I love travelling, for it means freedom from the mundane, freedom from routine, freedom from seeing the same grumpy faces in office. Besides this, I love the outdoors – the mysterious mountains, quaint towns, sleepy hamlets – I find it all very intriguing. While travelling, exploring new places, and indulging in interesting and intriguing trivia, and observing people and their culture also interests me a lot.
This is an account of a family trip, where more people join in, causing at first, chaos and confusion, but subsequently, becoming an integral part of the first family, turning the trip into a memorable one.
It was supposed to be a family road trip across Rajasthan – exploring the ‘Land of Kings’ with its many forts, sand dunes, lakes, Kalbelia dancers and lots more. The itinerary included Jaipur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer, and may be later Chittorgarh too, if time permitted. But then the extended family (read relatives) joined in and as happens with most plans right before you are about to take the car out of the driveway, a slight ‘change in plan’ was suggested. A little detour to first pay respect at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah and from there heading on to check out the other above mentioned attractions of the land of colours.
|Rajasthan welcomes us|
So with a slight aberration to the initial plans, we set out, to pin down Rajasthan on our respective travel maps! We all are bundled into identical cars of similar make and the standing instructions both the car drivers give each other read – follow the car! So here we are, on a state highway, with each car taking turns in leading the way. All is well, the landscape is beautiful,the breezing blowing fine and the passengers in a pepped up mood, when suddenly somebody comes out of the reverie to discover that for the last 15 minutes we have been following the wrong car.
|(Blindly) follow the car!|
Frantic calls are made and turns out we missed our fellow travellers on the last complicated roundabout. Wow, this is fun! So we spend the next half an hour trying to locate each other and after some hassle the cars are reunited. We all come out of our cars, asking after each other’s well-being, floating theories about how the lost-on-road fiasco came about. Everyone sounds relieved that things did not go much out of hand. So now that all is well, then tea is in order – to celebrate the reunion!
By the time, we are done with tea, the bonding with the extended family is getting cozier. As we get back on the road, the passengers are exchanged and so now there is a mix of both the families in the two cars. A few kilometres down the highway, we chance upon an abandoned water tank, and this is the last straw – to drop our inhibitions and head out to explore the unexplored!
|And up we all go!|
|The daredevils decide to go further up!|
Once we are done with conquering this dangerous building we hang around the road, taking in the scenery, capturing the women folk going about their daily chores.
|The long road ahead|
|Village belles out and about|
And guess what, another adventure comes knocking as we spot a camel resting near a cotton farm on the other side of the road! More photo ops follow – anything for posterity – a field with ready cotton crop, and a camel resting under a tree, for real!
|Chit chat with the camel|
|Ready Cotton crop|
The road trip resumes, and by now, the ‘extended family’ is part of the family – joking, poking and laughing together! We stop again at a dhaba to gorge on delicious dal baati churma and fresh lassi. And then more tea and bonding follows. The young and old are busy tricking each other or plotting pranks after pranks. We reach Ajmer around 6 in the evening and after a relaxing visit to the dargah, hit the streets for some fun – and this is what follows, a rickshaw ride!
|Rocking rickshaw ride|
Around midnight we are back in our hotel to bring the roof down with loud and boisterous games – dumb charades and antakshri (what else). The role play keeps everyone in splits!
After seemingly endless rounds at trying to figure out the films and songs, we call it a day – to gear up for the next leg of the trip, a trip which was full of fun, frolic and family bonding, and this is what makes it memorable for me and will always remain etched in my memory.
Day 2 was hilarious! Details in the next post! Here’s a sneak peek. 🙂
|Day 2 highlights!|
P.S. For this summer, there’s another ‘family trip’ on the cards – a road trip across Ladakh (the route intricacies are being worked on). But considering the track record, I have a feeling we will end up in Manali instead. Haha. And maybe then I will write about this trip too!
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