1. I am at my happiest when I am travelling.
2. There is no guilt in spending so much money because birthday is anyway special!
My claim of being a water person was written off because I do not know how to swim and was not comfortable going into the river. The others enjoyed the water immensely as I had the near-coronary of this trip. My need for a few quiet, alone moments made me walk a little away from where everyone else was. But I had not gone too far when I slipped on a rock and completely lost control. Heard the camera smash on the adjacent rock. In the five seconds that the entire episode took place, I also froze for a moment after hearing that sound. The lens had taken a hit. I was much thankful about the fact that I had not taken the hood off yet. After noticing the scratches on it, I felt the pain that was poking in my back. It was rough, but not too bad. I walked on. A couple of steps ahead I noticed some movement in the water. It got me enthused because I almost believed it to be a crocodile. Right then Tarun called and insisted that I came back. And when I turned around, my croc had turned into a stupid buffalo. Without giving it any further attention, I walked back to where everyone else was, we clicked a few pictures, and started our journey back home.
|Our dessert – Hello To The Queen. Alekhya thought it was nothing better than chaat papdi. It really was quite sad!|
Like all fun trips with friends, this too had a ‘highlight of the trip’. During our auto ride back Tarun snapped at innocent Alekhya with a, “clearly you don’t know anything about the Mesopotamian civilization”. (Geek club, told ya!) It was all in good humour and the ‘clearly’ tone is going to stay with us till the time we remember this trip.
|Night at the home stay!|
|The Betwa Retreat Hotel|
|Our Heritage Suite|
On entering, my first thought was, “wow, they’re not making any effort to maintain this place”. But the structure’s beauty and expanse took over that feeling instantly. I took a long walk all around the complex, met more cows and goats (Orchha’s definitely cattle-extensive!) and clicked a lot of pictures. What I also observed during those two hours was some constant religious singing in the background. Someone had mentioned a temple where people have been singing for eight years, but this sound could not have been from the temple because it was in the other direction. I don’t remember when I started following that voice, but I do remember that it was one of the most soulful, most touching voices ever. The man wasn’t entirely in tune, but his voice was real.
When I tired myself out completely, I headed back to the hotel for lunch with the rest of the gang.
Alekhya had been wishing for some wine for the past two days, and dinner that night was finally time for some wine. But as it turned out, she didn’t want that wine anymore. So we ordered for white rum, and Amiya & I gave her company. Soon, Alekhya and I were cracking up over some nonsense that at least I don’t remember now. All I know is that we were having a good time.
I promised Alekhya that I would see her again. I told Shantanu that I did really like him. I didn’t tell Amiya and Tarun anything. Just said quick good-byes and got home to my bed.