Friday, 29 January 2016

Farewell Thoughts. (Karnataka Journals, Part 4)

          Every trip teaches you something. And this trip taught me a lot. Doing the dreading thing is the first step out of your comfort zone and I'm so happy that I did that. I had so many concerns about how this trip was going to be. These are a few lessons which I learned from this trip:

1. Actual industrial visits.
          We visited two industries. It was nothing to do with our course but I guess that's how it is. I tried to get an interest nevertheless. At HAL, I saw some aircraft models. At DMS Technologies, I learned some engineering stuff about production of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) It was some good knowledge addition.

2. Second class isn't as horrible as I thought it would be.
          I have always travelled in AC trains. So when I first understood it was going to be non-AC 2nd class, I decided on not going. But, it wasn't that much of a horrible experience. Because all my friends were together, we managed it well. Rather, they managed it well and I just sat there doing nothing. (I had my occasional rants, of course, but I made it through the tedious 22 hour train journey, twice!) If you ever find yourself at such an impasse, just go with it. Cheaper flight tickets or moderate hotels. You'll always find that not everything is as hopeless as it exists in your imagination. 

3. I wasn't homesick.
          I remember the last time which was the first time I travelled without my family and got horribly homesick. I had expected the same this time. But, I don't know how, I didn't miss home at all. I kept messaging them and talking on the home but it wasn't like I won't survive a week without them. I managed pretty well, I think. The weird thing is I missed my best friends, Priyanka and Suruchi more than anyone else!

4. Travelling with strangers is better than travelling with friends.
          No offence to any of my friends here. You all are amazing people and I loved spending time with you. I'd have loved travelling alone especially when we were in the bus. Everyone wants loud music to which they can dance and you can't even hear your own thoughts at such times. So that just sucked. The travelling part I'd have preferred doing alone because there's no one to please, no judgements and no need to try to fit in.

5. Living with friends.
          Travelling with them was not that great. But living with them was fun. We were 12 people sharing three rooms between us. You really get to know someone when you live with them. So yeah, it was fun. I loved our Coorg resort the best. We had a big balcony where we spent a lot of time.
I made some new friends too. I understood a bit more about everyone. It was nice to be there.
The guys!
The girls!
Photo Credit : Omkar Vaidya
6. But first, I won't take a selfie.
          Let me just say it. I'm sick of selfies. People take selfies while eating candy floss. People take selfies with elephants. People take selfies while swimming. I think the addiction is too much. I take selfies too but I get bored after some time. There should be some limit to it. You go to see a palace. Then just see the palace. If your hobby is photography, take some great clicks of the palace. Why's there the need to put your half head and the half tomb of the palace in it to make it an imperfect picture? Anyway, I'm no one to say that. Do what makes you happy, whatever. This is one of the three good selfies I took.

7. Being myself.
          I realised that I cannot be myself with everyone. There are a few people whose wavelength matched mine. Some of them understand my thinking before I say it and can play sarcasm with it. That's fun. But some people I don't think I can ever match with. I'm not awfully silent with everyone. I do have a say and if I'm not comfortable with you, I won't say it. So yeah, that isn't ideal but that's how I function. So I'm glad I could find some friends who understand that. It has been a great journey with you all. Kripali, Omkar, Shreyas, Amogh, Omkar, Devashree, Nupur, Ankita, Avanti, Pritam, Shikha; you people are awesome. Thank you for all the memories! :)

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Coorg. (Karnataka Journals, Part 3)

          Coorg was the most awesome place. It was the highlight of the trip. We had two entire days to enjoy the beauty of this hill station. We covered four spots and they were really the best ones! On day one, we went to Dubare Elephant Camp, Abbi falls and Raja's seat. On day two, we visited the Bylakuppe temple.

