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Old 12th December 2010, 22:50   #1
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Default Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country

This is a sequel of the Story of a Vacation, being scripted as you read this sentence. A free read of the part I is available here. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-vacation.html (Story of a Vacation (:-)))

What is this sequel about ?

First, The actors remain the same viz.

001 Three idiots
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002 Two Smart Ones
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003 The one and only "The Sprited One"
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004 and "Mr Vegabond"
Name:  Mr. Vagabond.jpg
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Second, The season remains the same.

It starts with some cold breeze, drop in temperature, rising fog, shortening day, lengthening night.

005 Winter Fog
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Winter cloths getting out of the closet making anyone feel like being cosy and remain cuddled with one's near and dear ones.

006 Even snowman wants to be cosy
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-winter-wear-feel-cosy.jpg

Un-met goals and year-end closing work pressures, forced vacation (just like last year) due to employer's situation, rising economy and growth pressures continue to keep one warm under the collar and on a hot seat.

Emergence of the year end festival signals viz. thanksgiving time of the year, X-mas bands, carols.

007 a live band spreading the sprit of X-mas
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-xmas-band-singing-carols.jpg

008 Decorated X-mas tree making the appearance in front of the shops and malls,
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-xmas-tree-plum-cake.jpg

009 Dinner table debate whether one's daughter or son has been a good girl/boy or not during the year,
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-santas-chariot.jpg

010 Questions about what should be requested as gift to dear "Santa Claus"
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-reindeers.jpg

011 Winter shopping list from one's wife and visits to malls.
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-winter-shopping.jpg

and a fond hope that next year would be better than the current one.

Third, duration of the vacation (and hence length of the story) will remain the same viz. 25th Dec till 2nd Jan

What is different in this sequel ?

Destinations and hence experiences are different. This year we want to take a chapter out of "The Jungle Book" and visit a part of God's Own Country

012 We would go and live in a jungle and meet some jungle book friends
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-living-jungle.jpg

Objective is to experience some heavenly (small) pleasures, try to learn about becoming "a green warrior", meet some friends from the jungle book, laze around in a houseboat when time (hopefully) stands still, first hand experience some different methods for emptying the wallet etc etc.

013 We will visit a part of God's Own Country..state of Kerala
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-visiting-gods-own-country.jpg

Our route to happiness, transport and sarathi would be different. Storyline and Pictures would be (hopefully) different.

This sequel has been anounced ahead of actual scripting. We are still finalizing the destinations and finetuning the schedules etc.

Yes ofcourse, we fondly hope that the result will remain the same viz.

* A very safe Trip and Two Happy families,
* Some cosy family moments and quality time together,
* Several memorable conversations,
* Many footprints left in time at all these destinations
* Most important, a good story for us to read during old times.

This will probably my last travelogue to be written here on team bhp for a long time to come.

From the planning currently available for the first three months of Y2011, i can safely predict that i would be again resuming a very hectic phase of my career which would be consuming most of my time. What ever is left would be for the family and self for sure.

Personally for me last 2 years has been a good break or sabatical from the very hectic corporate work over previous 14 years. Team BHP and all of you have been a good source of information, encouragement, motivation, learning, virtual friendship and amusement.

I dedicate this story to all of you. Thank You Very Much.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 12th December 2010 at 23:06.
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Old 13th December 2010, 00:04   #2
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

will be waiting for the story to unfold.
but little sad to hear that it will be last for a long time, but understand the work pressure.
All the very best for the vacation and the professional life ahead.
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Old 13th December 2010, 02:08   #3
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

What a nice co-incidence, I was just reading your last year's Story of Vacation and now you are starting this year's vacation, i.e. Part 2. Hope you have a great trip ahead and a safe journey.
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Old 13th December 2010, 03:31   #4
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

oooooooooooh! Mr. Vegabond remains illusive like Charlie in Charlie's angels. Nice pictures. I hope more are coming.
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Old 13th December 2010, 04:35   #5
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Have a fantastic vacation.
Let me wish you ahead for a prosperous and splendid New Year, and wishing you all the very best to your career.

Will wait for your Second Edition
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Old 13th December 2010, 10:07   #6
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
013 We will visit a part of God's Own Country..state of Kerala

I dedicate this story to all of you.
Best wishes for the trip and in adv, happy new year!!!

Looking forward to the story of Kerala, the destination still i have to visit.
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Old 13th December 2010, 14:59   #7
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Looking forward to hear details about your Kerala travelogue.

From what I recollect after meeting SVB at Kaas, it doesn't look like SVB in the snap i.e. the one with the back to the camera.
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Old 13th December 2010, 16:29   #8
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Season II

Good good, good luck. Have a good vacation.
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Old 13th December 2010, 17:30   #9
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

@mjothi : Thanks Mahesh, Hope Saint (St) treated you well during your recent trip ?

@f1fan : In what way you see the picture to be different compared to me ?

