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Old 8th June 2010, 16:20   #1
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Default Devil' Odyssey: 4 years...22 Road Trips

After two failed attempts at writing a proper Travelogue, I have finally been able to convince my lazy self (I actually wanted to use a three letter word which would rhymed a lot better, but forum rules don't permit me to use profanity) to get moving and start typing. I have travelled a lot over the last 4 years, mostly impromptu road trips to easily accessible hill stations /holiday destinations around Delhi.

I can’t remember the exact number of trips I have made, as I have been to places like Jaipur, Agra, Shimla, Manali, Lansdowne on more than one occasion. But I will cover each and every destination that I have been to, in as much detail as possible.

I do not consider myself gifted, either with a pen or with a camera, so this travelogue may not live up to the expectations of TBHPians who are used to reading much better travelogues and seeing much-much better pictures. But I will try my best to deliver as much information as possible, by digging deep into my, not so good memory. I will be relying more on my memory device (the amazing thing called Hard Disk) where I have saved all my pictures (approximately 10 GB in size) to put together some sort of a story.

Here I go…..first up trip to Auli, July 2007.

The route map:

This trip, till date, remains the most well planned trip I have ever been on. It had to be, as it was our honeymoon and everything was planned by my sweet wife. More than 3 months of planning went into it. The Destination, the Route, Hotels, Car, reservations, everything was finalized weeks in advance. Something that hasn't happened ever since.

Unfortunately, we could spend just 2 nights at this amazing place, as I had to get back to office. But we thoroughly enjoyed the trip, specially the time we spent in the car, despite the fact that the condition of the roads after Hrishikesh was really pathetic.

….to be continued….
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Old 8th June 2010, 18:16   #2
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So you have finally decided to write. I hope you add your upcoming trip too!
Is the plan final?
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Old 9th June 2010, 00:55   #3
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@ Ampere: All my travel plans have been put on hold for the next few months. My wife has moved to a new organisation and it would be difficult for her to get leaves during the probation period.

Writing a travelogue is lot more difficult than I had expected, specially when you are trying to write about a trip which happened 3 years ago. Reconstructing the events based purely on pictures on my hard drive will take some time.

I did manage to sort and resize the pictures though, so here' a sneak peak.

The hills look so beautiful after the rains.

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Last edited by Samurai : 10th June 2010 at 16:35. Reason: avoid reference to alcohol
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Old 10th June 2010, 14:38   #4
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Hat ja tau paachhe ne….An exhausting trip to Auli, July 2007.


Mine was a budget marriage. And like all other budget marriages the only person who was worried about the budget, was the person who was paying for it. And in this particular case, it was ME. Everyone including my relatives, my parents, friends were expecting a lot more than I was willing and able to afford. My devilish lifestyle, till my marriage was finalized, ensured that I didn’t had even a single penny in my savings account and I had to fund my marriage with the help of 2 Personal Loans and 3 Credit Cards. (Thank you HDFC Bank, Thank you ICICI Bank, Thank you SBI.) As a result of everyone’ expectations the budget for our honeymoon kept shrinking with each passing day and with each shopping expedition.

I had passed on the responsibility of finding the perfect destination to my, soon to be, wife and she had drawn up a list of exotic places like Munnar, Andaman, Lakshdweep, Goa, Jaisalmer, etc. I didn’t had a passport, back then, so overseas locations couldn’t be considered. But 6 weeks before my marriage, I prepared a cash flow which suggested that we will be left with just 20,000/- for our honeymoon. This meant all those exotic locations were simply out of the question. Any place where we would have been required to take a flight was not an option any more. We didn’t had enough time to travel by train. So we started looking for places which were less than 500 KMs from Delhi, a place accessible by road.

But here again there was a catch, at that time I didn’t knew how to drive a car, infact I didn’t even had a car. So the plan was to get a cab from my office vendor, as I wasn’t required to pay any cash upfront. The bill could be paid a month or so later. My wife came up with a place called Auli. I did some re-research and it was settled. We booked a 2N/3D package at Cliff Top costing 15K and it was settled. You may wonder why just 3 days, but that’ another story altogether. That’ the story of my life, the story of a person who has dedicated (willingly or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly, it doesn’t matter) his life to the field of Finance and Accounts. 

All I had was 2 weeks leaves. And within these two weeks I had to get married in a typical Bihari tradition, with all those countless rituals and customs. I also had to visit my hometown, Jamshedpur (by train of course) and yes Auli, by road.

