We Love Only Once! Really?

It was a memorable night for Sandra as she was finally marrying the man of her dreams. Krishna and Sandra had met at a business meeting by chance, and instantly got along. Friendship that had started with casual meetings, soon became a strong bond with confessions of love and desires.

Sandra was a charming person, everyone loved her, and many were smitten by her infectious smile. She had an opinion about everything, a liberated woman in true sense.

Krishna, on the other hand, was quite, but with an amazing sense of humor. He loved Sandra for her carefree attitude, which was so hard to find in women of his family. Sandra loved him for his composure and the fact that he could her make laugh without the slightest of efforts. They were poles apart, but belonged to each other.

Being a part of modern world, it wasn’t tough to break the news to her parents, who were more than happy for their daughter. After all, who finds true love in this world anymore! It wasn’t easy for Krishna though. Having grown up in a conservative family, even thinking of an inter-religious marriage was a sin for him. But, there are moments when you just know that “she is the one” and that feeling kept him going and his parents finally gave in to his only wish!

Marriage turned out be a fairytale wedding for Sandra, a private beach wedding in Goa. When Sandra walked the aisle in her maroon lehenga, her favorite song playing in background, and her eyes were glued on to Krishna’s. They couldn’t get enough of each other. At that moment, she realized that they were soulmates and no matter what twists and turn life had in store for them, she will always love him. Krishna couldn’t take his eyes off her. She was the girl of his dreams and he made a promise to himself, to be always be on her side, no matter what!

He had insisted on a Christian wedding, but it was her idea to blend the two cultures. She looked stunning in her maroon lehenga. He stepped down, and helped her on to the stage, taking her hand. They stood hand in hand while exchanging vows, and performing rituals of both the cultures!

It was now time for Sandra to join her new family. It was a happy yet sad moment for her. Krishna didn’t leave her side even once while she bid goodbye to her family and friends. But, her eyes searched for someone, as if a part of her was still left behind. She saw, Sebastian, Seb as she fondly called him, standing in a corner, smiling at her.

Krishna left Sandra’s hand and prompted her to go ahead. He knew when he had to step back. Sandra walked towards Seb and cozily melted in his arms. They held on to each other for what it seemed like an eternity to Seb. “I will see you around,” Sebastian said and let her go.

Krishna wondered if Sandra will ever get to know of Seb’s feelings or rather her feelings for Seb. He considered himself lucky enough that she had chosen him over Seb.

Sebastian was Sandra’s childhood buddy. Born 11 days before Seb, she would always bully him saying, ‘I am elder!’ They were together in school and then college. Seb was with her always, when her best friend made a new best friend, when she broke up with her boyfriend in college, when she got her job, and when she first confessed her feelings for Krishna.

When Seb and Krishna were first introduced, it wasn’t difficult for Krishna to guess how Seb felt for Sandra. He couldn’t help and asked Seb, “Why did you let her go?” Seb just said, “She doesn’t know it yet, and now I don’t want her to know because it will break her. She adores you Krishna”. That confession defined the end of Seb’s and beginning of Krishna’s love story.

Sandra’s charm worked on Krishna’s family and everyone eventually accepted her. Krishna never tried to contain her adventurous spirit. She had never felt so content and happy in her life before. Her married life was a blend of love, passion, and a balanced family.

Sebastian eventually moved to Canada for his higher studies and got a good job offer there. That’s when he told Sandra about the love of his life. Sandra was furious! “How could he? All these years, he could never tell me anything, while I told him each and every detail of my life”. She was almost in tears when she gave the news to Krishna. Krishna laughed out loud, “He is getting married Sandra, why are you so angry? Do you feel that he will not be there for you anymore and that makes you sad?” “I don’t know, let him do whatever he wants,” she didn’t want to discuss anymore.

She was confused, the emotions that she was feeling were tearing her apart. She wasn’t sure of her own feelings, how could she discuss it with Krishna. Seb asked her to travel to Canada and help her with the wedding arrangements. She did her best to sound cheerful and readily agreed to help him. All she wanted was to be with Seb and to understand her own feelings. Was she just jealous?

