boarding, listen to the staff.. They usually board zone wise or certain rows, before moving to the next.. Give preference to people with kids, elderly and handicapped/physically challenged... Flight ain't gonna zip away without you, unless you are lost/busy in the duty free store/bar!! 

Once you have boarded the flight, just find your seat, make sure to make way for others.. Yes, I get that you have 35 small bags that need to be stored away, but it can wait a minute.... Sigh~ 

And if you have middle seat, but the passenger occupying the window seat hasnt come in yet [could be me], do not buckle up and get comfortable.. We are gonna need you to get up so we can squeeze in.. literally.. 

Also, do not do the "Do you mind sitting in the aisle seat, we are two of us but have this and that seat, we want to travel together.... ".. err, no, I refuse, cos I have fought for the window seat and just cos am single does not mean you bum me around... scoot over.. 

The arm rest is to be shared.. do not hog it and show face when our hand leans on it... 

Kindly do not lean over me to click a picture through the window.. If you ask nicely, I will do it for you... 

For those who use the restroom in the flight, and that is exactly when the staff are serving snacks.. Well, how about waiting wee bit so they can move so you go back to your seat? Most of them will prance about like their seat will disappear if they do not rush and grab it...

When the flight lands, wait a few minutes before turning on your phones.. jeez, you would think they would die if they don't see the whatsapp messages or call their whoevers.. 

When the flight has halted and you have reached your destination, wait up!! The doors shall open soon and you can fly out to the airport to relieve your bladder and wait for your bags...Shabba, how all the folks line up like the flight will take off to the next destination leaving them stranded.. this is not bus or train where you miss a stop ya.... 

Oh and when standing up, if your co passenger is still siting, make sure to keep your hands down, or folded, do not raise your arms, showing off your armpit and stinky BO is no fun for them... :/ 

Make sure to hold on to you bags and not cause harm to the person walking behind you.. Don't slam em with your backpack .. it is painful~ 

Psst.. Do not lean over and grab a sealed bottle of water from a seat ahead when walking out of the plane... You are holding up the line... ;o) 

Alright, off you go... Have fun travelling~!! 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

To travel or not...

If you were to fill a room with people, a random group of people and ask them the question "Do you enjoy travelling or not?", am sure you would get mixed responses.. Well, that is humans for you.. Each one has different thoughts, interests and methods of dealing with their life... 

When I asked a bunch of people this question, here is what some of them shared

"I love travelling, exploring new places, just visiting the popular sights in that place and coming back with stories.."

"I enjoy getting away, sick and tired of city life"

"I travel on work, and when am away, it is mostly airport hotel office and back. I pretty much live out of my suitcase"

"It is the only opportunity I get being physical and doing stuff, other than staring at the computer. So I plan a weekend trek and test my fitness levels"

"I enjoy running, and so I take my car, drive out to the nearest beach or mountain and run for a few hours... It gives me such a high"

"I dont really enjoy travelling. The thought of packing - my stuff, the kids, etc, is tiring... So holidays arent really holidays for me.."

"My holidays have all been planned by the husband and activities lined up are what he enjoys.. So, I just go along, pretend to enjoy.. Given a choice, I would just go to a quiet place, and unwind"

"My kind of holiday is staying at a resort, lazy lavish breakfast, swim in the pool and chill" 

"I love the hills and would ideally getaway and just cut off from the world"

"I don't travel, my idea of fun is to go to the mall, do some shopping or a movie"

"Travel - Goa, Pondy, Bangkok... these are the places I love... go, grab a few beers, some beach fun and find a hot chick.... *wink wink"

Well, what is your answer to the question? 

As for me, I love to travel - it is all about discovering new places, meeting people, learning about cultures, testing my limits with activities and spending time with myself above it all..  

I don't have a bucket list, but just hope to visit all the states in our country and few outside.. So far all the trips I have been on have been amazing, fun, adventurous and challenging...  

