6 days ago

How I enjoy traveling solo sometimes in and around Kolkata

My teachers call me an introvert, my friends call me an extrovert, my girlfriend calls me an ambivert, and my parents do not call me any of these even after knowing me for 27 years! It is not necessary that one has to label oneself to identify with others; after spending years of self-contemplation, I find it better to go without labeling to live life in a non-complicated manner. I love traveling, sometimes with friends and family, and at times alone. Even though India has come quite far concerning liberalism, we still give weird looks and drop our jaw in astonishment when someone tells us that they travel solo.

 

I have met people who enjoy solo-traveling for years in length, join back society for a couple of years, and then again leave for solo-excursions; the cycle never ends for them. On the other hand, there are folks like me, who love to share the excitement and fun of traveling with someone, but also like to pack their bag and leave for an offbeat place at times.

 

When I am not with friends, I am a shy kind of person. I cannot make friends that easily as a few people around me do. Most of the times, people will find me buried in my work, but in my head, I am always making plans to visit newer places. I don't know if someone identifies with me or not, but whenever I am preparing accounts for my clients, I know in my heart that I have to leave this urban city to find peace in a remote village and live there for a few days. When I am at work, I have a bubble, from where I set my base to outdo my peers. But when I am traveling, no fear of lagging behind bothers me; I let the other travelers cover various spots while I move with a laidback bearing.

 

The role of food in traveling

 

One of my several passions is to taste various kinds ofcuisines at exquisite restaurants. My Instagram account is replete with the photos of everything I have tried at home, restaurants, bar, or buffets. And a significant number of followers shows that there are people who love doing what I do. Every Friday evening, I go to discover any place that I have not visited, be it alone or with friends. Even if I visit a place again, I make sure that I try a different kind of foods and beverages. My heavily populated account on Instagram has given me new terms to refer cuisines just by using their hashtags. For instance, I would have never used #foodporn to speak of what I eat! However, this particular hashtag is so popular that even I could not stop using it for marking a picture of cheese-loaded pizza or pasta and still feel good about it. 

 

How Kolkata contributed to my travel

 

Being in Kolkata gives me tremendous scope to discover various destinations. The city is famous for its delectable cuisines and innumerable travel destinations in and around the town. I can never say that I am done traveling around my birthplace. I do not mind traveling to a few kilometers from West Bengal, so even if I have to take a long road trip to Odisha, Jharkhand, or any other neighboring state, I just don’t mind. I just need to have a Self-Drive Car Rental Kolkata, and I know what I have to do. Having someone sitting with me in the car is the ideal situation I prefer for traveling, else I do not mind steering around on my own. When I am on my way, I can make out if someone is interested in talking to me, or if can arouse their interest, and it is just amazing to know someone you have just met. That is how I travel with my own company or with that of others; and it does not bother me what it makes others to think of me.

1 week ago

The one-off character of Mumbai and London that I loved

Having lived in Delhi for the most part of my life, I wanted to visit other metropolitans of the world. At the first chance, I got to live in Mumbai; I jumped at it. However, I must say I felt nostalgic about Delhi like anything. I could visit my hometown only 3-4 times a year, but the feeling of longing for ‘maa ke hath ka khana’ grew even stronger when I visited London for a few months after some time. Keeping my personal feelings aside, I had my own share of experiences in both these cities that I want to share.

The spirit

Both London and Mumbai have a timeless character attached to them. The spirit of Mumbai matches that of London; you can roam around the city at any time you want during the day or night. The local environment of both the cities does not let you feel unsafe at any point in time. I was also elated to see the seamless blend of steel skyscrapers and period architecture.

The population mixture

The mini-world of London attracts talent and money from all corners of the world. I found the Koreans residing in New Malden, the Arabs dwelling in Bayswater, the Portuguese living in Stockwell; the Turkish, the Kurds, and the Turks in Islington, Hackney, and Cypriots Haringey; the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis residing in Newham and Tower Hamlets, the Indians in Wembley and Southall, the Nigerians dwelling in Peckham and the Jamaicans living in Brixton. All these people belonging to different cultures are proof that the London is a blend of multiple cultures from around the world. 

