Showing posts with label Travel tales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel tales. Show all posts

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ek Garam Chai ki Pyaali

I'm not a Sallu fan, so this post is NOT about him; you may gladly move on to the next blog

This is post a cutting review of the Book Hot Tea Across India by Rishad Saam Mehta and hence the title. Published by Tranquebar Books is priced at INR 195. 
The mild yellow book cover is designed with some snippets of the various chapters of the author's journeys inside and the tea rings for the obvious hero of the book.

(Picture courtesy :

If you loved the countless road journey kind inspired movies or TV shows- ZNMD, Euro Trip, Road Trip, etc. or even enjoy Highway on my Plate- you get my drift, you're bound to love this book. Rishad gives a monologue of his various journeys alone or with his friends across the length and breadth of the country revolving around having a hot brew every where he goes. Each journey is enveloped well with a chai ki pyaali be it the cold of the north, the humid of south, the cutting of the west or yak like tea of the east.

Perfect for those who enjoy the spontaneous, drop-of-a-hat traveling. The author reprimands people who are all gung ho about traveling on a whim and do a U-turn; all in all the momentary bravado:

I've been in umpteen situations where I've heard people loudly declare that they're fed up of their routine and mundane existence and all I have to do is to make the call and they'd be ready for a road trip at the drop of a hat. 'What's the point of existing without excitement? I'm ready to kick routine, hit the rod and live on the wild side', are some of the things I've heard and my answer is always the condescending smile. Because when I do actually make the call, I rarely find the spontaneity that seemed to overflow at the party with the drink in hand. There is usually a 'horrible, demanding boss' not granting leave or a 'sulking spouse' throwing a tantrum'

Rishad aptly describes his journeys with graphic descriptions at certain turns, keeping the reader's sensibilities and tongue-in-cheek humor that colourfully paints his incidents and encounters.
Of all the experiences named aptly as chapters my favorites are 'The Highway Man and a Buffalo Instead of a Can', 'Jolly Jhunjhunwala and the Great Bike Chase' and 'And then there's the food of course' and ‘May we Please Kindly burn your car?’.

Fascinating book to say the least, it is must read for those who are inspired to travel sometime ever in their life for the love of the spontaneity; own a bullet and would kick start it to life just to hear that 350cc engine sing or even enjoy that odd cup of tea on a lone lamp lit street in the foggiest weather one could possibly imagine.
This one's a keeper!

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

India: not so FAQ

With the schools and colleges closed and most paranoid Mumbaikars confined to their influenzaless homes- unless they brave outdoors only with a green phantom mask-I was bored and browsing through my e-mails when I came across this hilarious one I received ages ago. I ROFLed all over again! :D

The answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have an excellent sense of humour.

Q: Does it ever get windy in India? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Delhi to Goa- can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand kms, take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in India? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in India? Can you send me a list of them in Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta and Bangalore? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in India? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. In-di-a is that big triangle in the middle of the Pacific & Indian Ocean which does not.. oh forget it. ...... Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Goa. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in India? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into India? ( UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Indiana Pacers matches schedule? (France)
A: Indiana is a state in the Unites States of...oh forget it. Sure, the Indiana Pacers matches are played every Tuesday night in Goa, straight after the hippo races.

Q: Can I wear high heels in India? ( UK )
A: You're a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Bangalore, and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in India who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Indian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: Do you have perfume in India? ( France)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in India? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in India? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

Q: Can I see Taj Mahal anytime? (Italy)
A: As long as you are not blind, you can see it anytime.

Q: Do you have Toilet paper? (USA)
A: No, we use sand paper. (we have different grades)

Happy Independence Weekend y'all!

(PS: Trying really REALLY hard to get outta "writer's block")
(PPS: Thanks to Rach for the e-mail :) )

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Karnataka Trip 2009

As my cousin noted on FB, this year, Ive been India-trotting :P alot. In a span of 3 months I've been to 6 different places, one of them twice.

Cool. I enjoy traveling.
I feel there is more excitement in the journey than in the destination.
Life is all about that. (ahhh, me getting all philosophical!) :P

So here are some of the photographs from the tour to my native state- Karnataka, India.

Murudeshwar beach overlooking the temple.

The humongous idol of Lord Shiva.

The Majestic Murudeshwar Temple.

Beautiful stretch of coconut trees at Shirali.

Stretch of farm lands at Shirali, Karnataka.

Tidal waves at Murudeshwar beach.

