Tag Archives: travelling

The Train Journey

Last week on a train journey to Fontainebleau, which is around 60km from Paris, I was lucky enough to be seated by a window. I was travelling alone, due to which, I sought the companionship of music.

The Train.jpg

It was beginning of the evening. Among the rows of 10 seats, punctuated by a passage to walk, dividing them into bays of 3 seats facing another 3 seats one side and 2 seats facing another 2 seats on the other, I opted for a seat on the 3 seat bay, by an east-facing window in the train moving southwards of Paris. When I sat, there were only very few people.  In the row, front of mine, sat a blonde woman, facing the same direction as me, on a seat tall enough that the only part of her visible to me was the top part of her head. Diagonally to my right, in the 2 seat bay and in the same row and direction as that of the blonde woman, was a couple who sat close to each other and were engrossed in the phone which I assume belonged to the guy, as he held it firmly while the girl was tapping randomly on the screen. Even though I was not keen on those who were sitting behind me, I did hear, in this French speaking nation, the voice of an English speaking young woman.   Then a group of 5 boys, who appeared to be south east Asians came and occupied the remaining seats in my row. While they occupied the 4 seats in the 2 seat bay, the remaining person occupied the right most seat facing the south direction, in the 3 seat bay.

Unperturbed by all this, I took out my kindle and resumed reading The immortals of Meluha which I had begun to read earlier that day, all the while listening to music. This is something I don’t usually do but I just gave it a go this time. Sometime later the sound of the train suppressed the music that I was listening to. So, I increased the volume a little so that I could hear music clear enough to make my mood flow with music and it worked. Unexpectedly, this didn’t distract my reading, rather it set up a perfect evening ride, amidst the dancing of golden hour light through city buildings, as the train left  Gare de Lyon.

I was immersed in reading and observed very little outside the window. The City never amuses me so much as what nature does. The city buildings passed by just like that. My eyes darted away from my Kindle for brief moment to look at the river Marne. After crossing the river my eyes scooted to and away from the window. As train reached outskirts of the city, houses seemed to go far away and greens seemed to approach the railway tracks. In the meantime, I finished a chapter and kept the kindle inside. The train was proceeding in a constant motion and I changed my playlist to one that included OST from movies.  My eyes were now completely glued to the windows, looking outside. I had travelled on this route quite a number of times in last few months. When I first travelled, it was a cloudy day and the river adjacent to tracks had flooded the nearby houses. I had learnt from news earlier that day that there was a flood in Paris but never thought that I would be a witness to it for the first time in my life. There was a calm aura after the floods and my friend, who was then travelling with me, expressed his concerns on how the floods had affected many lives while I had been trying hard to see beyond the calmness left behind by the flood. I couldn’t see what I wanted to see that time. Next time, when I travelled through this route it was snowing. Compared to the previous journey, this time, I enjoyed looking through the window and it was my first time travelling while it was snowing. The snowfall outside the window did put a smile on me whilst being accompanied by melodious songs from my playlist. The third time I travelled, everything seemed dry, as winter was ending and it was just before spring set foot.

This being my 4th time and that too during spring, I saw lush green trees, alongside the tracks, which were moving rapidly matching the rhythm of train’s motion, but in the opposite direction. Behind these trees, far away, were small towns which seemed to be situated in the valley. I could see only top portions of the houses, which were built in typical French style of architecture. Compared to the trees, these houses seemed to move back little slower. As I looked beyond these house, I observed green hills moving slower than the houses. The farthest I saw, were clouds which seemed rooted in their position.  The first thing I observed was, that the objects closer to train were moving fast while ones farthest were slow.  As I was engulfed in this moment, I was intrigued by a thought from one of my fellow blogger’s post. In his recent post, he explained about his train journey and the things he observed from it and at the end, he asked the readers to share their train journey experiences. At that point of time, I had passed it as just a suggestion. However, at this point of my train journey, I was driven to bring out a meaning from the experience I was enjoying.