In a similar fashion, Mumbai is also an amalgamation of different cultures from all parts of the country and the world. The Huguenots, the Jews, the West Indians, the South Asians, etc. came to Mumbai and made the city their home.  Parel, Dadar, and Worli comprise of a large number of Maharashtrian population, the residents of Ghatkopar and Vile Parle are mostly Gujaratis. The South Indian population resides in Matunga, Bandra houses the Catholic population, the Sindhis live in Chembur; a huge population of Muslims lives in Santa Cruz, Bhendi Bazar, and Crawford Market, the Parsees reside in Malabar Hill, people from Bihar and UP live in Mulund and Goregaon, the Punjabi people live in Juhu, and the Sikhs mostly reside in Andheri. This is a huge mix of culture and population in just a small city of Mumbai.

The contribution of migrants

Migrants play a significant role in the development of a metropolitan like Mumbai and London. For a few established reasons, research has stated that the migrants make better employees as compared to the natives, work harder, are more skilled, and do not mind doing jobs that locals look down on. For the purpose of having a better life and earning more income, migrants often move to cities like Mumbai and London. The migrants who moved to Mumbai have made major contributions to fields such as financial services, theater, media, advertisement, and fashion. Moreover, the migrants happily take up basic jobs such as the distribution of milk and newspapers, selling of fruits and vegetables, and several other services, which are essential for the efficient running of a city.

The transportation

The best part about Mumbai and London is their efficient public transportation. In addition to auto rickshaws, pull carts, cabs, buses, and metros, the financial capital of India has now come up with Self-Drive Car Rental Mumbai, just like it is already there in London. Although there is hardly any gap in the movements of fast-paced cities, Mumbai quickly catches up with anything that is left to be the number one city in India.

2 weeks ago

What traveling around Chennai taught me

What traveling around Chennai taught me

Yes, you heard it right; I love Chennai, not because I was born there, but for the reason that it gives tremendous opportunities to travel around South India. I have been to several places in and around Chennai, and I can still say that I still have dozens of places left on my list of must-visit places. Most of them are not the popular tourist destinations, but the hidden gems of India that most people have not even heard about.

I have often traveled in the southern part of the country just with a backpack, and I must say that I have had some of the best experiences of my life. Here, I am not going to list the destinations you must visit around Chennai, but the kind of experiences and feelings you may get as I did during the last few years while visiting various places.

Packing carefully

One thing that is certain that the weather never remains stable in any part of the country these days, so I had learned to pack the essentials after my first trip. When I left for my first excursion alone, I had a terrible experience dealing with the cold when I decided to travel light and skipped packing the thermals! When the weather tests your immunity, and you fall sick, you remember everything your mother asked you to pack, but you didn't.

Respecting your friend’s decisions

I have traveled with the elder as well as younger travel companions, which taught me how to understand them and respect their decisions. For instance, I had never thought of taking Self-Drive Cars in Chennai as I thought it was an expensive way of traveling. However, after a colleague in office insisted on taking Car Rentals in Chennai, I realized that the cost was even lesser than traveling around in Volvo or Roadways buses if we were a group of 4-5 people.

Taking care of each other

I am a single child at home, so I never actually learned how to take care of others, be it your parents, siblings, or friends. Once I was walking in the woods, and a younger friend was there as my companion. Once he lost track of the path we were following, I was scared like anything, and then I realized that as fellow travelers, we must take care of each other.

Do not depend on Smartphones

In this day and age, we have started depending on our Smartphone quite a lot. And the worst part is, our Smartphone is our nastiest companion. It’s battery will die at a time when you need it the most. Therefore, it is better to travel the good old way and carry a hard copy of map, your hotel’s visiting card, and emergency phone numbers on a piece of paper. You never know when you reach a place where you may not get electricity 24X7, and your phone remains dead for the entire week!

