Friday, February 15, 2008

Vacations Chronicled!

Pic A : Family Photograph
Pic B : A Romantic Evening
Pic C : The City Palace
Pic D : The Lake Palace
Pic E : The Jag Mandir

Finally I get down to writing about my vacation. The past few weeks were spent hob-knobbing through the country as I made visits to Bangalore and Udaipur.
Bangalore was because my grandpa wanted to meet all of us together at once under the same roof and have a classic family photograph (Pic A). I also happened to chance upon meeting my cousins there and a couple of friends. My most treasured memories of Bangalore are from a time when I spent about three weeks there at the SSB. Fabulous memories of the SSB, a great experience indeed. If that was supposed to give me a brief glimpse of the kinda things I would have been doing in the armed forces, I really think I have missed out on a fabulous life. Damn…
I bought something called “Mili Imli” from Nilgiris there and it was a really fabulous buy. A tad expensive thought I but then again, nothing these days is cheap and if it really claims to be putting farmers first, why not pay a little more. (Although how imlis are putting money into farmers’ pockets is something I would like to study as a business model. It is either a brilliant business model or a brilliant brainchild of a hot-shot MBA, the latter I hope it is not. I despise MBAs. All we seem to do is be good at providing a justification for everything that doesn’t need it.)
Udaipur was a very unique experience on two counts.
A) Because it was the first wedding I attended wherein a friend was getting married and
B) Because it was my first visit to the state of Rajasthan.
The wedding was an experience in itself as it was the first time I was involved in a wedding as the friend of the groom. Awesome fun I must admit. Even better because we got to pull his leg so much (and we aren’t quite done yet! And I am sure he shall have double the fun at our weddings!) Perhaps the highlight of the whole wedding was getting to decorate his bed! We put papads and khakras under his bedsheet…poor chap…I bet he shall curse us for the rest of our days!
Oh! And how could I forget to mention the food? It was incredible! The 8 or 9 of us, ate our fingers off! A whole week’s quota was being gobbled in a single day! Incredible food!
On my first visit to Rajasthan, I had expected the place to be rather barren and devoid of much vegetation and sights. Perhaps a few beautifully constructed palaces to look at, but not too much else. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I admit I have never been more awestruck by the sheer natural beauty of a city! To give you an idea, Udaipur is located in the Aravali range in Rajasthan and in poetic style, is a city cradled in the mountains. I am not too sure of exactly how many lakes it actually boasts of but to my limited knowledge and first hand view of the two huge lakes, the city is truly a lake city! The first lake that we saw, the Fatehsagar Lake (Pic B), has within its midst a beautiful garden. The sight was rendered even more beautiful by the weather which mysteriously turned cloudy hiding away the sun and giving the feeling a completely romantic outlay. Damn, if only I had someone to share the moment with!
The second lake was the grander of the two, the Pichhola Lake. It houses the Summer Palace (aka the City Palace, Pic C) on the banks and the winter Palace (aka the Lake Palace, Pic D) in it’s midst. You would know I do not approve of a lavish lifestyle but I admit, human as I am, I was easily overawed by the beauty of the City Palace and the grandeur of past royalty. It really must have been quite something to be a member of the Royal family. Sadly though, it’s a real shame it came at the cost of the general public. Yet, the terms honour and royalty may truly be understood in those palatial houses, the rich history and the splendor of their lavishness. The Lake Palace is now a hotel and definitely unaffordable as a student. Maybe next time when I have earned a little money, I might be able to afford a peek inside. Until then though, I am stuck as a mere subject!
I am sure there are several regions in Rajasthan that are barren and maybe even places that are desert but if are quaint enough to think (like me) that that is all there is, you might wanna rethink your stance. I wouldn’t comment too much about the rest of Rajasthan until such a point when I have seen more of it but Udaipur was fabulous. I now understand why you might wanna have a honeymoon in Rajasthan, especially in the winters!

Pic E is the JAG MANDIR also in the midst of the lake...

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