Excerpts From My Diary : Day 7

Day 7

19th May ’18

Manali

5:30 A.M

My dad woke me up, “Look outside, there is snow!” Without any delay I sprung up from the bed and when I looked outside – the mountains far away – were covered with snow. The hotel manager did tell us yesterday that the mountains are snow capped in the morning. The snow towards the eastern mountain was already melting due to the rising sun but the other side was completely full of snow. We went downstairs for tea and took a walk. When we went ahead, we saw an entire mountain covered with snow. I was spellbound. After piping hot tea, we came back. Also, it is so cold, there is smoke coming out of our mouth. In sometime, we’ll leave for sightseeing.

The Snow Capped Mountains Far Behind

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After 10 a.m., we left for sightseeing. There was a lot of traffic which led to a lot of time being whiled away. But the air had a chill to it. Playing songs on the speaker of the tempo traveller, we moved on. The view from the window consisted of several mountains. Nature has her own palette. The mountains upfront were a lighter shade of green then got dark and darker consecutively. Finally, there was only a black shadow with white clouds completing the gradient. There is a mystery behind those snow capped mountains.

First we visited the Vashishth Temple. We visited the several temples of the complex. But boy, we had to climb uphill to see the temple. I am so done with all the mountain climbing. There were several markets on the way and the air was filled with the sweet music of an instrument which I couldn’t discern.

We again came across traffic towards the Hadimba Devi Temple. The Hadimba Devi Temple has a big complex with lots of markets and games for children put up. The temple was built in 1553. The deity was the wife of Bhima of the Pandavas and had a son named Ghatotkacha. (Wikipedia)

The Hadimba Devi Temple

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Finally, we went to the Mall Road which had several stuff. It started raining but we continued on to the Tibetan Monastery in the complex. The monastery was very calming. There were many prayer wheels with mantras written on it. I spun all the wheels. It was known that ‘each revolution is as meritorious as reading the inscription aloud as many times it is written on the scroll; it means that the more ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ mantras are inside a prayer wheel, the more powerful it is.’ (Wikipedia) I think there were 108 wheels in the monastery I went to. There was a big statue of Buddha. It was a beautiful monastery with intricate carvings. There was also a meditation room on the first floor. After that we explored the market. I love markets! Even though I hardly buy stuff because it’s too costly to be fair, I love the colours and glitter. I love the vibes of the market. People selling wares, customers buying and all.

The Prayer Wheels at the Tibetan Monastery

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It was raining when we went back to the hotel. I ate momos, which my dad told are called as ‘Gyoza’ in Japanese. They was so tasty, especially the accompanying chutney. After talking and snacking for some time, we had dinner and then slept.

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Thank you for checking out this blog!

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 8

Excerpts From My Diary: Day 6

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Excerpts From My Diary : Day 6

Day 6

18th May’ 18

Shimla➡Manali

(via Kullu)

7:57 a.m.

The sky is a beautiful blue today with several clouds accentuating the view. The sun has risen and illuminates the perfect shade of every tree. The clouds are scattered like white cotton candy. When sunlight filters through them, they shine like marble. We’ll soon be leaving after breakfast.

10:00 a.m.

Leaving for Manali. It is a very long road journey. It is drizzling. Hope the weather is good otherwise we won’t be able to enjoy. Distance from Shimla to Manali is approximately 268 km. It is a long 13 to 14 hours journey with some sightseeing spots in between.

Polychromatic Pandemonium

(Towards Manali)

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A palette of fluffy white swirling with blue

A fiery bloom on magnanimous green askew

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A faded purple petal peeks in laze

Through unkempt, unfiltered mantis vague

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Warm coloured flowers huddle close,

And a hue of bold orange obscures the natural repose

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A rapport of white temples and pop shades of concrete

Unbloomed yellow buds live in unknown discreet

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Dried and rusty golden brown leaves kowtow,

Pink, red and green flags guide cars with an unstable bow

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Grey gravel cascades

Sea green cacti protrudes the sand unfazed

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Withered brown branches regret solitude

Black tyres interspersed with sand interlude

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A lake curves and deviates

And silver poles; asymmetry, seem to deprecate.