Time in Canada made her feel better, she visited new places, and badly missed Krishna. Only if he could come here earlier, it would have been an exotic vacation for them. Steffi, Sebasitian’s fiance, was a lovely girl and Sandra was not jealous anymore. Sebastian and Steffi were madly in love with each other.

Sandra was always thinking about Krishna and texted her whenever she could. He was also missing her badly. This was longest time they had spent away from each other. It gave her immense joy to think that the spark which most married couples search for after a few years, was still alive for her and Krishna, even after five years of marriage.

Finally, the day had arrived and Seb was ecstatic. Steffi was supposed to spend the night with her girlfriends and collect as many coins as she could. It was a tradition!

Seb and Sandra decided to have a quiet evening, drinking wine and eating pizza. It was like old times, memories of childhood, and college. Seb teased her about how much she had cried when her boyfriend had broken up with her in college, that he had to give his shirt for dry cleaning! Sandra, fondly started talking about Krishna and how much they were both in love with each other even after so many years and Sebastian couldn’t talk enough about Steffi.

“Why did we never fall in love with each other?,” Sandra asked. She was already feeling a little tipsy. “We are so perfect for each other, we have practically lived together, then why?” Seb was just looking at her! At that moment she knew, what was bothering her all these days.

It would never be same again. “Can you hug me?” is all she could say and once again, melted in his arms. They held on to each other, not wanting to let go.

That night, Sandra knew that she was in love with two men. She loved Krishna and Seb, both selflessly. She was drawn to both of them for different reasons, which made her complete. It wasn’t a broken or bad relationship that made her realize her feelings for Seb. Sometimes, it just takes forever to know that you can fall in love again. Sandra was always in love with Seb and yet, she fell for Krishna and yet again, for Sebastian.

The question is… whether this twist will be accepted? But, who cares… Sandra, Krishna, Sebastian, and Steffi are living their happily ever after!

PS: Variation of this blog was first published on http://thelhour.blogspot.com/ and also published on www.momspresso.com


Droplets of water found their way from Sandhya’s damp hair on to her beige colored kurta. She had just taken a shower to wash her sins of last night. Sins? Really? She wasn’t even feeling a tad guilty. Didn’t she want it to happen? In fact, she had planned for it subconsciously.

Sitting in front of her dressing mirror, she admired her own image. Memories of the night before, came alive, sweet and naughty nothings. Her cheeks turned pink, even at the mere thought. She tried to grasp her fleeting mind back to her reflection in the mirror. Sandhya had always loved wearing light shades, whites and pastels. But lately she had started buying bright shades, to make her life a little colorful, even though it made her look like a different person in her own eyes. Was it mid life crisis or something else? Today, she felt like her own-self and her skin dazzled in her favorite color, all due to the magical night.

It had started a few weeks back. He was new in the neighborhood. Sandhya would observe him daily on the way back from her gym.  He was oblivious of her presence and her interest in him. But with each passing day, Sandhya was desperately trying to buy his attention. And one day he caught her staring. Her cheeks had turned into a shade of crimson red. Not knowing how to react to his gaze, she had hurried back home. Very soon, it became a routine. His curious gaze turned into an invitation which Sandhya was finding hard to resist. Even in her wildest of dreams, she wouldn’t think of cheating, how would Abhi react, and what would kids think of her ! No…she can’t do it.
But as they say, “Its all written”.
It was Saturday, her husband Abhi was staying overnight at a friend’s place to watch soccer and kids were at their grandparents’ for the weekend.
She was sweating profusely, her trainer was not showing any mercy on her. It was not his fault, how would he have known what demons she was fighting against, in her mind. On the way back, she saw him again, his smile, his invite and as if the heavy workout had drained her resolve, she couldn’t resist anymore and approached him.
One thing led to another and the night became the most memorable night for Sandhya. She felt elated, beautiful and satisfied!
The flashes of the night were broken by a disturbing vision. She went closer to mirror, “What is that?”. She concentrated, on the reflection of her white bedcover in the mirror.
Crimson cheeks went pale. How could she not notice? It was a big red spot, shouting out loud, telling everyone about her sins!
The bell ringed. Sandhya was in panic. It must be him. How would she explain?
The bell ringed again. She rushed towards the door, “I will explain, I am sure he will understand” she kept assuring herself.
Abhi stood in front of her, smiling, “hey, did you have a peaceful night?” he held her hand and walked towards the bedroom.
“The game was so awesome, you should have joined us, we had a bet, and….”, Abhi was staring at the red spot.
“Listen Abhi, don’t get angry. I can explain”, Sandhya pleaded.
Even before she could finish, Abhi dismissed her explanation with a wave of his hand, and sat on the bed, staring at the mirror. The red spot grinned at him. He looked away, feeling defeated.