The following is what I understood from my recent train journey…

Just like the train, my life is moving at a constant pace. Even though train is at constant speed, objects around the train seemed to move at different speeds. Trees along the track were fast, the town behind the trees were slower and hills under golden clouds on a beautiful warm evening were either very slow or seemed to be completely motionless. Looking back at my life, I realized these things are like people in one’s life. In my life, there were people who brought me smile and joy but left quickly, just like trees passing by. Towns which were slower but bigger enough to hold my sight were like those friends who were a part of my joys and adventures and I know that they will be there for a very long period just like the towns which grew bigger in time. And then, there is the hill, which is the ‘home’ to not just the trees but also to many other living things. They will be there even as I move far away from them. It could be concealed from sight at times when the trees alongside the tracks hide them completely, but moments later the hills will again be in line of sight just like my family is in mine. And it dawned upon me that, I look at the hills with high regards just like I look at my parents and brother along with Rocky and Tinkoo.

Advertisements

A start

I was away from wordpress for a very long time for the reasons I am trying to make a list. However, I used to come across other blogs often and check out how the world is been seen from other perspective and words.  One of the main reasons to be away from blogging is my masters and in particular my thesis internship at Aix-en-Provence because of which I had to stay away from family (India) and friends (both India and Poitiers, France). Others reasons include eat, sleep and travel!

 

 

Talking about travelling, I had lot of it. Moving from Poitiers to Aix-en-Provence was one big event in 2017 which led to gateway of meeting new people and awesome trips to Rhone-Alps, Provence, Monaco and many other places mainly in south-east region of France. And the above video is the result of those awesome trips and memories.

It seems every moment is a fresh start. There is no need to wait for new year or new month or new day for a fresh start. It can be done in the very next moment as you live. Every moments are new and it doesn’t matter how you live, but just live. I like to live eating awesome foods and travelling and other things.

Lets start a new moment to live and enjoy!!

 

Euro trip – Roma, Italy (Day 1)

IMG_9716

Long long ago I had been to Rome, the capital of Italy and I explored Rome also called as Roma to my fullest extent. Since then I was trying to share the memories I had with Rome, ancient city from Roman times. It was fascinating to see some of the old roman structures standing to this date surviving many wars, weathers. Considering myself as learner and fan of history I was happy to be in this ancient city and witness the following architecture and monuments of ancient Rome.

Thanks to Roma pass, my friends and I had pretty easy access to visit these amazing places in our three day stay at Roma. On the first day we tried to explore as many places as possible and the result is here.

Roman Forum

 

 

IMG_9592

Colosseum

 

IMG_20160223_151141

Eurotrip – Florence, Italy

2

Florence, also called as Firenze is one of main cities of Italy and home to some of amazing art works of renaissance period, is also my favorite city in Italy. Florence was second stop during our trip to Italy after Pisa. From Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David to panoramic view of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo along with Italian cuisines, everything was perfect and I enjoyed every moment I stayed in Florence.

img_20160222_171601-copy

We reached Florence in the evening and by the time settled in our rooms it was already dark. We thought of exploring the city and its night life. We started our journey visiting Galleria dell’Accademia where we came across famous Michelangelo’s masterpiece David and many other art works. Being someone who is fan of history, I heard about David and saw his picture for the first time in history book during my school time. And the moment I stood next to the actual sculpture, it made me realize how far I have come in time and space. The look on David’s face and his famous warning glare which said “you talking to me?” and veins on his right were some of the amazing details of the sculpture that caught my attention. Further exploration of the galleria led me to some other amazing art works and my favorites are here.

masterpiece
Masterpiece

img_9255-copy

Later that evening we had dinner in a restaurant whose name I forgot but not the taste of pasta and lasagna. Then we got the opportunity of enjoying the chocolate syrup and waffles en route to our hostel rooms during last hours on the last day of the stalls. Then, met our friends from Toulouse at Ponte Vecchio.

img_9327

Next morning with a city map in our hands provided by our hostel receptionist, we went to Piazzale Michelangelo. There we met our friends from Toulouse.

Then we all went to visit Giordino Bardini, Palazzo Pitti, another house of many roman arts and culture where we spent most of the day.

neptune-fountain

 

Later we headed towards cathedral by which it was dark already but still had lot of time to spend. Enjoyed the street music, some more foods and finally left Florence with awesome dinner at Salaam Bombay and the beauty of renaissance arts.