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Muddy mountain charges like a bull ballistic,

Yellow and green moss floats languid and static.

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Stalactites and stalagmites grey

Traverse the black tunnel astray

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A white caravan composed of vapour

Elopes to the sanctuary of tree pilgrims; which towards the sky taper

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Crescent silver moon watches over silhouettes abound,

And green river follows; an onomatopoeic sound.

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A beautiful chaos of colour coronates nature,

A pandemonium of hues and shades; an indecipherable nomenclature.

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7:29 p.m.

We almost reach Kullu. On the way, we got down at a few places. We saw the Pandoh Dam on our way. We got down at a point where we could take picturesque pictures of the Beas River. Beas river flows right from the Rohtang Pass which is actually more farther than Manali. Rohtang Pass is 13,000 km high. The Beas river follows us everywhere. There were big rocks and white sand on the banks of the river. Later we went on a very narrow wooden bridge. The view was beautiful. We paid our respects at a temple and later proceeded to Manali.

River Beas

Towards Manali

It’s evening and it’s amazing. There are many houses and they glitter in the twilight. The Beas river flows downwards but occasionally, when an opposite stream occurs, it causes a mini typhoon in the river. The houses are on both sides of the river bank. When houses hide behind the trees, the lights over them twinkle. The moon is crescent, surrounded with stars. Sometimes, a bridge arches over the river. It’s a dreamy scene. The air is so cold that I have to shut the window. It’s like something right out of the movies. Several mountains overlap each other. And even as a person who loves playing with words, the beauty is impossible to describe.

We went out for a walk after dinner. There was a chill in the air. It was almost 9°C while going to bed. With anticipation of seeing snow the next morning, we slept.

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Thank you for checking out this blog!

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 7

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 5

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 4

Day 4

16th May ’18

(Amritsar ➡ Chandigarh➡Shimla)

7:10 a.m.

Hardly slept and woke up with sore eyes. Train to Chandigarh at 5:15 a.m. We were almost late for our train. We travelled to the station with our luggage in an open rickshaw. The streets were dark. 4:30 a.m was such a desolate hour.

I am sitting near a window in our AC chair car train.

What Do Her Eyes See?

(Amritsar to Chandigarh)

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Her eyes see the beauty and oblivion in sparkles

And she speaks in rhythms and treble.

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She sees the sun as a pole star,

Because she is a sailor for adventure; close or afar.

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She sees withered trees and fallen leaves for inspiration,

And keynotes for catalytic enumeration.

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She sees the glitter of happiness on the window,

And looks out for ruins hitherto.

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She sees pareidolia in factory chimneys,

And words in a medley.

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She sees an unwinding path in every canal

And giants holding electric wires in tug-of-war panel.

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She sees angry birds in straw huts,

And the silhouette of coal in black salt tuts.

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She sees the emancipation of freedom over the horizon,

And the choir of long trees, chanting in communion

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She sees the clairvoyance of her dream

And flags of milestones that guide her path with a gleam.

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9:51 A.M

We begin with our Chandigarh sightseeing. First, we went to the Rose Garden. There, we saw different roses and clicked several pictures. We then proceeded to the Rock Garden. That garden was very beautiful. Many artifacts were made out of different, innovative materials. Broken plates, broken tubelight sockets etc. There was a section where it was like a nature trek with waterfalls. We kind of ‘trekked’ through the bridges and the waterfall which had an historic overlay above it. Later, we went to the Sukhna lake, where we did not stop for a long while because of the scorching hot weather. After that, we proceeded to Shimla in a Tempo Traveller.

Rock Garden, Chandigarh.

1:39 p.m.

As I had to multi-task during the train journey; the same was not possible with the Tempo Traveller. So I had to type on my phone. Also, as things were zooming past really fast, I had to write it in free verse so as to account for my views and savour it too. It is not a perfect poem, just something between a free verse and prose.

Transitive Paradox

(Towards Shimla)

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Lone temples, cascading Colosseum-like stones,

Ghats swerve sight within a squint.