Sandhya stood in front of him like a meek deer. “Was it him?”, he still didn’t look at her.
“Yes, I am sorry”, is all Sandhya could utter.
After a minute or so, which felt like eternity, Abhi looked up at her, gently holding her hands, “Did you think of me, about us, even for a minute? You can’t do this Sandhya, not to me, not to the kids and most importantly, not to yourself. I know its difficult for you, and things have not been same lately. Do you think, I have not noticed the bright colors on you? Do you think its easy for me see someone else when I look at you? But I am trying, we all are. This….this red spot, you know what this can do to us? It can kill us, it can kill you Sandhya!! You have cheated”, Abhi paused for a second. He didn’t want to say it loud, but he had no options left. She will have to hear it, even though it hurt her. And he will have to tell her, because Sandhya was his life.

Abhi took a deep breath and said, “You are obese Sandhya and you can’t eat samosas and bread pakodas with ketchup!! Do you understand?”.

That was it ! Words that she didn’t want to hear lingered in the air. Her mind went blank.

Abhi was right. She had cheated. Infidelity, it was indeed…to herself.

Have you really wanted something in life?

“When you really want something to happen, the whole world conspires to help you achieve it.”
― Paulo Coelho

Few days back I was pondering over a question regarding this famous quote. How does one know whether he is aspiring for the right thing or not.

So I asked this question on the open forum of face book.

Within minutes, I received numerous responses from friends and family. However, I didn’t seem to get my answer.

After some more days of soul searching, I found my answer.

As a school kid, I once read the famous story of “Merchant of Venice”. “Venice” was the only thing that held my curiosity and I decided to approach my father to know more.

I do not remember what he told me about Venice except for the fact that, “The city was on water”. In that moment, I replied without thinking, “ I will go there one day”. And in my mind I added, “on my own”.

Europe trips are very common these days, especially for IT professionals but back then, for a small town girl from a middle class family, it was an unachievable dream.

However, if I look back now, even then when I had no means or way to fulfill my dream, I still thought of “Venice” every single day.

Today I realize that whatever happened in my life there after was only to fulfill my aspiration.

I wanted to be a doctor, but was destined to be an engineer.

I was initially working for American clients and was supposed to travel to US but fate had to play a role and I was suddenly moved to work for European clients.

That’s when I realized I was getting closer to my dream. However after few more years, my mind started questioning its theory.

And then as if it was destined to happen, I got an opportunity to go to Europe.

It was the most difficult decision of my life, as now, I was not only married but also had a 2 year old kid.

But there was no holding back, I knew this was my opportunity.

When I reached Europe, I started getting mixed reviews about Venice. Some said that it’s one of the most beautiful place of the world and some called it a waste place to visit.

I was a little apprehensive about visiting Venice now. I didn’t want to be disappointed about my dream destination. But I also didn’t want to go back without even seeing the place.

So the tickets were booked.

