Day 5: 6 Places

On to Day 5 of the 10 Day You Challenge. Today’s about 6 places. I thought and thought and couldn’t decide if this one was supposed to be about 6 places I have already been to or 6 places I want to go to. I did have a “want” in my previous week to visit Greece and it would already taken up one spot. So I finally a flipped a coin and it came to 6 places I want to visit. So I am promptly going to ignore the coin flip and am go with 6 places I have already been to. Here goes.

1. Maldives
A location of your dreams. The serenity, the beauty, the romance, the smells, the sand, the ocean. All of it takes your breath away. We had stayed at the Taj Resort and ended up getting completely pampered. The treatment would have been akin to those that princes and princesses would have got in earlier times. The island that we stayed at could be covered in a couple of hours stroll and even the capital of Maldives, Male was a place that tourists would cover in 4 hours. We lazed around with beers and ginger ale, waiters serving us drinks in the pool, floating in the waters in the private alcove behind our villa, feeding the sting ray, taking part in night time entertainment activities at the resort. 3 days of bliss. Not once did I remember work or home. Selfish us. But the place has a way of making you forget everything else. M and I keep thinking that we would love to go back there again. Someday. 

2. Changi Lake at Sikkim-Gangtok
This was a trip Appa-Amma, my sister and I had taken maybe 12 years back or so. A trip of the northeast. We visited Calcutta, Darjeeling, Sikkim-Gangtok during this trip and I was spellbound by some of the sights. One of the points on this trip was the Changi Lake at Gangtok for which we had to leave at 4:30 AM in the morning. I still remember my sister crying at having to wake up so soon and Mom dressing her up in her blue sweater because it would be cold out. Driving up in the van, with mist forming everytime we spoke and breathed, it was a new experience. The scenery, the lush green mountains and valleys, the chill nip in the air, the soft spoken beautiful people with bright small eyes and pink cheeks, and the air of complete serenity enveloped me. Driving up 12000 ft above sea level, where the lake had frozen to form a solid ground was something I had never seen before. I was scared and terrified to step on it afraid that it would break and I would fall through. The terror shows on my face on one of my pics where I sit on a rock with my feet on the frozen lake. This was also where I had the second best Maggi of my life along with small veggie samosa kind of items (I dont remember what they were called). Heavenly experience !

3. Athipulyur
A very small village somewhere south of Chennai. My dad’s maternal uncle was the landlord of this village and I remember taking a trip every year from Chennai. He had a huge palatial house, of those kinds seen only on TV. Rock solid ornate oak pillars, a beautiful chained wooden swing, a magnificent courtyard, an open patio, fields and orchards where we as kids would play all day long. Even after tiring ourselves out, we would sit in the patio enjoying the evening breeze playing “choi” (a game played with small shells) watching goats saunter by. We would go play in the water from the local pump, pluck mangoes, so many that Grandma wouldnt know what to do with them ! I am sure we city people wouldn last more than 3-4 days in such a place but yet a beautiful childhood indulgence !!

4. Lonavala-Khandala-Matheran
Suicide point may be called so, but to me, how can someone ever think of giving up their life at such a beautiful spot. Maybe thats what drives them to. They get so lost in the moment it becomes easier to let go. Depressing thoughts apart, go to one of these places during the monsoon and with the fog, the light rain, bhutta, pakode and garama garam cutting chai – one cant go wrong. I have met people who have stayed all their life in Bombay, yet haven’t visited one of these places. I say wake up people !! Matheran is also the place where a donkey/ass/horse whatever it was, threw me off its back for whatever stupid reason and thankfully I landed on my backpack that I was wearing. So even though my watch and cell phone broke, I was safe ! Everytime I think of that incident, I chuckle 🙂 So yeah, I do love and remember these places for more than one reason !

5. Bombay
It may be called Mumbai now but to me it will always be Bombay. Love everything about it. Maybe now more because I have been away for a long time and hence I could be missing it more. I could be biased because of that but I do love the feel of Bombay. The local trains and buses, the incessant crowds, the haggling at roadside shops, the chaat ke theles, sugarcane juice shops, the ever growing number of malls, the number of cars on the roads and the people ! I could stand at a bus stop for an hour and just keep observing everything around me and not get bored. Most people complain about the traffic, the pollution, the population, at times I do too, yet at the end of the day I always come back to it. Home is where the heart is. And even if I think that I might want to eventually settle down somewhere where I could spend more time with my kids and family and not stuck in a bus in traffic, Bombay will still always be my first love !

6. Anushaktinagar
Sure, my college friends used to call it the “Lost World” in reference to place where dinosaurs lived, a place from an ancient era. But its where I spent all my time growing up and so its obviously a place extremely close to heart. Like any other person, I have so many fond memories of the people and things associated with it that it cannot but be on my list. The stream behind our School 3 where we used to catch tadpoles, the MAFCO corner, Garuda, North Gate, Nilgiri, the fields where we used to play the frisbee, the AEJC football ground, Prakash’s store, paani-puri waala, the long walks we used to take, the late hours me and my friends used to meet up until, everything is special and it all links back to Anushakti. In my growing up years I used to have a lot of complaints, but my home and I have both since patched up !

When I listed all of these, it struck me that even though I have been in the US and been to a lot of places here, they don’t figure in my top 6. I loved some of the spots here like LV, Niagra, SFO but I guess my list has more to do with memories than sights ! 

Addendum: I happened to read my own post again and I realized its funny how I have remembered to mention food items in each and every one of them !!!! Up until this post I didnt realize how much of a foodie I have become. If one were to pick all my favourite foods and put them in one place, would that become a favourite? Interesting thought ! Tho’ I seriously need to step away, no wonder I have been loading up on pounds !!!

I would love to hear your views!