Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

The Real Travelers’ Guide to the 3 best holiday destinations in India- Ladakh

May 17, 2013

So we all know about the travel related cliches. Get a good tour and travel consultant, buy a package with some freebies thrown in and travel to places people have already talked about. If you are an NRI and have the opportunity to explore your country, here is your guide to the 3 best holiday destinations in India from the real travelers’ diary.

Ladakh: “Gar Firdaus Baroo-e-Zameen Asta. Hamin Asta, Hamin Asta, Hamin Asta”

A phrase that literally translates to “If there was a Paradise on earth, its here, its here, its here”, and a phrase often used to personify Kashmir, we’d take this personal liability to give this crown to “Ladakh”. Nestled at an altitude of 3,500 meters above the sea level, between the Kunlun Mountain Range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, is a small, yet bustling town of Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Connecting the sleepy hamlets and valleys of the district, Ladakh is also one of the few remaining Buddhist destinations in South Asia.

Far from the literal happening, Ladakh is a place to explore, camp and for once in your life, hear silence. If you happen to be a jewelry and metal enthusiast- the old Leh road have the Tibetan Refugee Market for you which is an ideal place for shopping in Leh. Sonorous bowls, cymbals, trumpets and several Tibetan meditation instrument are up for grabs in here. Women- you might just like to get gaga over turquoise and unpolished silver jewelry made by ladakhi women. If you have an eye for semi-precious stones- you might just find an array of Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan set in silver to flaunt in a world that has never seen Ladakh. Other than these, there is nothing much “to do” as such. But “to do” there’s a lot! Take the open road, face some challenges, brave the winds and be a traveler. We are in love with Ladakh.

That would be us with our week’s travel pick for the day. Explore the unexplored; better an experience that can be bettered and see beyond beyond the obvious is what our travel motto is and will always be!

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To meet an Indian abroad

December 14, 2012

Last year I was vacationing in China. To any Indian, even an NRI like myself, China is one of those completely unfamiliar, utterly fascinating, and really interesting experiences. It’s a culture very removed from our own, every aspect of the country and its people is totally alien to us. Luckily, we had a guide that knew English and helped us every step of the way. In our group though, it so turned out, were three French nationals. And though they did not have a chance to meet each other on the first four days of our trip; come day five, they realized they were all from the same country.

And all hell broke loose! I mean that of course in the most positive manner. On they went jibber jabber in French. No one could understand anything but it was apparent that they had the best trip of their lives. Why? Because they found the best kind of company, the company of their own ‘desis’. During the time it irritated us. “What were these people going on and on amongst themselves in a language only they understood?” was what most of us thought in our minds. And not just then, we have all felt this feeling whenever one sees people of the same origin meet; be it two Italians, Bengalis, or even British. But you know what? I’m going to let you in to a little secret. One that I suspect you already know.

While it may seem strange and annoying to see people of the same origin meet in a foreign land and bond; it’s not irritation, but jealousy that is at the heart of what we are feeling. How do I know this? Because as an NRI, when I first moved abroad to the US myself, I too would be filled with joy, confidence, and reassurance, whenever I’d come across another Indian.

Especially since I moved to a part of the US that was not very cosmopolitan or diverse; I would feel extremely lonely and alienated at times. So the one odd ‘desi’ I met, be it a traveler, a visitor, a restaurant owner, or even a cabbi – the feeling of comfort, understanding and bonding that I got, only another ‘desi’ could bring out in me. And I am sure all of you NRIs out there have felt this same feeling at some point or another.

Now, I have stopped getting irritated seeing people meet. In fact, I feel good for them. Because to meet an Indian abroad, is one bright spark on any given day!


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