Exploring the unexplored

The best way to travel around a place is to go where no one is going, with a safe company and proper guidance of course. The offbeat places give the best feeling of being in the lap of nature or being there at the rawest forms of manmade structures. I am lucky to have a couple of friends who didn’t mind accompanying me at the most random places, and the excursion becomes even more fun when you have such people with you.

Bargaining around

Traveling also taught me how to bargain for the best price, which I never had the courage for before I started traveling. Now, I can negotiate for a reasonable cost of hotels, travel by local transport, and even food!

Traveling is a lifetime learning experience, which I am lucky, I gained before I got old.

4 weeks ago

My Account of experiencing the charm of Koshy's in Bangalore

My Account of experiencing the charm of Koshy

When you hear that someone as big shot as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has come to a small restaurant in Bangalore, you definitely want to unearth the mystery behind its popularity. I had heard about Koshy's for the first time last year in 2016 from a friend who is a huge fan of their coffee. He told me that the restaurant was highly regarded by the former Prime Minister of India for its mushroom stuffed Pomfret. At Koshy's, you can simply come, relax, and enjoy life. This place reminds me of a matured hotel which blesses the ones around it but does not indulge in the rat-race.

Although I went there alone and I did not have any old memories attached to it, I could still realize why groups of people were having a great time. I sat there for three hours, talked to the staff, and observed people who had come there to unwind. Meeting friends is always great, and I saw them catching up with the old buddies at their same old hangout place, they had a different level of gratification on their faces. They discussed art, emerging ideas of new businesses, present and future of politics, ambitious ideas for their future. Many of them simply indulged in small talk and burst into an old song. 

The love of driving

I just love driving; even if a city like Bangalore is packed with traffic all the time, I have my own things to do in the car. Since I had to come to the city of gardens for just a few weeks, I could not bring my car. For a couple of Sundays, I decided to take a Car Rental in Bangalore without Driver. I can’t afford a Honda Civic at present, so the car rental gave me the opportunity of driving one of my dream cars.

Driving to Koshy's from my hotel was a drive of about an hour. Feeling terribly hungry, I could not wait to scoff their stew and appam breakfast once I reached there. The delicious smileys were served with their special mayonnaise. It was my second day in Koshy's, so I decided to have a change and take tea in the pot instead of coffee.

I learned about Mr. P.O. Koshy, who founded the restaurant in 1940, after he left the job of a Senior Executive in a private bank. His venture turned out to be one of the best bakeries of Bangalore, the traces of which can be seen even today after 70 years. If I were born in this city, I would definitely have some memories attached to this place. Using my Self-Drive Cars in Bangalore, I would have come to this place time and again.

Probably, Koshy's is the only place in Bangalore, which has still retained its furniture and interior from the old days. The youth of the 90s, who are now well above 30s and 40s, especially like to come here for a few drinks with delectable food. To some people, this place may seem highly overrated; this is because they cannot relate to this place and its importance in their lives. The third generation management of the place runs this place at present, which include Prem Koshy, P. Oommen Mathew, and P. Mathew Koshy.

In addition to visiting Koshy's, I also visited several other places in the city. Since I had taken the Car for Self Drive in Bangalore, I did not have to depend on public transport for traveling around the city. I had heard a lot about this metropolitan of South India and I must say I was not disappointed. 

1 month ago

How being in Delhi gives a sense of being to us

How being in Delhi gives a sense of being to us

Pride is something every Delhi-ite carries, whether they are born and/or brought up in Delhi or not. You do not have to spend years in the national capital to get that feeling of self-worth; just a couple of months are enough to make you realize the value of this city and never leave, unless circumstances make you do so. Even though pride is one among the seven deadly evils; it is an only sin that states huge differences between its negative and positive connotations. 

