Packing For a Road Trip

Am back from one road trip, and realized how much of unnecessary things I was carrying,  So to work things out here is what I did, I made a checklist.
A road trip is essentially a journey via automobiles, sometimes impromptu; it could involve some spiriting activity.
Before come into to the checklist of must have let me go through the stages of deciding what the must have’s are.
• Where are we going on the trip?
• When are we going?
• How long are we going?
• Who are our travel companions?
Very often travel instead of broadening the mind merely lengthens conversation!
A road trip needs to be planned well in advance. With at least a list of 10 places that we could like to see,
The next phase would be deciding the stop over’s, after which the travel breakers as a continuous journey might be difficult. These would depend on the travel companions.
The checklist would be then under the following titles.
• Essentials
• Safety
• Cleanups
• Boredom busters
• Extras
I would first put out the clothes and these would be decided on the availability of washing felicity during the trip. Things like:
• Tickets and bookings
• Automobile papers and coins for toll gates etc.
• Identification papers, emergency contact numbers
• Coins
• Cell phones with recharge vouchers.
• Water preferably cooler
• Medicine chest with prescription drugs, roadside first aid kit, general first aid kit, tablets for travel sickness.
• Toiletry, detergent for clothes.
• Flash light, emergency sewing kit. A nylon chord
• Wet wipes, paper towels, toilet papers.
• Trash bags
• Laundry bag, preferably a bucket which can double up if need arises
• Books for reading, and notebook for travelogue,
• Camera.
• CD with music of each traveller’s choice.
At the end of it all I would decide the size of the travel bag. Put in half the clothes I kept out and hopefully double the budget. 


This kind of works for me you may want to tweak this or create your own list.

Stories Along The Way

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jhulelal temple jamanagar

I love travelling, and I am a traveller not a tourist, for a tourist sees what he has come to see, I see what I see. Travelling for me is healing, discovering and learning. There is a kind of excitement. All these years I have been travelled not only to other worlds but into my own through books like a voyeur instead of a voyager

After a travel one actually learns as much of ourselves as we learn about new vistas. We appreciate nuances of our own community and culture as we learn about the other somewhere we discover we are  alike and somewhere we are different.

There are two types of travelling that fascinating me, one is the road trip where we go along with every day life.  This is a wonderful way of learning the culture of a place.

Another is the structured travel tourism, where we have a focus and go tracking the destination that connects the objective. This gives us an idea of where we come from.

I am just back from Jamnagar, it was an amazing experience the changing landscapes. As we got into the train at Udupi, through the westcoast it rainy, mountain terrain, when we went to bed, it was rainy station bereft of any vendors of any kind.

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sundown at Dona Paula

I remember as a child travelling from Madras to Delhi meant we travelled through Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, uttar Pradesh, the cuisine changed with terrain, even if one ate from the train pantry. we would look out at the landscape changing green and blue mountains to the blackish volcanic soil to the red soil and seemingly endless flatland.

Back to the current travel the reliance land of course began with fleecing the travellers incredible india and atithi devo bhava are all television successes. But once in town while my daughter and her friends were busy studying I went to see around.

The first jhulelal temple…

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night market at Arpora

The interesting way that tea was served and shared…

Then there was the pride in the voice of the auto driver when he told us about the autorickshaws that were manufactured indigenously at Jamnagar. The motorcycles morphed to carriers and transporters. The city had so much to offer.

As I waited for my daughter to finish her exams there were so many wild sparrows that I could site but not photograph.

During this road trips and informal travelling what I did gather is that the true ambassadors and cultural teachers are not the certified ones but the everyday vendors, like the bakery where I went to buy bread, he refused to let me take bread, but guided me to a “pharsan shop” since he wanted me to experience a traditional Jamnagar breakfast which is called Ghatiyo and is served with various chutney’s and sauce.

Other than that the various road trips that we have done are

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camp Empowernment Kolad

view from the train.

I think it now time for a planned trip with a focused itinerary of our choice.

I am blogging about my dreams and passions for the Club Mahindra#DreamTrails activity at BlogAdda. You can get a Club Mahindra Membership to own your holidays!