Age lines of a Mango Tree at Mulki.

Green and luscious fern leaf at Udupi.

Violet flowers at Udupi garden.

Hibiscus or Rosa sinensis, also known as Shoe flower at garden in Udupi.

Flying seed in my palm.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekend in Pune

Over my short over-the-weekend trip to Pune I spotted some pretty flowers and had a few clicks. My (amateurish) hand at photography. Do check them out. Edit after Prashant suggested to classify the flowers.

The picturesque Sunset

Lone Pink flower set aglow

Pink Oleander (Nerium oleander) flower from the oleander family.

The red flower perhaps the wild Ruby Cinquefoil from the rose family.
The tiny Yellow flowers are from the dog flower family and are called Asiatic Witchweed

White flowers (Still not sure of the name)

Edit 1:
Nomenclature courtesy: Flowers of India

PS: Came across a lot of interesting names of flowers; for instance:
Kiss Me Quick
Shaving Brush tree (incidentally the flower does look like a shaving brush!)
Thickhead (not kidding)
Lipstick Tree
Hooker's Woodrose
Farewell to Spring
Autograph Tree
Bladder Dock
Cup Saucer Plant
Devil's Backbone
Foolproof Plant
Badminton Ball Tree
Devil Tree
Bridal Veil ..... and a flower on my name!!!

PPS: Hydrangeas are absolutely breathtaking!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not the BEST of bus rides

I hate (read:H-A-T-E) traveling by bus. Period. Thank God for trains! Now I usually don't rant and whine, (S and Vintage would be synonymously shaking their heads in disapproval) but this post would say otherwise. I think reading Zee has kinda rubbed off on me :P :D And oh she's a interesting blogger I tell ya.
It was one of those days again where things didn't go as well as planned. Morning I get up as early as 8 and set out to battle against the outdoors when out of my abode's comfort. :P
Anyway as any other Mumbaikar I was to catch a bus to reach the train station within a half an hour's time. The bus came surprisingly on time and was pretty speedy. Or so I thought. The bus got moderately crowded. I scrambled inside the bus and hovered like a hawk to spot an empty seat. For two good reasons:
One: I was carrying my oh-so-heavy-it-would-break-my-limb laptop in one arm and my shoulder bag in the other. (You see, I realized my ONLY mistake after purchasing my laptop for a bargain price was NOT buying a backpack carry case for it instead of the free-of-cost-over-the-shoulder carry case)
Two: I like to sit! :P

To my dismay the reserved ladies' seats were occupied. And so after a while or so of standing and balancing my luggage like a clown on a tri-cycle I manage somehow to acquire a seat. And one with a window view! :D I was contended on that note. And so the passenger man excused himself to let me be seated, with some difficulty. These BEST buses usually have a sequence of two-seaters parallel to each other in every bus.
And I sat, and to my misery or just goddarn luck I realized that I was sitting on the seat which is over the wheel of the bus. So I am sitting in this crouched (read: very uncomfortable) position which on seeing my yoga instructor would've been so proud of me. And to add insult to injury I had my not-so-light laptop and carry bag placed precariously over my legs. And so went five minutes. I thought to myself, 'OK, this ain't that bad, I just have to sit this^ way for another 10 minutes. I'm cool'. And, being proud of myself on being so optimistic and adjusting I sat. 10 minutes. And I sat some more. 15 minutes. 25 minutes.
Right, now my male co-passenger was really uncourteous, not even throwing a look at my misery. He could've at least shifted, he had no luggage whatsoever. So even as I sighed and huffed and puffed, all he was bothered is to watch the bloody adverts on the mini-telly in the bus. and those adverts were so *beep*. The same irritating advert on Chyavanprash being played back to back. 30 minutes down and I was trying to feel my numb butt, adjusting my posture every other minute.
31 minutes down, my ray of hope arrives-the uncourteous idiot get up and leaves, but the bus is so crowded that no sooner did i try to shift, did another guy sit. Aaaaarrrrrgggghhhhhhh! I yelled in my head; grinding my teeth, I sunk further as it was now a whole 45 minutes all thanks to the unending traffic and Metro Construction work. And then finally came a bus-stop where most people get off (bless them) and I could finally feel my legs again! 50 minutes of patience and composure. And I knew I had to blog about it ;)

BTW Mumbai locals ROCKKK!!! Mostly on time :D

^Rotate the image to the left and you'll get to know what EXACTLY I mean.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...