Hey, am just a random friendly stranger. Adrenaline junkie and will go to lengths for culinary delights. Bt I find my happiness in picking up my backpack, putting on those headphones and heading outta d door! :D Oh, did I mention I can also breathe?
  • Day3

    IIT Kanpur Weekend

    March 30, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 36 °C

    "Gorakhpur maybe a BJP stronghold, but is Uttar Pradesh?" the lady beside me explained.
    "Rae Bareli and Amethi aside, the rest of UP is not at all inclined towards the Congress", I put in my two cents.
    The gentleman beside me eagerly jumped in, "NOOO! Priyanka Vadra rocks! We love Raju Gandhi and his family." We all looked at him and sighed, none bothering to point out that our erstwhile PM carried the name of Rajiv not Raju.

    Uttar Pradesh in the summer? Not a good idea.
    Uttar Pradesh during national elections? Great idea! We get to experience first hand how the largest constituency of India feels about the nation. So I was more than okay to visit IIT Kanpur for some work, right before the elections. Kanpur opened it's own airport 5 months back from today. Though only SpiceJet operates on it and there being only a single building, I'm grateful it's better than nothing.
    When I finally landed in Kanpur after a 7 hour journey from Hyderabad (with stops in Delhi), I had taken part in oh so many discussions centred around the incumbent government and its opposition.
    Amidst all the work, I only had the time to visit the Kanpur airport, RZ mall, IIT Kanpur and the Kanpur railway station. IIT Kanpur being a small town in its own right. From amphitheatres to observatories to horse racing fields, the highlight of the place is it's own airfield where the aerospace club was in charge. I was lucky to be shown around the place by a design student Ashwin who took me to the nooks and corners of the place. No mean feat, considering that walking from one corner to the other takes over an hour. Everyone has his/her own cycle there. From hall night parities to stories of the engineering kids to attending lectures at the DME building, it's not an experience that I'll forget any time soon.. Kanpur as a town? Maybe not so much. But I can't wait to come back to IIT Kanpur again.
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  • Day1085

    A thousand steps! That's all?

    July 15, 2018 in India

    "881.. 882.. 883...
    Devika, if I don't make it down, tell my friends I love them!"

    My legs had started shivering at this point and I was seriously contemplating rolling into a ball and rolling down the hills. Hey! Blame Tom and Jerry for teaching me that!
    Our throats parched, we sat down on the 884th step awaiting the inevitable.

    You might think I'm exaggerating, probably I am, but this all started when we made a plan yesterday to visit the Chamundi temple. Built atop the Chamundi Hill, the temple commemorates the victory of Lady Chamundeshwari over the demon Mahishasura, after whom the the city of Mysuru is named. It is one of the, if not the most famous places in Mysore and expectedly people come in droves to seek blessings and offer gratitude.

    So when my friend Devika said, "Hey Anish, did you know that there are a thousand steps built by the side of the hill, which people climb up and down for good luck?" I was eager to explore it for good videography shots. Especially since 500 steps down, we could book a cab online and ride the rest of the way down.
    The first couple of hundred steps flew by, shooting pictures and videos.
    300 steps.
    The Nandi temple is a beautiful piece of architecture.
    500 steps.
    What we had not taken into count, was the fact that there are no internet towers atop a hill.
    In hindsight, a grave mistake. So we were in for a rude shock when we stood there with our smart and advanced phones useless without a connection. Now I know how aliens feel when they come to earth!
    I turned to Devika, "The way I see it, we have two options. 500 steps up or 500 steps down. And I remember my Physical Ed teacher telling me that climbing down is easier. So down we go!."
    Let me tell you guys, I think what my Physical education teacher had assumed was that all steps are of the same height. And in real life, on man-made steps cut into a hill, it is not so.
    The steps got progressively steeper and our breathing got more laboured.
    "700 steps down. We have fallen quite low." I sighed.
    Devika cocked her eyebrow, "Really? A staircase joke?"