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Expanse of valleys

And a bridge arches with grace

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Trees shudder at the cliff

Fearing the abrupt

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Stones hold their pace

And accompany crooked trees in an alien Salsa

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My sleep fades away

As the flicker of a natural story unfolds

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The humongous mountains overlap

An impossible race.

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Specks of concrete bedazzled by pyramidal symmetry of gravel

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Dried waterfalls depart on a spirituality

Whilst stones fight fate

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Cranes devastate the natural state

I don’t know whether to turn my eyes or accept this abase

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Stones harbour a tinge of pink

As intimidating trees peek at the scavengers of nature

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They spread out like a peacock

But indented, by our niche minds

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Leaning houses take ascent

And trees crawl over one another to achieve the pinnacle

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I change my view as my family suggests

And I’m shook, and I’m in awe

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I miss a few lines as I comprehend, how magnanimous is the mountainous existence;

And we, tiny entities survive in the majesty of our ego.

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It is necessary for civilization to progress

But so much as to engrave nature?

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An ocean of trees, elevating and depressing

A hawks eye view in a spree

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A refreshing purple pigment in profound green

Followed by an embroidery in polychrome.

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But it’s an irony

Because this beauty, is only possible because I too, am a cruel human travelling through the concrete

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Colourful bricks obscure my sandy view

And a street amplifies the dilemma

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Birds sway and flock unanimously

Just like me; devoid of forty winks

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Timeskip cause I sleep lol.

***

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The mountain is like a slumbering being

Fingers folded like hills; spiky nails

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It’s an endless loop of mountains

Temple flags and proud trees

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The car trembles as it thrusts upwards

And the sun accentuates the golden grass.

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With a lopsided grin and wild hair unkempt

I feel truly alive; exhilarated

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The entire world beneath me, the tributaries of green gold

And the peak in quest awaits

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I capture the fragment in my mind’s eye

My hands oblivious of and allergic to a camera

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That is just a garb though

My measly photography skills will taint the enigmatic truth, I believe

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The thrill of steering at the curvy edge

Induces the wonder of the garniture of trees rooted in rocky sand

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The clouds jump in the picturesque bandwagon

And send their infantry to glare at the sun

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Cold air hits my city bred eyes

And my chapped lips stare at the unknown

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The transparency of white shrouds the mountain head

On the contrary, the skinny trees huff and puff and trek upwards with a huddle

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A galore of trees mark the map

And the illusionary dry waterfalls turn into snake-like roads

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I feel omnipotent whilst casually looking at the satellite view of the world beneath

The valley where I left a part of my soul, to the point of no return.

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The rays pierce away the clouds

They temporarily retreat behind the trees for a strategy

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The opposite settlements are spread out like sprinkles of marble

Growing wherever they are desired; like an octopus

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The sun dissipates everyone in anger

For he’s too stubborn to relinquish his throne; akin to a marionette.

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Pine trees descend before me

A procession which is undoubtedly a writers paradise.

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I share a coffee with the valley swallowing the sun

I sit there, entranced, an evident writer’s block, for no words can describe that beauty; deeper than the deepest abyss of thought.

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It took us almost an hour to find our hotel. After several miscommunications, we found it. I was apprehensive at first but when I looked at the view – I was entranced. Diary, let me tell you, it is ‘paradise’. For someone like me, who is inspired by nature (and anime too) there is nothing better than this. Our hotel, though in a desolate area, with markets farther than 4 kilometres away, we have the BEST peaceful view. With hot coffee in my hand, I stood in my balcony and took a whiff of the breeze. DAZZLED. Some of todays account was written by me sitting in the balcony, looking at the aftermath of the sunset. I wanted to take inspiration and write, but I had to complete the previous account first. But it grew dark soon. But anyway, I wouldn’t have been able to write. Why? I said it is a ‘Writer’s Paradise,’ but but but… it’s just so beautiful, there’ll be no words to describe it. It actually induces a writer’s block. It is paradoxical. But that again is the grace of nature.

The sunset, as seen from my hotel.


*At night, after dinner, we used to meet in the hotel lobby and take strolls outside. Though it was pitch dark and the mountains looked like they had disappeard completely from the face of the earth, the breeze and the dropping temperature was something to be enjoyed. After cooling ourselves from the breeze outside, we used to come back into the lobby, chatter for some time, share a laugh or two, then go back and sleep.

