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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day 1422

Thursday was a day which was full of Murphy's laws. I left for work in the morning and had to come back up as i had thought i had forgotten my mobile phone. I came up and searched but in vain. I went down and saw it was in my bag at the bottom. Lunch was late than usual and i had kept my phone out to charge only to come back to find 6 missed calls from my driver. I called him back but he didnt pick up. Figured he would be driving. In the evening, scrooge called and said one car had a breakdown because the battery suddenly went dead and the other car had kinda bald tires and wasnt recommended to go for major long drive. And since it would be next morning before i could get a new battery changed and since i had to go to Baroda next morning and was without a confirmed railway ticket, i was thinking, just how the hell will i go? Also turned out that my driver was trying to call because i had sent him to get some stuff from the University and he was unable to locate the office, but somehow he managed at the last moment. So here i was, awaiting my short much awaited get away from the city without a car, without a confirmed reserved train ticket. Somehow, since i had booked tickets in a couple of trains, one of them got confirmed. Yet i couldn't cancel the others immediately and had to wait till morning to get it done. I was supposed to wake up at 4 AM but due to an error on my part, i kept the alarm for next thursday instead of friday. Thankfully i woke up at 4:45 and was ready in time to catch the train. Only to find out that i, once again, forgot where i kept my cell phone. Called from my land-line number on my cell phone to find out where it was and forgot to keep the land-line receiver. Aaagh. Couldn't wait to reach Baroda and relax at the hotel.
Now being an avid traveler, Baroda was one place in Gujarat that i had not been there yet. And i had a free stay at The Taj which i needed to utilize. And The Getaway by Taj at Baroda was the most worked out option available. So it was a nice train journey by the famous Shatapdi train. Reached Baroda and most importantly, The Getaway Hotel in Time. Now the hotel isnt exactly The Taj but its managed by The Taj group so one gets all the amenities which one would get at a hotel chain like The Taj but at a much lesser cost. After checking in, had some lunch and then headed for the major Tourist Attraction of the city - The Lakshmi Vilas Palace.
This is the residence of the former royal family of Baroda and is by far the biggest modern royal residences of the country. The Baroda royal family has been known to be patronage of all good things in life and have always known to be the pioneers in the field of education. The Maharaja Sayaji University in Baroda is as prestigious as the Delhi, Mumbai or Madras University. And its spread on multiple huge campuses across the Baroda City. After the auido-tour of the palace and buying a small memento, i went back to the hotel. I decided to go for a swim but somehow felt the water was too damn cold(and the nice cool weather in the evening helping it too), so had to come out of the pool in less then 5 minutes. Went up in the room, freshened up and watched a movie on TV - A thousand words - A just about watchable movie of Eddie Murphy about a guy who has found out he had just one thousand words left to say before he dies. What could have been a very well meant spiritual movie happens to be a just about passable fare. Had a nice dinner and then was sleeping before midnight.
Had a sound sleep after a really long time. Next morning, after breakfast, caught up with a friend and went for a small drive round the city and then had lunch. After that went back to the hotel and tried to swim, but again it was too cold in the water. But somehow i managed to remain for about half and hour or so. In the evening, my friend came back from work and we spent some time having a cuppa and generally talking about things. Had a nice buffet dinner and then watched some TV before going to bed.
Next morning, which is today, woke up early and caught the 8:25 Paschim express back to the city.
Came home and freshened up and wore the new clothes, as traditionally most people do during Diwali day and caught up with another close friend for dinner at Blend N Brew. Had some nice good conversation and thankfully got no traffic going or coming back home. Diwali is the festival time when the city is full of lights and over the years have been less and less of noise. This year too, thankfully, people have more and more started to realize that Diwali - as the name signifies, is the festival of lights and not sound. So it was wonderful to see the shops all lit up, homes decorated and lit up and everyone in a jolly festive mood. Even i have lit up my home a bit with the traditional lanterns and diyas. Will try and upload the pics tomorrow.
I also wanted to write about a nice dream that i had got on Friday night. I dreamt, i was in paris with mum and i could see the entire eiffel tower from where i was staying, Mum was telling me why I want to go there again? And i told her, come what may, i will  not come back unless i visit the Eiffel Tower once again. And just as i was about to climb, i woke up. :( Shared the dream with a friend who had just visited Paris and both of us were crying from inside, as to, when will we go back to the beautiful city once again ?
Well, I sincerely hope it happens soon.

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