A visit to Jaipur

There are two terms –
1. Tourist
2. Traveller

I like to think of myself as a traveller and not a tourist but there is nothing right and nothing wrong, it is just that I happen to relate to it more. Let me tell you about my recent travel to Jaipur from the capital of India. This is going to be a candid one so I believe you will enjoy it.

Returning late from work on a Friday evening, I and my friend (colleague)  started talking about going somewhere on the extended weekend as Monday was an off. Nothing materialized but I suggested we can go to Jaipur since it is just under 300 km from the city, we left for our places only to talk about it later at night.

I went home, checked my emails and then logged into facebook and then talked to that same friend and he said let’s go, I said yes and we decided to meet at Sarai Kale Khan Inter-State Bus Terminus in New Delhi from where we would catch our ride to Jaipur – The Pink City.

Fast-forward to the next morning. We reached Sarai Kale Khan and sat in the first bus that was leaving for Jaipur and then we shook hands because we started on this unplanned trip, still not sure where we would stay, how many days, how much money we needed and what we would do there. Let me talk about the bus a bit more and also tell you the price (also, I can visit this later and recall how much I paid).

The bus was of Haryana Roadways and to our surprise, it was fairly clean and in nice condition. The conductor of the bus wasn’t grumpy and he gave us a single ticket for Rs. 270. Yes, that was cheap, so we bought the tickets and sat back in our seats with some stranger sharing the third seat in our row. He did not speak to us until we reached very close to Jaipur and that happened when I asked him to shift from the window seat, see I just wanted to take some photographs. On the way, the bus stopped at something which won’t even qualify for a Dhaba, on realizing that we had no options and Jaipur was still 180 km away, we ordered Paranthas with Rajma curry. There were actually very nice.

Now let me quickly jump to the bus stop in Jaipur, it took us a while to reach there (even after entering Jaipur). As soon as we got outside of the bus, one auto driver came to us and offered us to show hotels. After much discussion, we said okay let’s try and he took us to some hotels and we ended up taking one in Bani Park area, very close to the bus stop and also to the main road.

After bargaining and checking in, I opened up Jugnoo app and called for an auto, since it seemed like a cheap option but really wasn’t. What arrived was a tempo kind of thing and not really an auto. We went to Badi Chopad and explored the market and then walked to Raj Mandir Cinema for the Lassi shop called Shreenath Lassiwala only to find it closed. Nevermind, we had this Rajasthani thali at Natraj. Very nice thali, great service. Day 1 ended with us exploring places around that area. We took an Uber which there is for Rs5/km, cheaper than Delhi, had a nice chat with the driver.

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Back at hotel, I was taking backup of the photographs I had clicked. I knew I would soon run out of space because I only carried two memory cards -8GB each, yeah I know what is going through your mind right now.

Next day, we got up real early, had a shitty breakfast and then took an e-Rickshaw to Badi Chopad from there we would catch a bus to Amer Fort. Fast-forward (spare me please, I know I am using this term too much) to the part where we take a bus, then another bus and then an e-Rickshaw again and finally arrive at the Zoo. I really wanted to visit zoo because-because I had recently purchased my first telephoto lens which is Tamron 70-300mm and I wanted to make sure that I use it. Uploading photographs that I took with it.

Then we roamed a bit more, had kachori one of the shops, ate lunch and then struggled to book a cab back to our hotel. At six in the evening, we  boarded a bus, clean and nice and I took the window seat this time. I honestly dozed off for like 15 minutes in the starting but then I stared outside for the remaining journey. I was home at around 12:30, had dinner and slept!

Now, I need to buy a memory card. Say, a 32 GB or 16 GB would do! I also need to take more photographs, I uploaded these on facebook and got great response, people loved them.

That’s all folks! You are awesome for making it till the end.

Buses and even odd

There is odd-even happening in Delhi between 15th – 30th April. Cars with even numbers are allowed on even dates and odd numbered cars on odd dates. This means a large number of people start using buses and other public transport. Now, most buses are usually crowded almost on every work day but it is my belief that it gets worse during this phase. This morning I boarded a super crowded bus because I had no other options, I simply didn’t know when the other one would come and I was getting late.

I grabbed the door and got into the bus and couldn’t go far because there was no space and everyone stood in weird positions, just a few kilometers and it might get better was my thought. But then comes the next stop and some people board the bus and surprisingly I see myself moving inside, one leg moves and then two others and yes I am now in the middle with my bag in my hand and I navigate and find a position that is comfortable enough for me so I can stand with my head free but I was sandwiched for most of the journey. This sums up the journey I guess.

Now coming to the photograph. I took this other night while returning home. I was late and the bus wasn’t crowded, so I read The Book Thief for a while and then I started taking photographs. I am almost done with that book and might even write something about it. Next, I am going to pick up Sherlock Holmes!

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