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Thank you for checking out this blog!

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 5

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 3

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 3

Day 3

15th May’18

Amritsar

5:40 am

We arrived at the Amritsar station and proceeded towards our hotel. We went in an open rickshaw and all the scenery zoomed by. One couldn’t see buildings with more than 2-3 floors. Our hotel is in the Golden Temple complex itself (almost). The complex is full of people. Everyone in a religious harmony, heads covered with ‘dupattas’ and handkerchiefs. As we entered the hotel complex, we were greeted with beautiful notes of Guru related verses in Punjabi. After having a bath, had the speciality of Punjab, Parathe and Cholé for breakfast. So tasty! It’s 8:45 a.m now, had some yummy Gulab Jamun and will leave soon for the temple.

9:30 am

We went to the temple. Took us almost one and a half hour there. The complex was very big and architecturally beautiful. It took us a long time in the queue. The temple was right between the holy lake, which was calm. When I went closer to the temple, I could see art and engravings. Some of them had many unique stones. The inlay was beautiful and several engravings of the Gurmukhi script could be seen on the gold. The temple houses one floor and a terrace. Also, we could see Koi fishes in the holy lake.

The Golden Temple

Within the Complex of the Temple

Inside the Temple

Beautiful Art inside the Temple

Art on the ceiling

Art near the staircase

(Inside the Temple)

Koi fishes in the Holy Lake

1:19 pm

After freshening up from the bustling crowd in the temple, we left for sightseeing. There are a lot of small lanes everywhere. They look so ancient, like they are right out of a pre-partition movie. The doors of several buildings were high and of steel, which looked ancient; like they’d never been discarded since the days of unrest. We walked by the market with lots of colourful clothes and fancy stuff.

Gobindgarh Fort

It was a big fort with its importance related to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. There was a live folk dance performance going on there. We went to a museum which housed statues and swords, armours and stories of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The statues looked very realistic. There were hardly any people. I really enjoyed going up and down the fort.

We visited the Lal Devi Mandir as well. It was a big temple, which consisted of the replicas of the idols of several different and famous temples of India.

Wagah-Attari Border

The seats filled up very fast and the stadium resonated with patriotic cheers. At first, until 5:30 P.M, the children and women were called at the podium to display the flag of India. They seemed to have had an enjoyable time. They also danced to several Bollywood related patriotic songs. At 6 p.m. the gate closing ceremony finally began. The soldiers were really awesome! Their marching lifts reached right over their head. They marched till the other side of the border and displayed their combinations. After that the flags of both the countries were lowered and the gates were closed. All the while there were enthusiastic cheers by the audience, guided by the volunteer on the podium. It was an immense gathering of patriotism.

The Entrance to the Arena

The Flag Display

Also, look at the humongous crowd!

The Marching Soldiers

After refreshments, we proceeded to Jallianwala Bagh. The place has a lot of historic importance. However, by the time we reached there, it was already past the closing time. I clicked some pictures from outside the gate and proceeded to explore the market in the temple complex. Amidst of this, there was a showcase of fireworks. It beautiful. I felt entranced. After dinner, we went and freshened up in the hotel. We went back to the Golden Temple complex again, this time, to witness the nighttime view.

The Jallianwala Bagh Memorial from Outside.

Fireworks in the Complex

The temple at night is an epitome of beauty. It was so calming and rejuvenating to sit near the holy lake, with strong winds blowing; along with a direct view of the temple. It was like a dream. The pace of the winds increased and lightning struck once or twice. We ran to our hotel whilst the strong gust of temporal rain. We had Lassi, also a specialty of Punjab.

We went back to our hotel room and straightaway to bed. It was a long day. The next morning, we had to depart at 4:30 a.m. for a 5:15 train to Chandigarh. After finishing up last minute packing and some chattering, we finally slept.

The Temple at Night

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Thank you for checking out this blog! Do share your views and your experiences!