When I stepped out of St. Lucia railway station and had the first look of “City on Water”, I knew, “being able to see Venice…on my own” was the only thing that I had wanted in my life till then. It was true!!! City was indeed on water and that feeling itself is mesmerizing. And I spent my entire money to describe this to my father. He was right, it was on water. Oh, that feeling was out of the world. I felt like a small girl again who had just got her favorite doll (just for your information, that I never played with a doll, was always more inclined towards breaking my dolls)

Weather beauty of Venice is comparable to Eiffel Tower of Paris is all together a different question and it didn’t bother me much. After all, I had not seen Eiffel Tower till then.

I realized that everything that I had ever wanted before like, studying to be a professional, being independent, being able to work, and several other things were all meant to fulfill my dream.

And whole world had conspired for me. I never forgot my dream and whole world paved the way for me.

It may sound stupid for some readers that how can “visiting a place” be wanted so badly. But that’s how it is.

The feeling when I stepped on to the soils of Venice cannot be put into words and that scene can never be forgotten.

I can only say that If you have ever felt this way, then you have achieved what you wanted in life.

And if you have not, then the world is still conspiring for you OR you are not aspiring for the right thing.

However, question here is “Have you really wanted something in life?”.


PS: This blog was originally posted on my old blog: http://thelhour.blogspot.com/2015/07/have-you-really-wanted-something-in-life.html

The School Bus

Mornings and afternoons were the happiest times of the day for Ajay. Why??

Because that was the school bus time !!!

Adventure would start with the moment he stepped into the bus, rush to sit on the last seat, excitement of meeting bus friends, chattering, giggling, mischievous glances exchanged escaping the eyes of teachers, puzzle time, stealing water from bottles, playing tippi tippi top, stone paper scissor and what not ! It was never ending fun. Ajay would start waiting for the school bus time as soon as he stepped out of the bus.

Years went by, everyone grew up. Games changed to serious discussions and debates. Chattering and giggling changed to last moment revisions, Some love stories blossomed and some hearts were shattered, but that smile on entering the bus remained….on every face. Ajay lived it all.

In all these years, numerous experiences from school bus journeys transformed Ajay. He nourished and cherished his only dream during those 45 minutes of bus time. It was time to finally see his dream becoming a reality. The sweetest ever reality of his life would happen today. He could not contain his excitement, and glanced at the needles of watch going around the dial. Like kids in his school bus called all important days, today was the “D Day” for Ajay!

He got into the driver’s seat of his school bus and turned towards the passenger’s door. A six year old stepped in. Crisp white shirt, grey shorts, belt with the school emblem, shining black shoes, brand new school bag on the back and a water bottle in hand, exactly as Ajay had envisioned in his mind. Child looked nervous. It was evident that it was his first day of school, away from home into the unknown.

Ajay gave a reassuring smile to the child and said, “Welcome to the school bus son, a new world with endless fun awaits you, embrace it”.

Ajay drove off to the next stop, to pick other kids. Smile refusing to leave his lips. His son will now experience the school bus journeys that he had always dreamt for himself.

Who says that living your dreams through your child is a crime?

The Companion

Flames of the pyre burnt their eyes. Their world was crashing down with falling woods of the pyre. A void that could never be filled, had creeped in their lives.
He rested his head on her shoulder, unable to fathom the depth of the void. How can god be so cruel? How could god take him away. He needed his companion. Yes his companion of mischief, of bedtime stories, of cricket matches and of crush stories. He was heart broken because the girl he secretly loved didn’t love him back. Whom would he open his heart to now? Who would be his companion in sorrow and happiness? Tears wouldn’t stop rolling down his eyes.

She stared at the horizon, remembering the flames of “pheras” that had brought them together. “Till death do us apart” was their promise to each other. She was an independent women, financial stability was not her concern, but how will she deal with this emotional turmoil? Ever since they had met in college, they were a team, perfect companions, and now she was left all alone with nobody to talk to, laugh or cry with. She remembered the night when she had joked about needing the entire bed for herself for a night…tears escaped at the mere thought. Now the bed is all hers for the entire life, she will not be able to hold on to anyone anymore.