Delhi as a city and its residents are known to have a big heart, and that shows in almost every aspect of life. The Dillwalo ki Dilli is an oft-quoted phrase, which may not be entirely true in the current times, but it still holds truth. Every city in India, or in the world for that matter, has its residents who feel proud of taking birth there. However, one may often ask as to what is there to be so delighted about being a part of Delhi? What in other cities is not there to give you that feeling of superiority that Delhi gives? Yes, there are a lot of reasons.

The big heart

Delhi has always been the pioneer of things and activities unlike other cities of the country. As people from other parts of the country, except a few places of course, are generally shy in nature, they do not really feel motivated to initiate things. However, people in Delhi are known to have that courage to take risks and give a shot to every new thing. Fashion in every form begins from Delhi or Mumbai. Automobiles, technology, medicine, or politics- you just need to name it, and you can see only this one city pioneering in every field.

Almost every new concept takes birth in the national capital and then travels to other places. The Self-Drive Cars, for example, though emerged in Bangalore for the first time, are picking up more growth in Delhi. Car Rental in Delhi without Driver has seen so much popularity during the weekends that they are breaking their own records every month. Self-Driven Cars Delhi did not have any demand in the first place. And when the concept of Self-Drive Cars came to the city, the residents welcomed it with a warm heart. They love the idea of not investing in a depreciable vehicle and just renting a cab or a Self-Drive Car whenever they need it.

The passion for growth

The Delhi-ites show tremendous urge to grow and defeat the others that are not seen anywhere else in its healthiest form. Yes, there is cut-throat competition in the city to succeed, which is increasingly becoming difficult day by day, but you will find most of the population good at heart. You just need to be smart in the city to survive, being mean is not a necessity as it is in the world's more progressive metropolitans.

The welcoming spirit

Many people claim that the Delhi-ites are racist towards people from other states as they have a superiority complex in them. While it is partially true that the inhabitants of Delhi do feel proud of being a part of this place, it does not mean that they do not accept people from other states. They receive everyone migrating from any corner of the world and let them call Delhi their home. Joking about anyone, including themselves is in the blood of Delhi-ites, but that does not count as racism. It is like kidding about your family members while involving them in the humor.

The provision of facilities 

Whether you earn a meager salary or a hefty monthly income, you will not starve in Delhi if you have the will to survive. You just need to be zealous about earning enough for yourself and your family, and Delhi will never let you sleep on an empty stomach. Many educated and half-educated people in the national capital have made transformed their lives just by having faith in an idea and executing it.

The glorious history

It is not without reason that Delhi has the feeling of honor attached to it. The ancient rulers and citizens have created an admirable history in Delhi for others to read and learn. Not only the monuments but the intellectual and political history of the national capital gives a subject of learning to many.

The joy of being in Delhi

Again, it is not without reason that people feel happy at a single chance of being in Delhi, not to mention residing there forever. Mumbai and Delhi used to be the two central powers of India after liberalization. Getting a job transfer in any of these cities meant perks for the family as well as self. Having a house in the urban city, having a great education for children, and world-class facilities all around you would certainly give pleasure to anyone on earth.

2 months ago

What my last Self-Drive Road Trip taught me

What my last Self-Drive Road Trip taught me

When I took my first road trip, I had never thought that a simple road trip could teach me so many things in just a few days that I would feel completely different about myself. Now that I have traveled to several destinations via exotic boulevards, I can say that there is nothing more awesome than a road trip with your friends. I was born and brought up in Meerut, a small town of in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. I came to Delhi a few years ago in pursuit of a job and found this national capital incredible in all aspects. I can set off for anywhere from this place without any hassle apart from living here with all the comforts within my means.