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 4

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 2

Excerpts from my Diary : Day 2

Excerpts from Day 2

14th May’18

(Towards Amritsar)

9:25 A.M

Last night was devoid of sleep. The train kept on shaking and trembling like an earthquake and I started getting pangs of claustrophobia. Nonetheless, the daylight scenery is worth it all. As someone who loves writing, I’d rather take the long road for inspiration. A while ago, with piping hot tea in my hands, I looked outside as dried lakes and farmers passed by me. This route, I am not as lucky to get a window seat but the one second to it. But I can see well outside. And as usual, anime songs play on in my ears.

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1. Adjacent windmills languishing in leisure,

As the train moves through hills and concrete like a seizure.

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2. Taking a little nap at every station,

My train wakes up with a slow jerk as it loses patience.

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3. Roads, smaller than a metre,

Throw the concrete city to shame without a deter.

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As opposed to the city, with less green and abundance of concrete, these passing villages conserve their concrete and let the trees grow freely. Little stations on the way, without any foot over bridges, just seem like little parks on the way with red benches that stay frozen in time due to the lack of travelling populace. Those stations are just THERE. To remind one that humanity still exists in a place full of ploughed farms, so perfectly divided, that I might mistaken this part as the Harappan Civilization if it were not for the little village schools and temples that abrupt the flowing fields. Every little plant is nurtured so well, as they stand diagonally behind each other, like children in a school assembly. Along the stretches of these long farms lie self-sufficient villages; some buildings, too lazy to be painted, while some jazzed up in purple hues.

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4. Trees lean on, beyond redemption and some wither away,

As trains zoom past, oblivious of their gradual sway.

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5. The hills finally show themselves,

Magnanimously (or not) suppressing ancient ruins, mysterious the deeper I delve.

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The majesty of mountains is full of shrubs, that look like hedgehogs in disguise.

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6. The electric poles trace the curves of the mountains

Whilst they juxtapose over my vision plain.

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Sharing chocolates and junk food with our co-passengers, we all move ahead like we’ve known each other for ages.

Wherever I look, I can only see fields and trees dotted over the horizon.

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7. Pseudo hills, superimpose real ones,

Created with gravels; putting the natural phenomenon in a trance.

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Stopped at Kota station, Rajasthan for a while. My claustrophobia has dwindled. Spicy Vada and Kachori are welcoming to our taste buds. The waiting room was decorated with art, which I clicked pictures of; king on an elephant leading a procession. Paisleys on the arch- like concrete. As we took off ahead experiencing the hot air currents or ‘loo’ in Rajasthan, we only know what weather is waiting up ahead. But our AC train shelters us. We move over to the mountains where the lake looks below sea level from the window. The green plants are a gift of nature, placed so beautifully, they look like a self created path.

The waiting room of the Kota JN, Rajasthan.

We also got down at Sawai Madhopur station for a while. I click a pic just for kicks. After that station, one could see desert spread across. Cacti, tundra etc. were visible.

Sawai Madhopur Station, Rajasthan

4:35 P.M

I’m finally right near a window! I was asleep for almost two and a half hours. We’ve already crossed Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.

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8. Patches of fog render the watchtowers blind,

Like a focal torch-light, the lone sun preludes its flight.

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9. A straw hut or two survive anti-socially,

Even though just metre away their twin forges an existence cryptically.

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I see wires stretching across the entire expanse of the fields. Either there is no end to the fields and overhead wires, or I’m just chasing a loopy mirage. But the sun proves my assumption wrong as he descends lower than before. All day, we’ve been passing through such fields. Relief was little in the patches of desert and some dried lakes and majestic gravel filled mountains. Our train seems like another dimension. I didn’t even realize it was Monday ALREADY. Well isn’t that’s what a diary for? To keep track of time that flies away without notice.

6:30 P.M

The sun looks like a small zentangle drawing mixed with gradients of yellow, orange and a fiery hue. There are hordes of trees, which hide an entire settlement within its silhouette.

We passed by the Nizamuddin station. And as we moved across Delhi, we saw roads full of traffic. The rear red lights of all the cars on the flyover below look like the sea of blood. Lakes with lotuses and Gurudwaras passed by. I looked outside the window at the Ghaziabad station. It was designed using the style of arches and had an archaeological feel to it.