All of a sudden she realized that her shoulder was wet. She hugged him tight, this was not the time to think about her loss. Her 15 year old boy needed her at this moment. She knew how strong was the father-son bond and she will have to a be a father to her son now. More than a father she would be a companion to her boy till he finds his own companion. She cried uncontrollably, tears wouldn’t stop, his words echoed in her mind and soul, “I know you are a strong woman and a perfect mom, even if something happens to me, you will take care”.  Her tears faded her vision, She wiped her tears and staring at the flames, took an oath to never let her husband down. She will take care…of their son.

Her tears were falling on his forehead. As she hugged him, he realized the depth of loss for his mother. He was mature enough to understand what it meant to lose a life partner. He had come in his parents life much later. Whenever they talked about their dates in college, he used to feel that they have spent a life time together, with so many fond memories. He felt ashamed about thinking of his secret love while his mom had lost her only love. “I will be her companion, she needs me, I can’t get weak now. Papa always said that I am a big boy, yes I can’t behave as a child anymore”, he hugged her back, promising to be for her always and till she finds another companion.


Image Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com/images-photos/pyre.html

Dinosaurs in Bermuda Triangle

“Hey, don’t you think that being a herbivore is better” asked the Diplodocus.

“Why?” said the T-Rex. The T-Rex was very confused that why Diplodocus is telling that herbivores are better than carnivores.

“Herbivores are better because they don’t need to catch food”, said the Diplodocus.

The T-Rex was very angry and was thinking how did he dare to say that herbivores are better than carnivores. He was about to eat the Diplodocus when both of them disappeared. Their friend the Velociraptor was standing just a little far from them.

“Hey, our friends Diplodocus and T-Rex have disappeared”, shouted Velociraptor.

“How”, said the Pteranodon.

“I don’t know, first come to that place where they disappeared”, said the Velociraptor.

All the dinosaurs started walking to the disappearing spot.

“Stop”, warned Velociraptor and all dinosaurs stopped immediately.

” Don’t go front, or else we’ll also disappear” said the Raptor.

They turned towards their left and started moving. After sometime they were tired. They walked for one more kilometer and then looked around themselves. They saw a pyramid on their left and a pond just in front of it. Then they turned back and looked at the place where their friends had disappeared. The raptor thought for a while. The pond suddenly disappeared. The dinosaurs again looked around themselves and saw the pond behind them. The Velociraptor told everyone to drink water from the mysterious pond. All the dinosaurs drank water and disappeared.

“Woah, when did you all come here?”, said the T-Rex.

“Oh, so you guys are here”, said the other dinosaurs with relief

“Be quite! Let me hear the voices of the jungle”, said the Raptor.

“Ok, I know this place. Its the Bermuda Triangle and I know how to get out of here. Follow me”, Raptor started walking.

All dinosaurs followed him. They all went to a spot and Raptor indicated to stop.

“Hey, there used to be a button here before, where’s it now” said the Raptor.

“How are you so sure?” asked the others.

“That’s because I’ve been here before.”

All started walking and finding how to get outta there.

“Woah! When did this secret passage open?” exclaimed the Rex.

“Hey! I found a paper over here” said the Diplodocus.

“It says, I know how to get out of here. Rex, lead twenty dinosaurs to your left. Diplodocus, lead twenty dinosaurs to your right. Velociraptor, lead twenty to the middle.” said the Diplodocus.

“Come, come come”, said Rex, Raptor and Diplodocus.

“Hey I saw one more passage! It says, a metal ladder will come down. Just go one step forward”, said the Diplodocus.

They went one step forward and metal ladder came down. They climbed up and came out of the upper hole of the Bermuda triangle.

“Hey bro, I am sorry that I was about to eat you”, said the T-Rex.

“Its OK man,, we are friends. C’mon, lets go for a ride” said the Diplodocus.