The Jhulelal Temple

Lal meri, pat rakhiyo bhana jhulelaalan

Is one of my favourite songs, and when I did ask someone they told me it was a Sufi song. Religious scholars always said Jhulelal was Krishna; their justification was Jhulelal was the son of MataDevki.

My own learning from the various articles published by the Sindhology study group said that the Hindu Sindhi’s believed he was the incarnation of Varuna the Lord of waters. Now this is really interesting as Varuna is part of the Vedic triad, also Sindhi’s are seafarers.  I am sharing an article from the scroll that has quite adequate information on Jhulelal for us to begin a journey.

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prayer at the temple

When In Jamnagar, I saw for the first time a shrine dedicated to Jhulelal, there was the slogan written in Guajarati and Urdu. It was interesting to observe, that the older wall paintings, were of Jhulelal, who looked like a Persian Guru Nanak, and a picture of MataDevki like a river goddess. But there were also newer pictures of calendar art version of Lakshmi and Krishna.

The ritual in the shrine was also very different from the Brahmanical ones, there was incense laden dhoop and low nasal Sufi like chants it was soothing.

What interested me the iconography and the slogan Jeko chawundo Jhule Lal Tehnija Theenda Bera Paar (جيڪو چوندو جهولي لال ، تَنهن جا ٿيندا ٻيڙا پار)’ meaning whoever says Jhule Lal his/her ship will reach the shores

The fish, the lotus, the wisdom represented by an old man, the fish the symbol of plenty and nourishment coming from the sea, the lotus the symbol of abundance that floats on water, Sindhi the travellers, the craftsmen, the tradesmen who sailed the waters of Sindhu. Please note this is what the iconography told me, I have not yet researched this, but crossing the seas safely to reach the shores is the practical need of every sailor, though we can give it metaphysical intonation.

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Someday I guess I shall find answers to these questions and newer questions will arise. for those who are interested in knowing more.

Sunset at Dona Paula

Dona Paula,

The iconic destination at Goa.  I prefer going there in the morning when there is no influx of tourists, touts or tiresome stall owners.

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Odxel View

But my daughter had her college friends over from outside state and of course Dona Paula for the tourist is in the evening.

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Vasco View

The romantic folklore goes on from a lovelorn Dona Paula who turned to stone waiting for her love to many more. But historically the place is a dedication to Paula Amral Antonio de Souto Major, the daughter of the Portuguese viceroy of Jaffnapatnam in SriLankan. She was married to Dom Antonio Souto Major, which was an affluent family. She was a woman of charity and did a lot for the villagers, when she died on Dec.16th 1682 the villagers renamed the village of Oddavell in her honour.

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When the Wind meets up with Zuari-Mandovi and the Sea

There is myth of Dona Paula who is entombed in the Cabo Chapel at the Governor’s chapel emerges from the moonlit waves wearing only a pearl necklace, this seem to entice lot of tourists.

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The iconic Dona Paula

Currently for the domestic tourist, Dona Paula is the place where Ek Dujekeliye, and Singham were shot. In addition to be a part of the Bollywood travel sites of Goa, Dona Paul is a p;lace where migratory Dolphins can be sighted. Dona Paula also offers water sports like boating and water scooter riding.

garabage– gifts from the tourists

#Tales of 2015-Retrospect

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The Blogger’s Lounge 2015

MOTHER TIME—life goes by so very fast, my dears and taking time to reflect, even once a year slows things down. We zoom past so many seconds, minutes, hours killing them with the frantic way we live and it’s important that at least this one collective sigh and stop, take stock and acknowledge our place in time before diving back into the melee. Midnight on New Year’s Eve in a unique kind of magic where, just for a moment the past and future exist at once in the present. Whether we are aware of it or not as we count down together to it, we are sharing the burden of our history and committing to the promise of tomorrow.

Joining the EKAA family

What was 2015 like? Certainly not like I dreamed, may be that’s okay, we want what we want. There were times when I worked myself into a frenzy worrying about what I was and perhaps lost track of where I was.

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Discovering Hyderabad.