          Dubare Elephant Camp was really fun. We had to go to the exact site by crossing a small lake. We crossed it in hardly 5 minutes by a small boat. There were multiple things to do from there. First of all, we saw the elephants. Some animals are just unique. You look in their eyes and you find a small world in there. I love getting lost in those eyes. They're filled with innocence. Some people were feeding the elephants cucumbers and pineapples. The best part came when baby elephants came into sight. At first, they looked cute and adorable. But they were really naughty. They were enjoying themselves more than humans did. I think the only enjoyment humans had was while taking selfies with the elephants. We moved around the place. We got a great spot for a photoshoot. About 100 photos later, we decided to go on the elephant ride. It was short and fun. You can also wash the elephants there. That would've been really amazing but none of us did that because of the time constraint, I guess. There was river rafting too. But it held no meaning because it was in still water so it looked no more fun than boating. After about 2 hours, we left the place.
Overall, it was a good spot. Elephant riding, elephant washing, river rafting etc. The thing is you can do all of these things anywhere else too. So, I suggest that if you have more interesting spots, check them out first.
Photo Credit : Omkar Vaidya 
Photo Credit : Avanti Patil
           The second spot was Abbi falls. The waterfall was amazing. You see waterfalls even on your Mumbai to Pune drive. But this one was bliss. The entry was through a touch of nature. I had to climb down some steps. It was like a mini trek. I was walking downstairs surrounded by trees everywhere with the sound of water slowly approaching. At that time, it felt really great! When I finally reached, I was so happy. If there weren't any tourists, it'd have felt like discovering a little secret treasure. Abbi falls is sort of confined by trees which enhances its beauty. This is a must-visit spot in Coorg! 

          The third spot was Raja's seat from where we saw a gorgeous sunset. It's a good spot for photography beacasue of the wonderful view. After visiting Brindavan Gardens, this place wasn't so intimidating but we had a lot of fun here. 

          We did one last place the next day. Bylakuppe is a small Tibetan settlement. We visited the Namdroling monastery. My trip started with Mysore palace and ended with this monastery. And both of these places have fascinating architecture. Once I entered, my jaw dropped. There were huge golden statues of Gautam Buddha, Padmasambhava and Amitayus. And they were adorned beautifully. I would have stayed there gazing at them forever. It was just beautiful.

          These were the four places I saw in Coorg. Have you been to Coorg? Which ones did you enjoy the most?
Stay tuned for my last travel post. It's an overview of my entire tour!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Mysore. (Karnataka Journals, Part 2)

          When you're on an industrial visit, there's never enough time. So, one thing I learned after my second industrial visit is to never go on another one. I love travelling and that was the sole purpose I decided to go. But when I was there, I realised that travelling can never be travelling when you're under an official tour. When in Mysore, I visited the Mysore Palace and Brindavan Gardens. These were amazing places with grandeur attached to them. I could spend only three hours at both these places together. So, yeah, that wasn't ideal but I'm glad I had at least that much time.

          Palaces have a mesmerising effect on me. I always think about how kings might have lived there. How those times might have been like. How it might have been to have your own palace which is so huge, you would never want to go outside. And when I am at palaces, I just get lost in all these fantasies. And these aren't like those fairy tale fantasies. These are the things which leave me in wonderment. A good kind of baffle which makes me want to explore the corners of all the palaces in the world.
          So, Mysore Palace is purely fabulous. I have seen palaces before. But, not one was as a mystery to me as this one. We neither researched about it nor did we have a tour guide. So it was all just walking wherever the crowd took us. I was awestruck with its architecture. I loved the intricate work on the pillars and ceilings. It's symbolic to that era and observing that work gives me joy. Be it any place, if the architecture is inspiring, I'll love to spend even an entire day at that place. I walked barefoot on the cold floor. I touched the strong pillars. I gazed at the courtrooms. I stood where a king stood decades earlier. It's all just beautifully royal to witness. I know that millions of people visit this palace every year. But still, that feeling was something special. I love how palaces bring out the artsy side in me.
Photo Credit : Omkar Vaidya
Photo Credit : Avanti Patil
          We spent only one hour at the Mysore Palace. Our next stop was Brindavan Gardens. Talking about the hugeness of things, this garden wins. You can keep walking and walking and you won't get bored. It has 60 acres of area. Adjoining to it, is the Krishnarajasagara dam. It gives the garden a profound look. I loved the effect of moss green grass with that of the white free-falling water. The place was so in sync with itself. It's a place for artists. There's a lot of inspiration for poets, writers and photographers. There was also a light and sound show. This show is very popular at this place. But none of us liked it. It was just a small fountain and lame music. It would've been amazing if it was in the lake or towards the garden. So, it was a disappointment but at least I enjoyed most part of it.
Photo Credit : Avanti Patil
If you ever visit Mysore, don't forget these. They top the places to visit in Mysore! Stay tuned for the next travel post about the places in Coorg!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Karnataka Journals, Part 1