Eurotrip – Pisa, Italy

Last exam of the year finished just days ago, and finally it’s holidays. This time I have no plans of going on trips instead I am thinking of completing certain some things. First and foremost, to complete Naruto series which by now is done(almost). Then to read couple of books, watch movies and some more TV shows and if possible learn a programming software. And so, I have started this Christmas holidays.

I don’t know where I came across, once I read a new year resolution which said to travel to a place to which you have never been. I liked this thought and I made this as my new resolution too, some years ago. And I have been cherishing up this resolution by traveling to new places. The year 2016 was adventurous as I traveled to some really amazing places whose list started from Pisa of Italy. Here are some pics from my trip to Pisa.

1pisa

img_9116
River Arno

img_9118

img_9206

img_9199-copy

No trip(considering if you are into taking pics) to Pisa is complete without people trying to lean against leaning tower or trying it to save from further leaning. Here is the pic, my friends trying to prevent the tower from leaning!

zz

2015 Year Trip

From minute things in my home in India to the magnum buildings in Europe in 2015, I present the things, places I saw which inspired to see some more places in 2016.

Along Came Sisya

Sisya, meaning student is a kannada word and here, the sisya is Aakash. Aakash a 11th grade guy from Pune was such a boy that, everyday he runs for about 20km, goes to school just for the sake of attending practicals and studies theories by himself in home. He has dream of getting into NDA- National Defence Academy and is actually preparing for it. He hasn’t watched much movies, except few recent hits and few all time hits. He has no girl friends and was never in love nor had crush on any girl.

DSC00313

I met him during our trekking expedition in Goa organised by YHAI, earlier this year. Mayur, Sachin, Vinodh and I reached the base camp  pretty early because of which we were able to get a tent. Later came a 40yo or something fellow from Pune followed by another Bangalorean. After some rest in the tent, we went out for exploring nearby places and returned. Then all four of us had chat with Pune fellow and got to know there will be another guy coming to our tent.

Sometime later when we entered our tent after a round of wandering the camp, we came by a guy who looked in his last teen, fair and had his hair spiked and being without any sign of moustache or beard. He was sitting in left corner of the tent and was arranging his things from his backpack. We introduced ourselves and in reply got to know his name.

Since inside the tent it was stuffy during noon, for the most of the time we  remained outside. And whenever we are about to leave the tent for another round of roaming within the camp, he asked, “Are you all going out?”

Actually we had plan of going out in the evening so at that time we said no. This happened again and in reply we said, “We will let you know if we ever go.” Moreover, whenever we started a conversation with him, his first line was, “sorry, pardon me.” That line made me to think, ” Does my english suck?” But this happened with all four of us and got know it may be because of our accent.

Finally, when we left for the Miramar beach for the first time on first day, he came with us. There we stayed for a while, after seeing few dead jelly fishes and feeling jellyness of those fish. From there we went to the market which was on the other side of our camp. During that journey, we came to know that he is a runner. So when it was about half a km to our camp, Aakash and I decided to run, as he was longing for a run  and he already missed the practise of running on that particular day. With all the energy I had, I ran quickly and he followed me running casually. When he came to me, he asked for another run, for which my exhausted body said Nooooo. By this time he became our friend and I started to teach him kannada so he became my student aka sisya. But on the first day sisya wasn’t with us all that time and spent most of the time in reading a book.

DSC00111

In the next morning, during breakfast, we came to know that he went for running, in the ground next to our camp, before we all were awake . On the same day, after 3-4 km of acclimatization walk along the beach, we went to have rest at bank of river Mandovi which was adjacent to our camp. Except Sachin who remained back in the tent, we had little personal chit chat. For sisya, as said earlier wasn’t in a love and neither had a crush nor attraction to any girl. But he is boy and a boy must have some or other type of feeling to a girl. Asking on the same topic and doubting his boy thing, we finally came to know that he too liked a girl. That was just a like by the way. But, to get to know about his feeling for that girl, Mayur, Vinodh and I bribed him. Bribed with stories of our attractions and crushes! From there onwards he stayed all the time with us, even though he didn’t knew kannada and there were other hindi speaking people. He became so close with us on second day itself that he showed one of his hidden talents just for Mayur and me. It is the dance.

