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 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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Protestant Cemetery in Rome


Rome Protestant Cemetery (40)

I am addicted to cemeteries and even if I am traveling abroad I make sure to visit one. On my last Italy tour, I purposely left a day for myself where I would visit a local cemetery. I somehow feel that a cemetery has lots of stories hidden in it waiting to be told. With so many people being buried out there I am sure there would be someone very significant.

It was the last day of the trip along with my wife and daughter, we had a wonderful trip traveling all around Italy and on the final day, it was a complete “Me” day. Both my wife as well as my daughter are aware of my love for heritage thus when I told them that I would be visiting a cemetery on the last day they were not much surprised. They were sure that there will be a final twist which they have all become accustomed to.

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Gooty European Cemetery


Gooty European Cemetery (51)

It’s one of my passions as a blogger to visit old cemeteries and dig out history from each of the tomb and epitaphs. For me, each of these tells a story which needs to be told, forgotten with time I hope to bring back some of the interesting characters that once had a legacy which needs to be reminded. I had traveled to Gooty as a part of a tourist circle covering Belum CavesGandikota GorgeGandikota FortGooty Fort. It was at Gooty that we have this famous hilltop fort which I have already blogged about and at the foot of the hill is this European Cemetery.

After the defeat of Tipu Sultan, the forces of East India Company looked to consolidate all the southern principalities and Gooty was one of them. The strategic position of Gooty fort at a hilltop resulted in a fierce battle and commanding that was Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Bowser (1749-1833). Gooty Fort was captured by Lt. Col. Bowser’s detachment in August 1799, this battle resulted in some casualties and it was these dead soldiers and officers that were first buried at this European Cemetery.

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Turkish Airlines Review – Mumbai to Istanbul


Turkish Airlines Review – Mumbai to Istanbul

The stage had been set our first family trip together to Europe had suddenly been finalised. While I and my wife had our passport our seven-year-old daughter did not have a passport, with some luck and quick thinking within five days we managed to get a Tatkal passport for her. Once the passport was sorted our next most important decision was to select the best budget airless while keeping in mind some comfort and good service.

Since there were no direct flights from Kolkata to Rome we had to decide upon Mumbai or New Delhi as our departure point. The best option from Mumbai was Turkish Airlines while from New Delhi it was Aeroflot. Somehow for me, Turkey had always been a land of mystery and even though at that point of time we did not plan to visit the city during our transit still I wanted to at least try to look out for Blue Mosque from the airplane window. While Istanbul airport is very near to the main Istanbul city centre the same cannot be said for Moscow airport. So chances of venturing out were very much possible in Istanbul while for Moscow it was near impossible.

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