Day Trip to Venice with Family


Day Trip to Venice with Family

Which state in India is known as the Venice of the East? This was not a direct question to our team and I eagerly waited for the question to pass it to my team. This was during our school inter-class quiz competition which we used to have every year. During school days I was an avid quizzer thus all these answers were almost at my fingertips.

For years I have known that Kerala is often referred to as the Venice of the east especially the town Alleppey (Alappuzha) which due to its waterways is often associated with the Italian town of Venice. It was really fortunate for me to have traveled to Kerala quite a few times and the experience was just amazing.

One fine day all of a sudden an opportunity jumped into my lap, a chance to travel to Italy and I knew which place that I had to visit. Traveling to Italy and not visiting Venice would be to visit India and skip a chance to see the Taj Mahal. The planning had to be perfect since Venice is in the eastern side of Italy and within a few number of days, I had to complete my tour of the country covering what all could be covered.

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A Trip to Basilica di Santa Croce – Florence


Basilica di Santa Croce (42)

What on earth is this I exclaimed? It’s a two-in-one you see replied my father. But this is not an ice cream to which he smiled and replied that it’s a two in one music system having both a cassette player and a radio tuner. It was the 80’s and it was the era of disco and boom box. My father had just got home a new Akai two one and I was stuck to it like a magnet. I knew what a cassette player was and even knew how a radio functioned with the SW (Short Wave) and MW (Medium Wave) buttons but this one had an FM button and that was something new to me.

At night my father extended the antenna and switched on the radio while he was locating radio stations by turning the tuner dial I asked him about FM. Frequency Modulation he replied, it’s like radio but with stereo audio but you won’t be able to hear anything now as there are no functioning FM channels in India. Maybe if you travel abroad someday you will be able to hear FM. By the way, he asked do you know who invented the radio? I did not know the answer so he replied that it was J C Bose who had first identified radio signals but it was Marconi who the world credit it to as Bose could not spread the word of his discovery to the world.

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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 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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