@ashishbhau : This is my third trip to Kerala, first was to Kochi in 2001 during my honeymoon trip to Lakshdeep Islands, Second was to Trivendrum for a business workshop in 2003, now the third time after 7 years. I wish that you also visit Kerala soon. I also wish you a merry X-mas and a happy new year 2011.

@laluks : thanks for all the help and inputs. Without your help this planning was not possible. I also wish you a very merry X mas and a very happy new year.

@prince_pervez : As you are already pervasive i am happy to be illusive, thanks for your wishes. You will have to wait for the pictures from this season's trip till 23rd of Dec, that is when the other family will arrive in Bangalore. Till then i will try to keep everyone amused by sharing some details about "Making of... Story of a Vacation part II"

@kaushik_s : Thanks for reading my travelogues. Thanks for your wishes

@arindam : thanks for your wishes, ofcourse one needs to make some choices in life "Kuch Khatta, Kuch Meetha". This is a small world, we can continue to remain in touch, share information / anecdotes in person rather than on virtual world.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 13th December 2010 at 17:34.
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Old 13th December 2010, 20:35   #10
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Here is a great story teller back for year end bonanza.

Waiting for the Jungle story to unfold.
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Old 13th December 2010, 20:57   #11
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Default Making of...Story of a Vacation II

@advait, Thanks for your generous comments, but i am just a normal guy like you.


Making of...Story of a Vacation II

Last season's vacation was a huge success especially with kids.

The three kids seems to have enjoyed the most, be it getting the X-mas gifts from Santa, or enjoying the rear cabin in the Qualis or the visits to the destinations especially homestay at coorg, British bunglow stay at Kotagiri, the site seeing at Ooty as well as the Mysore zoo visit.

I think, for Sprited One and his family, it was first trip anywhere outside Maharastra together. From their feedback, it was certain that they would like to repeat the performance next season as well.

For my family we simply need a reason to get into a vehicle and drive. It can be seen from the number of trips we have done since we bought ANHC. My current ODO stands at 33000 KMs in some 18 months, out of which some 50-60% must have been on these outside Bangalore trips.
Even with our previous car Palio the % of mailage on outstantion trip was higher than in-city milage.

Personally i believe that for children, the age of 2-5 years is a period to teach values, age period of 5-15 is to practice those values under different conditions including daily life, studies and travels.

Travel is a great way to expose the children to diverse culture, information, knowledge, make them adjust to different conditions, learn from seeing and feeling the beautiful world outside.

Several people whom i have spoken tell me that they would like to travel once the children grow up, but i always see it other way round.

Once children grow up, they will be under more pressure w.r.t their studies, later on with their career, still after that with their own life.

if we do not travel with our kids when they are young, then we might not get opportunity to travel with them when they grow into adults, more over the children would miss the exposure from such travel.

My life partner fortunately shares my belief, flexible to accomodate the nuances of hectic travel, willing to endure different experiences this world has to offer, but with some limitations just like me w.r.t food. Together,till now we have been able to shape our daughter to be like us when it comes to travelling. Ofcourse this education by exposure would continue to the extent possible.

We have been fortunate (touch wood), we could always manage the priorities, lifestyle and budget needed for the travel.

Bangaluru being at the heart of south India offers the residents an opportunity to drive to any part of south India over a week end, if planned well. We have been just trying to use this geographical advantage.

This family from Navimumbai have been our co-traveller during several of our week-end short trips around Mumbai, Pune etc, during our stay there pre 2008 period. So when the Sprited One and family left for Mumbai at the end of the last season's vacation, there was a promise to come back.

It was re-confirmed when we visited Mumbai during May this year, re-discussed each time when we met each other or spoke to each other over phone.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 13th December 2010 at 21:09.
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Old 13th December 2010, 23:06   #12
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Default Making of ... Story of a Vacation II

Planning of the vacation was just as confusing as it was last season.

July 2010
----------
The discussions ended up in exploring several options like North-East, Sikkim, Coastal Karnataka, South India, Rajasthan, North Karnataka, Goa, North India (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Himachal) etc etc.

Eventually using the theory of elimination resulted in finalizing on South India as a choice.

Initial plan was to do a circular drive from Bangalore - Vellore - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Pichhavaram - Tranquebar - Rameshwaram - Kanyakumari - Poovar - Allepy - Kochhi - Thekkady - Munnar - Nelliamphaty - Coimbatore - Bangaore over 2 weeks.

Then came our trip of Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Vailankanni together with Laluks and family during end July where Sprited one joined the trip and gained his name.

October 2010
--------------
Then came our trip to Pondicherry - Chennai during Dussera festival
Sprited One was also busy with his work and end of Oct, both of us were staring at each other "What next ?.

November 2010
---------------
Diwali followed Dussera, We managed to visit Vellore and Kanchipuram along with my parents and brother's family,

So the planning of the vacation was unattended till middle of November, when we realised that if we do not book now, then we have to enjoy a quiet vacation at home.