Most of my trips have been solo, and I honestly have no qualms about travelling on my own.. If you were to travel with a friend/partner/family/someone else, it becomes dicey..  You need to have similar tastes, mind set or one person hold the reigns and other tags along.. That said, I have done a few group trips, 2/3 times they were good, and I came back alive... :D 

The most recent one was with women I did not know- connected with one through a Facebook travel group, and the ball rolled on from there.. Met the others at Delhi, and we survived each others' company, had a good time and everyone went back with good happy memories.. 

Infact, one incident I remember from years ago was when my parents were desperately trying to get me married off.. There was this guy who came home with his parents, aunt- uncle and after a while,we were sent off to get to know each other..  After a few mins I realised this guy has lived his entire life in 5km radius in Hyderabad [ pre partition era], and hadnt gone out of that zone at all.. he was puzzled with what I did, he did not understand why I liked going out.. At the end of the day, things did not work out [doh] and it dawned on me there was a whole world of people who were content not stepping out of their comfort zone... 

Another incident was not so long ago, it was with a guy who was also from Hyd, had travelled once to Mumbai on work [ airport, office and back] and wanted to do a weekend away.. He had zeroed in on Hampi. When I asked why, all he had to say was "Friends have been there and said it is a nice place".. I quizzed him on his interests, if he was into history, heritage, and he had no idea about it, but was keen on going there.. We reached Hampi, did an hour around Vittala temple, and he was like "is this what the rest of the town is gonna be like? How boring...! He did grunt and moan when I said lets go to Virupaksha temple, but the minute we reached there, he halted in his steps and said "you go ahead, Its a temple, am not coming inside" Am like "Wtf dude...I have been to Hampi before, but then went ahead spent time wandering around...." The trip was cut shot and i literally couldnt wait to get on the bus and bid his horrible company good bye... Sigh! 

Well, I get that many dont like to travel or dont get why others do... it is perfectly fine if you don't enjoy travelling or haven't travelled much, just don't diss others who do things differently...  Do not tell others "whats the point, or why are you wasting money...." What people do with their time/money is their personal choice... 

Why do you travel or what do you do for fun?

Monday, October 15, 2018

The birthday getaway tradition...

A few years ago, I was on a road trip with a cousin of mine and it so happened that on my Birthday we were in Chidambaram. I got to visit the  Natarajar Temple and it was the 1st time I heard/saw the Chidambara Ragasiyam. Was quite an experience, especially cos we were taken around by a priest an aunt knew of. 

He infact gave us special permission to click some photographs of the outer area and pillars as well. It also happened that most friends had moved out of Chennai, and I was alone on the birthday, and sometimes even just cooped up at home, not doing anything interesting. It kinda got to me, and thus began the tradition of my Birthday getaways. Year on year, I make sure to be away from Chennai on the birthday, anywhere! 

Over the years, I have been on a couple of holidays around the birthday.. Once I was off to explore the towns of Tanjavur and Kumbakonam... That apart, I have done day trips to Pondicherry on the birthday [mainly cos I would not have had more than 2 days to spare]... Last year was quite amazing, since we were getting back to Delhi from Leh/Ladakh on the birthday and then I spent the day with a special friend who surprised me with a cake and wine. Each trip has been fabulous and filled with memories... 

And then there was the one birthday which had me puzzled only to turn out to become the best among them all.. August mid arrived and I knew I wanted to get away, but was confused. I spent a few weeks trying to zero in on the place, having discussions with friends until I finally cleared my head and made a decision. That was that, once the destination was finalised, I kinda knew it was going to be the one time I was ready to indulge, after all it was my special day! I spent 3 days near Kanyakumari [also close to Kerala border].. There was a property a friend had shared images of [must have been sometime last year] but it came into my mind, and that is where I was headed... secluded, situated around a lake, the property boasted of cottages that had the lake view, and the highlight was no cell service[ atleast no Airtel] but did have good wifi service.. I borrowed BSNL sim from a friend [just incase]... More on the property in a separate post... :-) 

I remember starting a discussion on the one travel group am part off on Facebook and so many responded saying they get away with a friend /spouse for their birthday/anniversary or have the custom of once a year trip somewhere special... 

What do you do for your Birthday/Anniversary? Any such tradition?