Photo Credit : Avanti Patil
          I remember the night before the trip. I was filled with excitement and anxiety. I was looking forward to it but also dreading it. I wanted to go because I could write travel posts on my blog. I didn't want to go because my heart wasn't completely in it. But, at the end of that week, I'm home with bitter-sweet memories. It wasn't a fantastic trip. I don't think there's anything as an ideal trip because some things always go wrong. But, it wasn't completely hopeless. It started with regrets but ended with happiness.
           Our trip included Bangalore, Mysore and Coorg. There was a lot of travelling; train and bus. I think most of our time went in travelling. Train travelling was fun because there were friends to enjoy with. Bus travelling was a torture for me. Loud music was constantly blaring from the speakers. Everyone enjoyed that but it's not my cup of tea. I love to travel by bus. I like to sit in the window, listening to songs on my mobile, thinking about stuff, reminiscing and just enjoying the views of the place. I did that to a certain extent but couldn't enjoy it to the core.
          So anyway, unlike the last post of my industrial visit to Kerala, this one is going to be different. I'm going to cut all the personal stuff regarding friends and night gossips. I think it's overrated. So, this time, I'll just portray my thoughts about the places I visited. I think that actually makes up a good travel post. Who wants to hear about random people bitching about each other anyway, right?
           Our first stay was at Bangalore. We saw absolutely nothing in the city. We visited Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. We saw a short documentary at the beginning. Then we were given a tour of the place. We saw their achievements throughout the years. Further, we saw models of airplanes, engines, fighter aircraft and so on.

 Our stay was just for one day in Bangalore. The next day we were off to the next destination. Stay tuned for travel posts in Mysore!

Monday, 25 January 2016

Stars. (Monday Moments #35)

          She left her office at 8 pm. She was tired of how she always got screwed by politics. She was tired of not wanting to play games at work. While driving home, she got stuck in traffic which made her an hour late at home. Once she was home, her roommates started discussing renovation of the home with her. One of them wanted to renovate and the other didn't. Their bickering had become a headache. She took her cup of coffee and a sandwich. She was out of the apartment and heading towards the building terrace. She entered the terrace and a cold breeze welcomed her. That was the best welcome she had received that day. She climbed up the water tank and sat. She had her sandwich. She enjoyed the hot coffee on her cold lips. And then she lied down, facing the sky. She looked above at the stars. And the stars looked at her. She was above all the politics, noise and fights. She was beyond the chaos and peace was within her now. She relished this silence after a frustrating day. She found some sanity as she saw the stars twinkling. Looking at the sky soothed her. Some people prefer to watch television while some read. But she was made for stars. As the stars calmed her down, she was now ready to face the world. At that moment, if it weren't for those intriguing stars, she would've still been a piece of chaos instead of a piece of shine.

 (‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.) 

Monday, 18 January 2016

Failure. (Monday Moments #34)

          When there's a winning side, there's also a losing side. People; often look for the winners and their reactions and their winning speech. And so a few look at the person who has lost.
          The group had read vastly, negotiated wisely and learned widely. They were prepared for their debate competition. They thoroughly studied the current topics going on around the country and also on the international level. They also read the possible debates held earlier. The moment came when the judge came in. Theirs was team A and their opponents were team B. The judge revealed the topic which was, 'Ban on animal testing.' After the coin was flipped, Team A got 'Against'. On moral grounds, anyone would have wanted 'For'. that was the first downfall. But they didn't lose hope. Their brain started working and thinking about valid points for the argument. They knew about the odds and had planned on such topics as well. Soon the discussion began. Even when fate was not on their side, they had made some brilliant points and given excellent examples. Time passed and soon the scheduled hour was over. The teams were waiting for the results. Unfortunately, they lost. They were so dejected that it was hard to take it all in. Everyone cheered for the winners, but no one gave as much as a second glance to them. No one asked them how they felt or congratulated them for their effort. The other team praised them now, but they didn't feel it real. It was the worst feeling in the whole world. At that moment, they felt smaller than they had ever felt. At that moment, even though they had lost, they promised themselves to do better. They promised to study harder and not lose hope. In that moment, they were sad but also hopeful. They had lost, but they learnt more.

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.)