Of course I did plan, I created a scheduler, got it printed with (lousy delivery not recommended.) But events unfold just the way they have to the universe has a plan. The first decision of the year was plan A go with universe there was always plan B the way I wanted to go. The journey was amazing and so relaxing. Of course I did have breakdowns and psychotic spells. But over all a year that I can look back and smile. It was as if the year was making up for long spell of loneliness, throwing people and friends at me.

first blogger meet

One can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks or even months analyzing a situation, trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve happened or we can just leave the pieces on the floor and move on. Moving on is so liberating.

When I let go allowed the universe to take charge there was so much of reluctance, but I began to move towards my tribe, the sense of belonging emerged. I am not saying it was utopia or euphoria though psychotic breakdowns have been fewer they have been more intense but that I think is about ruminants being flushed out.

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The Zica experience

Events have been a lot, like the Goa Bloggers meet, Word-up my first bloggers national bloggers meet, the BNLF at Mumbai, the art and literary festival at Goa. 28th class reunion at Manipal. Wonderful people have come into my life some have moved on. That is ultimately what life all about growth.

What I learnt was motivation, goal, are all words that are trumped up, the only things that truly work are integrity, improvisation, and innovation. If we were to take a quiet moment and go into our inner self our life goals and what we are attempting at are really diverse.

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Amazing Road trips–Sawantwadi

There is no point in burning myself mentally like have emotionally and physically… best thing is to be the way I am a reluctant enthusiast…a part crusader, a half hearted fanatic. Saving the other half of myself for pleasure and adventure, it is enough to fight, it is even more important to enjoy what we have fought for, while we can., and while it’s still here. maybe it is a good idea to get out there, trek, swim and mess around with friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forest, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the stillness, the lovely mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy myself, keeping my brain in my head and my head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, this would be my sweetest victory

completed the 2015 challenge.

I am looking forward to the growth this year, to reclaim connect with nature, my evening walk and my swimming. Going back to clinic space. Telling the stories that I am meant to tell.

At the end of the day Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up totally worn out and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a ride.”

 “I’m sharing my #TalesOf2015 with BlogAdda.

A terrorist called the tourist

bibi ka makbara Aurangabad

Travelling  has currently become a fashion, from travelling to work, and slow paced movement to learn about history, go back in time we have become the aggressive globalized tourist. Tourism today is the great soporific. A huge confidence trick and gives people the dangerous idea that there is something interesting in their lives. Their musical chairs reverse … all the upgrades in existence lead to the same airports, and resorts, the same pine colada nonsense. The tourists feel euphoric with dropping of accountability, they are flashing trendy sloppy clothes, and smile shiny smiles it helps them forget who they really are, the salary slaves with heads full of global success rubbish, travel is the latest fantasy that the 20th century has left us, the delusion that going somewhere helps you reinvent yourself.

Today we no more have travellers, we have tourists, be it on a pleasure trip to Bali, or a pilgrimage trip to shabarimala, and we also have the spiritual travellers.

No matter what my grouse and venom against tourism, there is a huge economic activity that happens, with planning tours, gone are the days when we travelled to destination with relatives and parked in their house feed on their hospitality,  tourism today begins with planning, there are tour operators who plan your itinerary  including stay, then are the more unstructured travellers  book their own tickets even then it does involve another party maybe the ticketing agent or a website that does it but it involves a financial transaction, then the stay at the destination, the food. In places of historic interest we have associated revenue creators in the form of tourist guides. In places of pilgrimage we talk of the clergy that render services.  Then there are the souvenir shops local transport eateries etc… All this is great.

Today, specific travel attitudes and methodologies are as carefully calibrated as attire worn on a first date which is rather absurd.  The places visited are only the famous cities and landmark thankfully, strictly hewing to the instructions of latest Lonely planet,  it is equally idiotic not to go to a landmark or city just because it is popular, the net effect is the same, the tourist wants a merit badge to earn and flaunt, saw this, did that, crashed out on calangute beach, had a speed race from Dona Paula to Bamboli… every resident on that road sincerely blessed you that you and your noisy bike would crash into oblivion.

But this comes with a price to the host society.  I am not a travel tourism person; I am traveller and can share only what I have seen in places picking up small examples

The huge influx of tourists in goa, the tourist population is three times the population of the resident we have speeding vehicle, who are irresponsibly parked. Large influx of tourist buses, they need parking place. Despite parking place designated for them we find them parked where ever.