On our third day of the expedition , we were damn exhausted in our 15km beach walk. But compared to us, he was kinda less exhausted and was enjoying with water and waves. Also he was longing for a swim in those beautiful beaches. And his wish got accepted after a km. Even after swim, our journey was kind of boring and exhausted.  There we started to talk about the birds. Foreign birds in the Indian beach. Since sisya had no knowledge about the birds, we taught him about liking the birds based on the rating, which included the type of bird, it’s feathers and figure and other things. He learnt so quickly that he started to show us some birds, saying , ” look at 2’o clock”, ” look 10’o clock” and so on. After some time he became more concerned about these birds than us.

Sisya being with us all the time, made others wondered  if he was from our place and actually our friend even before this expedition? This wonder kept us together till the last day, at all times. If we were in the last walking slowly, he would stick with us matching our pace and if were ahead of everyone he was with us there too. Not a single time, he had food without us during our entire journey.

During fourth day which is again another beach walk, we were damn lazy to do it once again. So we bunked the walk and left to the next camp in a bus. When it is about a km or two, we reached the camp by walk after a swim. And sisya was with us all these moments. And in the camp on same day, when we were lazy enough to attend the camp fire in the night, he remained with us in the tent, being lazy in a cozy nook.

On the fifth day, when we started our journey through train , we all sat in one compartment along with two more Bangaloreans from our group, who were pretty amazed by now, because of sisya being with us all the time and almost at all the places except when we went to finish our daily karya.

DSC00487

Sixth day was toughest yet beautiful trek in our whole journey. When we reached the Caranzol camp, we took bath in nearby river. And for the first time he was with us during a bath, and involved in catching the fishes using our towels.

At certain times we were unhappy with our sisya. Because whenever we offered him snacks or juices, he denied it most of the time. And when he accepted it , he tried to pay for it, for which we ruthlessly denied.

Since our expedition was in the western ghats which is home to the different kinds of animals, birds and reptiles, he was longing to see a snake in his whole journey, although he saw one during one of our beach walk and during the demo about handling the situation whenever we encounter a snake. Because of this craziness, on the seventh day of our expedition, at Nandran camp, he went alone in search of snake. We didn’t go as we were taking rest. Poking bushes and holes in the ground with a stick, he went into the forest. After an hour he returned and went directly to the tent. When we went to the tent, we saw him in pain, due to the injury he had in one of his leg. Then when asked about it, he said- as he was poking in a hole, a snake suddenly came out and in fear when he stepped back, he missed the balance and fell down because of which he injured himself . From there he returned to the tent hopping slowly. After examining from a group medical students who were part of our journey, they said nothing to worry about anything as it is only a cramp and suggested to use a spray and not to make any sudden moments or apply sudden loads. Because of his craziness he paid a little prize.

On the eighth day, for the first time he was ahead of us all and reached the destination pretty early. We didn’t ask about it, but we were worried about his cramp in the leg as there wasn’t any hurry to reach that early. When we reached there, he was with his book as usual, even though there was other people from our group.

DSC00834

Our sisya was so good at following us. In the ninth and last day, after checkout from the camp arounf 10 am, he had a seat in a bus booked at 7 pm from Goa to Pune. He said he will be going to the bus stand now itself and started to bid farewell. But, we asked him to come with us near our room booked in a Hostel on the other side of Goa and in reply he nodded and came with us. He stayed with us till 3 pm and left. When he boarded the bus, he called us and informed about it and when he reached his home safely, he sent a message.

Two days later, he sent a friend request in Facebook. And few days later he messaged saying ” Nin th*ka k*ya” meaning ” F*ck your a**”. He did so, because ‘Hi’ in kannada means ‘Nin th*ka k*ya’ as we taught him, but not the one it is supposed to be in original.  And in a bracket he also messaged ‘Hi’. What made me proud of being master to sisya is, during the chat on that day, he asked me suggestions about asking out a girl!

DSC00364