A Dream Called Raithal


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It was a never-ending bus journey we had traveled for more than five hours and were yet to reach our final destination. As I looked out the window of the bus all that I could see were large shadows of mountains against an equally dark moonless sky. Only some blinking stars were always following our bus as if to accompany us on our journey across Uttarakhand. The dark winding hill roads were only illuminated by the headlight of the bus and I could see a signboard with the words “Raithal – 0 Kilometers”. I looked at my watch and the time was 11.30 PM and by then the entire village had gone to bed as is the norms in the hills.

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A Trip to Trevi Fountain with My Family


Trevi Fountain with Family (24)

I was around six or seven do not remember the age but what I do remember was my birthday celebration that year. Many of my cousins had come and it was a gift galore. I was not much of a reader of books instead loved people reading my books and that particular year one of my grandfather (uncle to my father) who was a teacher gifted me a small hardbound book. I still remember the book cover it was light blue in color with a photograph of a puppet wearing a red outfit and what stood out was that the puppet had a long nose. It was Pinocchio that was gifted to me that year and it was my grandmother who read out the story to me.

Being the naughty child that I was my grandmother reminded me that I would have a similar fate if I kept lying about my various mischievous activities. I kept skipping through the pages to read the paragraph where Pinocchio’s nose starts growing longer as he keeps lying.

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A Trip to Spanish Steps with My Daughter


Spanish Steps with My Daughter (26)

It was my grandmother who had introduced me to Gregory Peck and also introduced me to using hair gel on my hairs. She insisted that there was no better actor in Hollywood than Gregory Peck and also insisted on using hair gel on my hair to have that sleek look. During childhood, Gregory Peck was no match to our beloved Mithun Chakraborty or for that matter Amitabh Bachchan so I never really paid much attention. But one thing that I did pay attention was to my hair and till date, I keep using a hair gel.

I did start liking the works of Gregory Peck much later in life approximately around college life when I shifted to watching more of classics. I had seen one of his finest work according to me by Gregory Peck which was Roman Holiday but did not remember it much. After my trip to Rome last year I chanced upon Roman Holiday once again and this time it was my turn to introduce Gregory Peck to my seven-year-old daughter.

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A Trip to Palatine Hill & Roman Forum with My Daughter


Palatine Hill Roman Forum with Daughter (38)

A lot can happen within a year, nearly a year back I was in Italy soaking in the summer sun with beautiful blue skies and plumes of fluffy white clouds. Who knew that after a year I would be sitting on a lonely Saturday afternoon and writing this blog remembering the time of my life.

It all had happened in just three weeks from committing to go to Italy with family to get my daughter’s passport done and finally applying for Schengen Visa. It was not a FAM or sponsored trip thus I had to squeeze every bit out of it somehow hoping that this trip of a lifetime will reap benefits later. As far as benefits are concerned nothing much happened no invitation from tourism boards no invited trips but what I had gained from that trip was to never stop believing that the impossible can become possible just be sheer willpower. Till date, I do not know how I managed to fund this trip and the repercussion of that trip can still be felt today so much so that I had to cut down on my travel plans for least another year.

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A Trip to Colosseum with My Daughter


Colosseum with My Daughter (28)

The year was 1998 and Internet in India was at its bare minimum. My sister was traveling around Europe on a special educational tour and all the information that I could get were on text emails once a week. I had waited eagerly for her return and then the wait for the numerous negatives to get developed and then printed. She had meticulously cataloged various locations depending on their location and the one that fascinated me most was Italy. “This is the Colosseum of Rome” she exclaimed as she flicked through the album. I was completely mesmerized and wished that one day I could see the grand Colosseum myself standing right in front of it.

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