We particularly live in an environment protected zone, but 1000 trees have been slaughtered to create this road for drunken tourists, who molest the local girls.

Loud shouting in public places drunken misbehaviour.

Smoking in public spaces.

In places of pilgrimage, particularly like Hari ke Pauri during Ganga dussehra, or  Udupi during Ashtami we see, people shitting, spitting or peeing in public spaces, the sanctity of the place is gone.

the loud tourist on his pleasure trip is a nuisance of one kind and the intellectual calibrated tourist is another pain, they come look into the houses, imagine poking into tepee or igloo’s for god sake the fact that people chose to live there does not bother the intellectual, but barging in, opening the flaps, touching, photographing and inspecting like they have the god-given right to intrude everywhere.

The enormous influx of tourists bring in greater issues like resource management, the emerging tourist culture has given rise to chains of hotels, and that takes up the resources that was otherwise meant for the local residents.

Having listed the tip of the iceberg of residents owe in tourist dominant area let’s move on to how to get responsible tourist activity.

The answer is with responsible parenting. It all starts with inculcating basic etiquettes like not peeing in public, not using swearing words, not dumping your garbage around.

If we learn how to respect the other, be it culturally or individually our behavior towards the society that we visit will be more respectful.

If we know how to respect our resources then we will bother to recycle them.

The host destination could make it slightly more do-able by providing refuse bins that are emptied at regular intervals. Pay toilets I have heard Indian tourists to Europe complain that the biggest expense that they had was the pay toilets, fair enough let’s do it.

When the tourist oversteps the boundaries then we need to treat him like a terrorist and not a guest maybe stringent action would help.

Drunken driving and speeding should be treated like intent to kill. That invites really imprisonment that is non-boilable.

Loud noisy public behaviour and etching on the monuments should be treated like vandalism.

We just do away with disposable water bottles, like the Pepsi fountains, we put up fountains that work on pay slots so people refill their bottles. Instead of buying new ones.

Hotels conducted tour operators, give garbage bags so that tourists do not throw the garbage anywhere and everywhere.

People clicking selfie in the centre of the road will be punished with a fine of 10,000/Rs or will be dealt with as attempted suicide.

citizen journalist
image courtsey internet

When I see the advertisement Athithi devobhava, and look around goa I am reminded of the fable of the camel, that requested the master to let it warm its nose during the storm. Eventually the master was out of the tent in the storm while the camel occupied the tent. We have people from Delhi coming in for “vacations” the next thing we know is they have taken the state over.

“I am blogging for #ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda



A Wayside Inn.

The cook with the lump of kneaded dough for Bhakri.
The cook with the lump of kneaded dough for Bhakri.

We are back on our road trip this time it is on the Uttara Kannada belt. In our brand new Tata Zest XTA.

The trip was essentially from Dharwad to Sirsi to Manipal. From there we were to travel to Kollur and back to Goa.

It was around 1 pm when we hit Kumta and we over shot the normal Kamat  that we eat, somehow with Kamat Upachar and the other Kamat chains we know what we are letting ourselves in for so on roads we prefer to go to a Kamat

This time round we found something called Kamat executive Inn, expecting the normal north Indian south Indian stuff we walked in.

Surprisingly for us, he had only Thali’s the north Indian Thali, the south Indian Thali. And in the south Indian Thali there was the Bhakri one and the standard fare.

The Bhakri’s were served absolutely fresh the cook tapped the Bhakhri right in front of us and served it right off the skillet. My husband and I of course opted for the Bhakri while my daughters seem to prefer the south Indian Thali. The accompanying dishes with the three thali’s were totally different and each authentically ethnic of the genre it was labelled.

Do excuse me, I cannot share the picture of the Thali simply because I forgot to photograph it. I was so fascinated with the Bhakri making, I should have actually recorded it, and will share it the moment I can convert the file .

The ambience at the Inn is rather sad and tired, nothing fancy, but the food is definitely good, though I would not say finger licking. On a scale of 1to 5 I would rate it a 2.75.