Monday, 11 January 2016

Betrayal. (Monday Moments #33)

          She repeated the scene in her head over and over. Every time it was more miserable than the last time. He was in that little corner of their college kissing another girl. When she thought about him, she felt a Tsunami of sadness. She remembered how she thought he was her soulmate. She remembered how smitten she was. The infinite times when they had confessed how much they loved each other. The times when his little gestures made her feel like the queen of the world. All those times when they knew what the other was thinking. She remembered everything about him. It wasn't love at first sight. But, when she had known him, she knew he was the one. She knew he was her forever. She knew he was her happily ever after. Thinking about him made her sadder. This betrayal wasn't something which she could handle. Her already broken pieces of heart were broken further because of him. She wasn't mad at him. She was mad at herself. She was mad at herself for being so naive, so predictable, such an idiot. She went to her past. She realised how he was never himself when he was with her. How she was just another girl for him. This betrayal got the worse of her. She couldn't think of anything else. She cried her eyes out. She blamed her innocence. She cursed the world and its twisted ways. She was disgusted for him. In her room, at night, she cried herself to sleep, trying to delete him from her memory. At that moment, his betrayal became the reason she grew into a stronger and wiser version of herself.

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.) 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Black Butterfly. (Book Review #20)

         I came across this amazing author, Robert M. Drake via his Instagram account. I'm a romantic for words. You know those images where there's distinct text on it? I can't not look at those when they appear on my timeline. And just like that once I saw an image which had typewritten words. Every writer (or a person who loves to write) loves typewritten words! So, after reading that, I knew I had to read all his books.
          Robert M. Drake is a poet and he writes the most brilliant poems. He is the poet of the 21st century. His poems are related to emotions and feelings of the youth. He portrays little things so effectively that it leaves you mesmerized. They are unlike poems which require a deeper understanding after reading them for 50 times. His poems are real, inspiring and just lovely.

          Now, about Black Butterfly! I loved it. I finally read something after a long time which I 'loved'. There are rare few books which I give 5 stars to. And this is one if those. I finished it in two hours or so. And, it's just awesome. I do a thing while reading where I note down or bookmark all the good quotes. I ended up practically bookmarking half the book. It's the kind of collection which I can read once a month. It's that good. I recommend this book to every living soul. These are my favourites:

1. We Must Be Mad.
The truth in this poem speaks out louder than any form of prose ever will. It brings out the typical human psychology and how we function. It's brilliant.

... And in the horror of it all
is this:
we stay attracted
to everything that hurts.
We cling to it
and never really learn
to let go...

2. Home is People.
This one is for those lonely souls who have no one to share their moments. This is for those unhappy single people, old people who're on their deathbed and just anyone who feels not special or not loved.

... So we live our lives looking
for something to fill us
and give us meaning,
only to discover
that in the end,
love was never meant to be
received by one person,
but rather all the people
who made us feel at home.

3. Connects Inside.
This is another poem which will make you feel good about yourself. A must read at those low points where we all get trapped.

...You are every moment
that is meant
to be remembered.
You are everything
that matters...

4. I Wanted To Talk.
This is an amazingly written poem about a guy who controls his girl. It's about the power of women and independence.

It took me years
to understand
that the more
I tried to settle her flames
the bigger her fire grew...

These are just some parts of the entire poem. I'm sure you'll go ahead and read it entirely. Poems like these aid, inspire and give hope for the soul within the machine of a body.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Numbness. (Monday Moments #32)

          After jogging around the lake, he sat on a bench. He loved early mornings. He always symbolised the parts of his day to some words. These early mornings symbolised peace. Afternoons symbolised wars. Evenings symbolised merriment. And nights symbolised emotions. So this was the part of the day where he sought peace. But something was different that day. He sat there staring into the depth of the water. His mind was blank. He had a lot on his plate to think; office workload, stressed life, dependent parents, fake colleague friends, ex-girlfriend and everything that was wrong with his life. But at that moment in time he couldn't feel a thing. His mind was shut off. If anyone would've asked him if he was okay, he would've answered that he didn't know. Because he really did not know why he was feeling that way. A point comes in your life when all the overwhelming things pause. They stop in your head and you find yourself not thinking about them at all. A numbness settles. A good kind of numbness that acts like an anaesthesia for your thoughts. At that moment, he felt hopeless for not being able to care but he also felt relieved. There wasn't any stress. No dilemmas. No tensions. It was just him and the water. His eyes just followed the ripples. One after the other. It soothed him. It had a calming effect which he needed. He wondered about them. Ripple after ripple. They felt just like heartbeats on the machine. In that moment, as his brain went numb he kept looking at the nothingness of the world.

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.) 

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