    And it finally brought us to the 885th step. Where we sat, spent and exhausted. And just as I could see no light to the end of the tunnel, as my eyes started drooping, I heard Devika say what every guy wants to hear, "Anish, I managed to book an Uber!"
    And thus ended our adventure of StairMaster. Needless to say, we almost kissed the driver and took the Uber to tour the rest of the city spots. It was a day well walked, and as I had kadhai chicken that night at the food court, I admitted, maybe it's worth a second try! Not anytime soon though!
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  • Day1084

    Gee! These places look familiar!

    July 14, 2018 in India

    Backpack? Check.
    Extra undies? Check.
    Speakers? Check.
    Tickets? Oops! Almost missed those!

    Going back to one of my fav places for a trip, after almost 3 years, made me a little fidgety and forgetful. And I could be excused for that! The royal city of Mysuru holds a special place in my heart.
    As my bus wound it's way from the City Bus Stand, through the twisty roads of Gokulam, I felt a sense of belonging. This city had sheltered me for 6 months and I was grateful for it.

    Upon reaching Infosys, it was a different story altogether. The respect I got, as a senior employee, made me pause and pinch myself.
    To test if further, I asked a young trainee to get me a glass of water.
    I almost choked when he came back and said, "I didn't know if you wanted hot or cold, so I brought both glasses."

    Boasting of a world class campus, (look at my complete trip for more pictures) Infosys Mysore is the epitome of cleanliness and eco-friendliness! I checked in and was welcomed to a small personal guesthouse, complete with all the amenities I could think of. After dumping my backpack on the bed (the backpack jumps right back at you, the mattresses are that springy!), I zipped off for a bicycle ride (no fuel vehicles are allowed inside). After a couple of miles, I was drenched in sweat but grinning and happy. (Note to self: Your gym membership back home, is not meant to gather dust. Use it, you're fat!)

    Time flies by, doesn't it? There's something about watching the food court table where you and your friends used to sit everyday, the wayside halt where you used to sing and dance, and realising there is now a new younger group of people who do the same. The place hasn't changed, just the people have.
    After a quick meal, I met up with Devika, and after an hour of chatting, came up with a plan to visit the Chamundi temple the next day! An innocent plan which would have repercussions I have nightmares about.. The fateful plan where I would re-evaluate my life and only hope to come out of my ordeal alive! To be continued... :P
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  • Day3


    December 24, 2017 in India ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Anubhab turned to us, "Don't worry my boys, sleep early, I will wake you up at 3"

    Were the last words I heard before the alarm woke me up at 3:30am and I sat up to see Anubhab splayed out and snoring and Ankur snoring on the floor mattress. After kicking both up and readying we were off at 4am, riding on the chilly Mumbai Pune highway on our rented scooties.

    Frozen to the bone, we stopped at every bonfire at the side of the highway. And there were a lot of them. Quite a lot of travelers had ventured out at night, for the love of travelling. I remember gawking at the number of Harleys and Ducatis riding alongside us.

    First on the stop was Khandala, which we reached at sunrise. And let me tell you, there are few joys comparable to sipping a hot cuppa coffee atop a mountain, basking in the glow of a bonfire.
    The sun was completely up when we reached our second destination of Lonavala, Lion's Viewpoint, where Anubhab helped me with my first vlogging experience. It was a beautiful chasm spread out before me with clouds swirling in it. Breathtakingly beautiful.
    The sun has reached it's mid-journey as we wove our way downhill from Lonavala peak to Pawna Lake. The amazing roads and clear skies exalted our spirits. My photography suffered because of my over-enthusiasm for videography. And it is truly wonderful to record your memories on video. What can I say? I love a vlogging diary as much as blogging one.
    It's not possible to describe these places in just a few lines or pictures. I hope to do more visiting in the upcoming days. Pune is definitely one of the best places in India for a trip. Especially a motor-biking trip.
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  • Day1

    Soul searching enroute Solapur?

