Monday, February 27, 2012

Ajnabee, tum kuch jaane pehchane se lagte ho ......

Travel always excites me. I  love meeting people & exploring new places.Of course the bonus is shopping for fabrics,handicrafts & other items to take back home as a reminder of the travel.Such things are like trophies to show off that I had indeed travelled to exotic places.Nowadays ,such trophies are not needed as photographs can be uploaded on to the net & exhibited to the world !

I recall, that my earliest travel was to my paternal Aunt's place at Ukai,Gujarat.I loved the big bunglow & swinging on the jhoola there.I would adorn my hair with flowers like mogras & chamelis.I overdid that & had to give it up as my head would ache .Later ,my aunt shifted base to Vadodara ,Gujarat & we travelled there, during holidays.I loved the toy train in the Kamati bagh & the bhajiyas on the roadside.As I grew up ,I had fallen in love with the textile market there.I would buy reams of cotton cloth for being stiched into salwar kameez & churidaars.I would also visit the Khadi Bhandars & buy numerous items like pillow covers,kurtas,etal.My love for Vadodara is nostalgic &  lingers..

In school,we attended picnics to Agra & Khurja ,a small town in Uttar Pradesh which has a ceramic factory.In Agra ,I saw the white Taj Mahal against the over cast dark clouds & that image stays etched in my memory.From Khurja ,I got a playset consisting of a teacup sets & also a flower vase.Those days are really memorable, as we travelled with our school friends & had lots of fun.We had no worries & all of us were in an age, full of innocence !

In College ,we went on an educational trip to Pune.There were comparisons done about the financial status.The innocence of childhood had given way.In spite of this ,we did bond on the journey, like never before.

After marriage ,we went to visit Ooty .It was off season & we enjoyed visiting the rose garden & other sights.Later,I visited Ahmedabad ,when my hubby was on an official trip there.I travelled alone, looking at the sights of the city.My hubby was working & could not accompany me.I was glad, in a way, as he would not breathe down my neck, when I went shopping !

After my kid was born,we rarely travelled, as travelling with a baby, meant lot of  pre conditions had to be satisfied.After she grew up ,we have resumed our travels.We visited Goa,Himachal Pradesh ,Malyaisa & Singapore to name a few places.I am of the opinion, that we must travel as much as we can, whenever my kid has holidays.This is so, as kids grow up so fast & before we know it,they are in college.Then ,they would dislike travelling with us.We would lose their company.Nowadays ,kids dislike travelling with parents even in their teens.I feel ,we must enjoy our trips in the company of our kid.We bond like friends & the joy of travelling, makes it, so memorable ! Travelling is so educative - my kid recalls whatever she has read in her books & is amazed that she is seeing, whatever, she had  read in her text books & elsewhere.

We meet many people on our travels.We exchange numbers & addresses & then forget all about them, the moment, we are home.One family, has remained in my memory, though we never contacted after the trip.

This was on our trip to Himachal Pradesh.It was a package tour .There were many families like ours- husband,wife & kids.We got along well.I bonded with one housewife, who had come with her hubby & a daughter, who was in kindergarten.They had stayed in USA for quite some time & returned to Pune,India .She had been working before marriage & had left it when she had to accompany her hubby to USA.Her daughter was born, whilst, they were abroad.She yearned to work now, that she was back, in India.She could easily get domestic help to take care of her kid.Still ,she could not garner courage to step out & work.I empathised with her, as I also am a home maker, having left my job to take care of my kid.In both our cases,there was no compulsion to work & yet, we felt left out .We felt that we had become useless -staying at home.Her kid had still to get acclimatised to the weather in India as she was falling sick all too often.During the travel also ,she would throw up on daily basis.I felt, as if my story was being played as I could sense her helplessness in enjoying the travel , as her kid was falling sick.My kid had got so afraid of  the throwing up, that she would constantly sleep with her head on my lap, while we toured.This  irritated me ,just as that kid being unwell, bothered her mom.I woul carry tissues with me & offer her when she had run out of supplies.I could connect with her as she had been an NRI for some time .My brother being an NRI ,I could comprehend her feelings very well.We sometimes sat together on the numerous bus tours & participated as a team, in Antakshari & other games.When it was finally time to bid good bye,we all exchanged addresses & phone numbers.Surprsingly ,she did not have an email .I took her hubby's email id & promised to keep in touch.

I did forward some mails to her .I received no replies -not even an acknowledgement.I thought of calling her up but gave up that urge.I still don't know why.I hope & trust, that she is on a job now, as her kid must be quite grown up , as all this, was about four years back.She was an Human Relations person & many flexi work options are available .Maybe ,they have again left for shores abroad.I will never know.I still feel ,we can chat for hours. She had told me so many interesting things about her HR Stint.

My relatives stay in Pune & maybe if I am lucky ,I may meet her, by chance there, when I go visit Pune. That's a distinct possibilty .Or maybe, I should take a trip abroad with Expedia as she may be abroad now ! Expedia, because, they will plan out everything & I have to just pack my bags & enjoy the  ride ! I can book my trip from the comfort of my home ,online @ & relax.Expedia will plan all details - stay ,food,travel etc.This is a bliss, which takes out the travel stress ! So that ,I can, discover friends in the midst of strangers in different places !
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