Meanwhile my forced vacation at got reduced from 2 weeks to 1 week, Sprited One also could get only one week off from
his work, so by default the time available now was from 25th Dec (instead of 20th as originally planned) to 2nd Jan.

Then I heard about this Jungle Stay from Laluks, which i felt to be a MUST DO in one's life. We were suppose to join Lukeskywalker and family on that trip, but due to some emergency, we dropped off. Lukeskywalker once returned shared his experience which created more excitement about the destination.

The proverb "Friend in Need is a Friend indeed" is true when it comes to Laluks, when requested he quickly helped me to get two nights written confirmation for the jungle stay within some 30 minutes duration of having made the request. Thanks very much Lalu.

So, the job of filling the schedule for the remaining days was taken up by Sprited One. We could knock off Vellore, Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram, Chennai, Pondicherry, Pichavaram, Tranquebar, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari and Poovar from the original plan.

Eventually by middle of November he could freeze the budget and schedule for the entire trip.

December 2010
---------------
Then came the decision how the mumbai guys would travel ?.
The kids wanted to come to Bangalore. So onward journey was decided to be through Bangalore, but budget had already gone through the roof, so economic way of travel was chosen.

24th : Mumbai to Bangalore travel by Volvo bus
25th : Arrival in Bangalore by noon time. Departure on our drive by late evening
26th : Jungle Stay
27th : Jungle Stay
28th : Kerala
29th : Kerala
30th : Kerala
31st : Allepy - House boat Stay
1st : Return to Bangalore
2nd : Mumbai guys to travel back by Volvo bus.

All this trip would be done using an Innova, that would be provided by the tour operator from Kerala. Vehicle would come with a Sarathi who can speak English/Hindi as well as local language Malyalam/Tamil.

I booked them the KSRTC Volvo ticket from Navi-Mumbai to Bangalore for 24th evening journey which will arrive in Bangalore on 25th morning.

When the the 3 idiots and 2 smart ones saw the ticket, they were dis-appointed, it gave them just 8-10 hours together in Bangalore.

When I last heard, Sprited One was trying to prepone his family's journey to Bangalore by 2 days, as well as the return journey by train from Kochhi is yet to be confirmed.

So the confusion and excitement go hand in hand...

Last edited by StarVegabond : 13th December 2010 at 23:08.
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Old 14th December 2010, 12:48   #13
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

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Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
@f1fan : In what way you see the picture to be different compared to me?
Have you put on weight or is that the jacket that shows it that day?
The person with the back to the camera looked more solidly built (read fatter) compared to how I recollect you were.

Hence thought it was some one else.
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Old 14th December 2010, 18:03   #14
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Have you put on weight or is that the jacket that shows it that day?
The person with the back to the camera looked more solidly built (read fatter) compared to how I recollect you were.

Hence thought it was some one else.
Now i can understand better. The picture of me with back to the camera was taken end Dec 2009. At that time i was very close to tripple digit kilograms in weight,plus i was wearing a thick jacket+thick jeans to avoid the chill outside.

When you saw me in Kaas (without jackets), i was approx 8-10% down in weight. This is one of the personal achievements of the year for me.
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Old 14th December 2010, 19:22   #15
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

One of the objective of the travel is to experience the culture of the place we are visiting.

Kerala is very rich with its own culture, arts, dances, martial art forms, tribal artforms, handicrafts, cuisines, festivals etc.

A general tourist visits only the sights and takes some "been there done that" pictures, at best experiences local cuisines, buys some handicrafts and goes back. I generally want to experience a bit more than this when i visit a new geography.

Dances always represent a form of expression. India is rich with's diverse danceforms. Kerala in itself is said to have many of these forms.

I was traveling to Delhi last week, in the Jet flight, i found an article which explains the dance forms of Kerala.

I am adding here the 5 page article. Many thanks to the authors and the publisher of the Jet Wing Magazine for a timely apt and very informative article.

014 Page #1 - The Divine dances of Kerala
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-page-1.jpg

015 Page #2 - Kanyarkali, Kolkkali, Pulikkali
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-page-2.jpg

016 Page #3 - Parichamuttkkali, Poorakkali
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-page-3.jpg

017 Page #4 - Kakarissi Natakom, Kummattikkali
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-page-4.jpg

018 Page #5 - Thiruvathirakkali, Oppana
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-page-5.jpg

Till now i was thinking, Kerala has only one dance form i.e. Kathakkali. This article was an eye opener. I hope that we can experience atleast some of these dance forms during our trip. but i am not sure.

I am also learning few mallu words here.

Puli = Tiger (similar to Huli in Kannada)
Kkali = a form of play (or game or khel)
Kanyar = young girls (just like hindi, sanskrit etc)
Natakom = Play or Drama (just like Natak in Hindi, Marathi or Kannada)

Last edited by StarVegabond : 14th December 2010 at 19:34.
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