Many people these days feel that they should save time and hop on to an airplane to reach wherever they want to. Sitting in a car for more than three hours seems like a wastage to such people. I have stark opposite feelings to such people; I view road trips as an opportunity to blend with my friends at just another level and even fight with them to patch up sooner (you don’t have any other option no! These chaps are going to be with you for the remaining trip anyhow!).

I don’t own a car in Delhi as I do not feel the need for it. You must be wondering then how could I take a road trip without a car. Nope! I didn't borrow a car from a friend; I don't believe in spoiling friendships because of materialistic matters (I learned this as well on a road trip!). Whenever I have to go somewhere, I book the Self-driven Cars on Rent in Delhi well in advance to save money. After the advent of several car rental companies, it has become easier to rent Cars in Delhi, and I don’t need to depend on anyone for my leisure. How traveling with friends has changed my entire personality, I would like to tell you.

Embracing the off-beat places and paths

When someone decides to go for a road trip, they might choose the most traveled places that are often crammed with people from the nearby states and cities, especially during extended weekends. After taking a couple of trips to Shimla and Mussoorie, I realized that these places are not worth going at all when the entire North India is planning for vacations. It is better to visit the off-beat places in Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand for a quick weekend getaway. I learned to embrace the roads less traveled and the places less visited to find the well-kept secrets and clandestine beauty of these locations.

Stop at unknown places

On your way to the destination, you will have to stop at small towns to find food or anything else, which gives you a chance to interact with people and find several things that you would never explore otherwise when you fly by airplane.

Feel the beat in your heart again

An airport is full of tired and boring people; you can notice that yourself if you do not believe me. On the contrary, you will find more embracing people who are full of energy on the roads. You will feel yourself more energetic when you are traveling by roads.

2 months ago

A wine tour in Bangalore in a Self-Drive Car on Sunday

A wine tour in Bangalore in a Self-Drive Car on Sunday

Places in and around Bangalore are there in abundance to have a happening weekend getaway. Even if you do not have much time, you need to take out just one day to have a few splendid moments with your friends. For me, the day was Saturday when my friends were sitting idle at home sipping coffee late in the morning. The time was 11 o’clock in the morning when I called Ruchika, my childhood buddy, and she almost begged me to go somewhere and take her out of the depressing weekend. We called up a couple of other mates and decided to leave early in the morning the next day for a day out in Bangalore to create a memorable Sunday. It’s difficult to explain the overwhelming feeling of being with your childhood friends again when you all are working adults and just remain sunken in your daily routines.

Once the plan was finalized, the first question that Ruchika asked me was, ‘How are we going?', And it left me thinking hard what to do. I knew that none of us would be willing to take out their car and the cabs are already beyond affordability to travel around the city for the entire day. We decided to test the concept of Self-Drive Cars in Bangalore. I asked her to Google up a few websites and book a Self-Drive Car for our trip by the time I had my chores sorted.

No matter what the cost of traveling was going to turn out that day, we were determined not to drop the plan this time. As a matter of fact, we realized that the Self-Drive Car cost us much less than Ola or Uber, had we traveled by the latter for the entire day.

The wine tour at the Blackbuck Wine Resort

It was that we reached the blackbuck wine resort, we realized the magnificence of the place that is spread in more than 510 acres. Although they take bookings for the wine tour in advance, we somehow got our seats reserved through a friend. They led the group of wine enthusiasts to display the process of bottling white as well as red wine under the guidance of David Ciry, who is a well-known oenologist of France.

After the wine tour, we headed to the grape stomping event. We jumped over the grapes with the bare feet while playing mischiefs with our friends. We could not have asked anything more after we had the mouth-watering food that was served after grape stomping. We had become the hunger driven monsters after a long day, and the food was exactly what we needed at that time.

Then came the time to rest at the resort for the night and admire the beauty of the place. Undoubtedly, I had a great time with my friends and the car rental added to the convenience of our vacation. Throughout the time I spent at the winery, I wondered about the time spent with these mini-beasts I call friends and pledged in my heart to meet them more often, no matter what.