    December 22, 2017 in India ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    Being the low budget but frolicking travellers that we always are, a decision to break at Solapur, enroute to Pune wasn't a surprising decision.
    What was surprising however, was the way we spent the hours there! From booking a bookie to book a bus, to hopping into the luggage space of autos to reach our destination. And let me tell you, painful experiences both! If you're a gentleman, book a cab and drive around. If you're one of us, walk the streets asking for the buses to Pune! Or as the Marathis say, "Bus thamba kutthe aahe?"
    But all was well when the day ended with the famous Solapuri Chicken and the local delicacy, Missel Pav! Lip smacking delicious!
    Oh did I also mention that today was my first try at vlogging and boy, do I suck at it!
    And thus started our first foray into the land of the Marathis! Chhan ahe!
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  • Sep20

    STP is not Sewage Treatment Plant

    September 20, 2017 in India ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    A visit to the city office for work doesn't sound like fun, does it? It is when you take the Nehru Outer Ring Road to visit the STP- Software something planning. Infosys Hyderabad, built opposite the ISB campus(another gem of a campus), is a lush green delight for the eyes. And for the environment too. From rainwater harvesting to solar panels, from ponds for fishes to hotspots for rare trees, it is an environmentalist's utopia!
    Take a look for yourself at some of the structures.
    If all profit seeking corporate companies gave a little back to the environment, maybe the summers in Hyderabad wouldn't be as scorching!
    Kudos to MNCs like these!
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  • Mar12

    Festival of Colours '17

    March 12, 2017 in India ⋅ 🌙 27 °C

    What is it about the way Indians celebrate Holi and Diwali that entices the entire world! And while Diwali is amazing in it's own right, Holi is where the fun and colours of life are associated.
    There is something in the way kids dump colours on each other and on unsuspecting elders that has caught the fancy of a nation. And why just colours? Look a little wider, and as soon as the colours are done, people turn to mud, earth and anything, just for an excuse to have fun!
    And of course the snobs. Those who love playing but has to give an earful to others about the dangers of synthetic colours. "No No, I toh don't play Holi only! My nah skin is allergic to colours. I use only real Ayurvedic colours!" And so saying, proceed to take out the same colours from an expensive container and smear them. And without saying, the Touch-me-nots. Those who put up a shrill fight as soon as someone comes near them with colour. "Oh my God! My face! My beauty." And the guys, who play with everything, but colour! Don't even guess what they do play with!

    Nevertheless, the culture and traditions associated with Holi has continued if not thriven which is why people still burn a bonfire for Holika Dahon on Holi Eve.
    Cheers to it continuing through lifetimes more. HOLI HAI!
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  • Feb19

    Cherish your parents!

    February 19, 2017 in India ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    A few things touch your life like nothing ever has and never will. Cherish Foundation brought back a meaning to my life and a purpose. Recuperating from an accident, these little kids and their smiles made me stand up again. Made me realise how much lucky I was! How very lucky I have been my entire life. :)Read more

  • Jan21

    My country it's of thee!

    January 21, 2017 in India ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Do you know that thrill when you breathe in the clear country-side air, as you woosh by open fields and paddies, only to cough and choke on the sudden smell of dung and rot?
    Yeah, if you do, you know what I am talking about. So when I visited my country side relatives, after almost 10 years, it was a fond remembrance of how much I had loved this place.
    Clear skies and a slight chill greeted us during our morning ride. My father, a doctor, who still practices there had offered to bring us along. By the time we reached the place, I was dismayed to find that it was little like how I remembered it. The by-product of urbanization of cities has polluted the villages.
    Mere photographs cannot capture the thrill of looking over a village scene. The taste of country side food and of course the happiness at seeing people shocked at how much grown up I have become.
    I learnt two very important things that day. Looking at the people's profound, grateful reaction to my father's treatment, I realized that being attached to a person's roots is very important. And IT work was not the best line of work for me.
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  • Dec27

    Victoria's Secret!

    December 27, 2016 in India ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Victoria Memorial Grounds. Where love is in the air, parks, benches and lakes. The year round dating grounds for Calcutta's young lovers, turn into one big, merry, festive parkland during the cool winters. From kids chirping on trees to birds frolicking on the grounds, people and nature are indistinguishable on the green lawns. Picnics to games to lovers holding hands, the angel atop the memorial has been it all through the 80 odd years. When Lady Victoria made her palace, little did she know the respite she would bring to young lovers.Read more

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