We missed the newly done-up Faridabad flyover and felt reeeaaally bad about it until we reached the toll collection point and figured that we won’t obviously be paying money either. 😛
I work for a firm that deals with a lot of urbanisation issues. I’d recently read about how in India development happens in such a way that the entire look of a street/area changes dramatically every few months. So much so that a person who visits after few years may not be able to identify things around at all. And that isn’t necessarily a good thing. The same happened with me. I used to go to Faridabad every day in Nov-Dec 2009, but now the completion of that flyover has completely changed the entire space. Feels rather strange.
After about 45 minutes of being out, we faced extremely dense fog for a few kilometres. It was fun hearing Varun talk about Delhi’s behaviour when there’s fog or rain.
And then came the sun. I can’t get enough of even mentioning how much I have started loving it. It is as if every part of my body comes alive when I encounter a happy sun. Very few things have the capacity to make me feel as good these days anyway.
About halfway down Varun felt like having a luxurious breakfast. Far removed from my hope of stopping at a dhaba; we googled and dialled The Taj in Agra to enquire about the breakfast buffet. It was fairly reasonable and was available till our expected time of arrival in the city. There! Breakfast decided. The hotel was earlier called The Taj View Hotel, now called The Gateway. And I wondered from which corner of the hotel could the Taj be viewed even till a few years ago.
The breakfast was decent. Just like in most other 5 stars that I have visited and ate at in the past few months. Maybe I expect too much out of these places, or maybe they really are as useless as I think them to be.
|The Gateway from its gate|
|His breakfast happiness|
We left from the hotel at around 10:15 am to wade through the city traffic and make our way to the Taj Mahal from the East Gate. At the parking I saw that we could ride a tonga from there. And excitement happened. 😀 I figured it was really going to be a luxury day trip and did not mind it at all.
|From our tonga!!|
We spent about 1.5 hours inside. Varun’s repeated statement about walking into a postcard was partially true for me. I hated seeing the number of people that I did there. For once I did not like the presence of so many colours around me. And my love for white got reinforced rather strongly. I mentioned that it should be mandatory to wear white to that complex, and Varun feared my dictatorial thoughts.
|Well, I really didn’t know how to do justice to it!|
|I found this substitute for taking off shoes rather funny!|
|My first photo of the day 😀|
|His already nth photo of the day|
My knee, which had been behaving well the past couple of weeks, gave way by 12:30 pm. I was scared I’d ruin the second leg of the outing for us. We drove out nonetheless, on the awesomeness that the highway was. I fell in love with Varun’s Vento that behaved so bloody well throughout the day. I felt bad though for the back that got a hit thanks to an invisible tree. But overall, it was t-o-o—g-o-o-d!
|Between Agra and Fatehpur Sikri @160 kmph|
My mind completely refused the idea of a wheelchair at Sikri. And I think my knee figured that well because it started behaving itself thereafter. And to put it on record, Sikri is the best of all such places that I have seen so far in life. I loved every bit of it. It inspired pleasant thoughts. It made me relate to it at a level that I did not think I ever could have. And it made me wonder what it would be like if I had a palace like that to myself as well. 😀
|I can’t figure the expression|
From Sikri to Fatehpur was a little dry and rather hot. At Salim Chisti’s I felt that I have no wishes that I would want to ask to be fulfilled. It was an overwhelming thought, however, I still managed to ask for the three that the place usually ‘allows’.
|Salim Chisti’s Dargah|
There is still laughter in my head at the foolishness that we were with respect to guides through the day. But it was all good since I had decided to take it easy. And the fact that it was Varun who was the diligent listener, not me, worked well.
|The Foolishness 😛|
We walked around, bought more chocolates, and were on our way out by 3:30 pm. The drive back was less of speed and more of conversations. And about the fact that neither of us liked each other’s music. It was again a non-stop drive, the big dent being the traffic after Ballabgarh.
|Restoration on at Fatehpur – the re-done bits looked beautiful!|
We were in Delhi by 8:00 pm. My call for wheat took us to Not Just Paranthas at GK 2. The place stank beyond belief. I still ate there because Varun told me it was a nice place. The food did turn out to be good, and I did not fall sick the next day.
Varun’s carried over exhaustion from the previous day translated into madness by the end. But I was not complaining. I had had the most perfect 16 hours in the longest time!
|A wall at Not Just Paranthas|
|Varun and his socks at Not Just Paranthas|