We came back to Delhi on the 17th completely exhausted and were to leave for Auli on the 18th of July. The plan was to leave as early as possible, so the cab vendor was told that the cab should be at my place by 4:30 AM; sharp. “Paise kaat lunga, agar gaadi time pe nahi pahunchi to” (If the car doesn’t reach me on time, I will make a deduction from your Invoice) I had made it absolutely clear to the vendor and was more than confidant that the car will be there on time. Due to budget constraints, I had to settle for an AC-Indica. Since it was going to be a really long drive, I had asked the vendor to give me a car which had a DVD-player and screen. The vendor didn’t had an Indica with DVD, it was reserved for high end cars like Innova. But had agreed to get a new one installed on his newest Indica if I paid him 2000/- EXTRA (just keep this fact in mind for a while, please!)

The night before, we made sure that our packing was complete. It was after all the first night of our married life that we were spending alone; no friends, no relatives, no parents; just the two of us. Not sure when we went to bed, but we went to bed tired, exhausted and with the general feeling that everything was going to work out just perfect,

I heard a distant voice, faint but shrill, I was unable to see who was calling my name but the voice sounded familiar. I got confused a bit, was it somebody looking for help, or was it somebody looking for revenge. But since it was a female voice, I thought I should pay attention; probably at that point of time, the fact that I was married hadn’t sunk in properly. Then I felt a sudden jolt, as if somebody had pushed me off a running train. I tried to look around, as I wanted to soak in the view of this beautiful world for one last time. But all I could see was the face my wife, groggy, swollen eyes, hair completely messed up. Do dead people get to see what happens after they are dead??? Did she found out that I was chasing a good looking gal and pushed me off the train??? Why hasn’t any of my friends showed up yet??? A zillion thoughts crossed my mind, in an instant. But wait a second, this isn’t making any sense, how did I get on the train, I was about to save a damsel in distress, why is my upset if she pushed me off the train??? Another set of zillion questions went past me.

It was 7:30 and my wife was trying to wake me up. It took me a while to get to my senses. I checked my cell phone; 47 missed calls from just 1 number. The last call was about 40 minutes ago. I tried calling that number but no answer. I was more than certain that the driver had reported at 4:30 the scheduled time and had gone back after waiting for more than 2 hours.

I called up the cab vendor and a very irritated, very sleepy voice greeted me. The poor chap had already been disturbed from his slumber by the driver and he had asked the driver to stay put at my house; probably he had fallen asleep. I rushed through my everyday activities in less than 25 minutes and I went to the society gate to look for the cab. The security guard started gave a sheepish grin the moment he saw me. It was time for me to feel puzzled and get confused, a bit more. Apparently, after trying my number for more than one and half hours the cab driver (Rajesh) had gone to the societies security guards, who came up to my flat and rang the bell for a good 10-15 minutes. They were beginning to get worried when my maid came along and told them that “Sahab to hafte me 1 ya 2 din hi subah darwaja kholte hain, bahut late tak sote hain” (Sir, sleeps till late and he opens the door once or twice in a week for me).

A bit embarrassed, I found the cab driver, who was peacefully asleep in the car. I woke him up, made a feeble attempt at offering my apologies and told him to bring the car directly below my apartment. We brought down our luggage and cramped it in the boot and finally managed to start from my home in Dwarka. But it was 8:30 already and we were late by 4 hours even before the trip could have started.

First we had to go to Gurgaon for picking up a camera from my friend (Mandy; you will read more about him some time later in my travels later), who was working at Convergys at that point of time. And as it happens with every perfectly planned trip where you don’t want anything to wrong, we ended up in a traffic jam just before the Kapashera Crossing on the Old Gurgaon Highway. We consoled each other, telling each other that once we get out of the city, it will be perfect. We managed to reach Convergys at 9:30 and met with a very angry and pissed off Mandy, whose shift had gotten over at 7:30 and he was still waiting to hand over the camera to me before going home. Mandy is certainly one of the best friends anyone could ever have. And like all good friends, Mandy greeted my wife with a big and warm good morning and me with a selection of his choicest abusive words.

We collected the Canon (can’t remember the specific model name) and my bruised ego (after all who enjoys getting abused by a friend in front of their newly wedded wife) and headed towards NH-58 via MG Road-Nizammuddin Bridge. Keeping our fingers crossed that everything will be perfect from hereon; we couldn’t have been more wrong.

….to be continued….

Last edited by Eddy : 10th June 2010 at 17:00. Reason: Please refer to the PM coming up
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Old 10th June 2010, 14:52   #5
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DoW, eagerly waiting for pictures & the next part of the Travelogue. Please do speed it up a bit or we'll have to wait a lot more than the 4 years you took to cover the 22 trips mate

And another suggestion - focus on completing the Travelogue here first rather than posting simultaneously on two forums

Last edited by suman : 10th June 2010 at 14:57.
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Old 10th June 2010, 15:45   #6
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Nice start DOW. Enough masala to get hooked.
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