9:30 pm

We’re done eating. All that is left is to sleep. I’ll listen to some music. Think about anime, chatter around and then, sleep. I didn’t sleep well at all last night. Today is our last night in this train. We’ll reach Amritsar early morning at 5. Looking forward to it! It’s a long and fun journey, though it’s tiring and my circadian and biological rhythm is messed up, but hey who cares! Let’s enjoy!

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Thank you for checking out this blog!

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 3

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 1

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 1

Hi everyone! I know I’ve been away for a long time, but now I’m back with a lot of stuff to tell you all!

From 13th May’18 to 27th May’18, I went for a long trip, spanning most of the North of India.

Amritsar ➡ Chandigarh ➡ Shimla ➡ Manali via (Kullu) ➡ Chandigarh ➡ Delhi.

I’ve written a personal diary with an account of every day for fifteen days. Poems that I was inspired to write, my views on things, descriptions and everything else that came to mind.

It was a road journey, by trains, tempo travellers and cars. It was a good opportunity for literary inspiration.

For the next few posts, I’ll be using some excerpts from my diary to narrate interesting experiences I had and the poems I wrote along with maybe some new opinions. (Google voice typing will be a saviour)

The original writing in the book is graced by my bad handwriting, shameful grammar, absolutely unredeemable spellings and unnecessary personal opinions. Technology has saved me.

* Stuff not written in diary, new opinion.

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*Before leaving, I printed out a map of North India from Google and marked the route that I’ll follow and also wrote a tentative itinerary.

Day 1

13th May 2018

Towards Amritsar (Punjab)

1:27 pm Prologue

‘A picture speaks a thousand words.’ But words too, can stimulate pictures. If a photographer can present an image and instigate words, a writer can present words and trigger your imagination. A page full of words, or a picture both can take you to the frozen moment of time. Words can speak and stimulate a lot more. They open the doors of thought. And a combination of pictures and words both is the most ideal as they complement each other well. As I soon depart for my journey, I hope to use the fantasy of my words well, so that no matter how many times you and I open this diary, we relive those moments again and again; but with a new interpretation every single time. Bon Voyage!

9:25 pm – Train Departs

11:11 pm

As I sit on my side-upper train berth, sprawled like it were my favourite couch, (except it’s not my couch, nor it is home, it is a violently shaking train. I’m sure my elevating and depressing handwriting conveys so.) headphones blasting with anime music as I write.

We have either middle, side upper or upper berth seats. Ahh… I hope I get to sit near the window tomorrow, otherwise I won’t be able to describe the essence of the transition of the scenery! T_T

On a side note, I know this is a long journey but time really flies very fast. It’s already 11:23 P.M, after all the long wait, 2 hours flew away like a shinkansen (Japanese bullet train). We had our fill of junk food; wafers and all, well, it’s a trip, who cares about diet? Continuing my thought, we must savour every moment. Don’t blink or you’ll fall behind. Enjoy everything as it comes. The trip might get over soon, but I plan to savour every moment. (And of course relive through these words.)

Departing from here, we were in city limits. It’s good to get out of the bustling city, but seeing all the lit up hoardings and buildings pass by me, I knew I would miss my city, though not on the surface but in my subconscious I would. And after that, I climbed up (with struggle) on my side upper berth. And as I write this, the scenario around me (I mean within the train) keeps on changing as everyone prepares to sleep. Attendants with water and food pass by occasionally, but I, absorbed in writing this, let all that turn into a blur and the voices drown out as Japanese music blasts into my ears. I think I should sleep too. (Hah, I won’t until 1:30 – 2:00 A.M anyway…) But there’s nothing more to right now. It’s the entire day in the train tomorrow, and if I get a good seat, I’ll have a lot to tell. Until then, let’s remember that the living in every moment is important.

Lights switch off around me, one by one. Now, it’s countdown until morning, when I would get to see valleys and mountains. (hopefully) Oyasumi!

~~~

So this was the excerpt for 13th May’18. I’ll keep on posting as and when I’m done typing, editing etc.

Thank you for reading! Do comment your views and suggestions.

Click here for the previous post (Stagnation of Perfection.)

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 2