“Sure my friend” said T-Rex and patted on Diplodocus’ back.

All the dinosaurs went for a ride around the mountain.

Picture source: https://www.pixtastock.com/illustration/27839209

Gujarat – A Blend of Culture, Colors & Taste

It was some years back that we (hubby & me) started thinking about visiting Rann Utsav. All the travel magazines which covered Rann Utsav and Bachchan ji’s advertisement on Gujarat tourism played cupid for many years. And finally we decided to bid farewell to 2018 with our much awaited trip to Gujarat.
Being in Bangalore, connectivity to Gujarat seemed tough. We were travelling as a group of 8, including kids and elders and having a hectic travel schedule was not possible. So we shortlisted few destinations in Gujarat that were possible to visit in 10 days without stressing ourselves too much.

So it was, Rann Utsav in Kutch, Somnath, Dwaraka and Ahmedabad (in that order) and a few unplanned stops which were worth it. Here are the details of our itinerary for all those who are reading this travelogue and want to plan a trip to Gujarat.

Day1: Bangalore to Ahmedabad

Travel: Indigo Flight from Bangalore to Ahmedabad

Stay @ Treebo Hotels in Khanpur, Ahmedabad

Khanpur area of Ahmedabad has many economical hotels and is 30 minutes by taxi from airport. Our purpose of stay was to just spend a comfortable night so that we could wakeup fresh for next day travel, and Treebo hotel worked out best for us. Staff was friendly, rooms were good and complimentary breakfast buffet helped us to start our next day with fresh minds and full tummies.

Day 2: Ahmedabad to Rann Usav (Kutch)

Travel: By road from Ahmedabad to Tent City (Dhorodo) ~410 kms

There are many trains from Ahmedabad to Bhuj and Rann Utsav management provides transfer from Bhuj railway station/airport to Tent City. However, we were a group of 8 and had hired a tempo traveler (TT) for our entire trip. We started around 9 from Ahmedabad and reached Tent City (Dhorodo) by 6 PM. Roads are really good, but I would recommend to hire an Innova for a smaller group as TT doesn’t pick up good speed and hence we spent a lot of time on road.

Stay: @Tent City, Dhordo

The moment you enter The Tent City at Rann Utsav, you are transported to a different world. At the horizon, we could see the full moon and a huge display of “Rann Utsav” in all colors. Kids were really excited. At reception, we were greeted with a beautiful idol of “Ganesha” and an extremely helpful and polite staff. Check-in took 5-10 mins we got into electric carts running for the ease of guests and reached our cluster. It was a pleasurable sight to see white tents shining in full moon night. Well-kept tents, with attached bath, a huge area for kids to play, a cozy hut in the center of the cluster, a swing to soak the sun the morning. What else can one ask for?

After a sumptuous dinner @ the dining hall, we decided to walk back to our tents and inhale the serenity of the place. In all my travels till date, I have never come across such an ethnically created place which makes you fall in love with the colors of Gujarat. The tent city was booked to its last tent and still we didn’t feel that the place was crowsed, all we could see were colors, white tents, cultural pieces all over the city & the full moon.
Being a full moon night, management had planned a special visit to White Sand Dessert @ 10 PM. White sand dessert is as white as you can imagine. When moon light meets the whites of the sand, that dessert transforms into a sea of waves. My advice is to soak yourself in that beauty as it is once in a life time experience.

  1. Plan your vacation early and choose full moon nights. I had booked our tents in July for our vacation in December.
  2. Rann Utsav happens from November till February every year. December and January nights are really cold, If you are visiting in December (around Christmas), carry woolens as it gets extremely cold during the night and early morning.
  3. Carry comfortable shoes as you may want to walk around the tent city and other places of sightseeing.
  4. I would recommend a 2 nights and 3 days stay @ tent city, to spend a peaceful time there and experience the Rann Utsav to the brim.
  5. For online booking, link is given below or enquire at Gurjat Tourism official website.
  6. https://www.rannutsavonline.com/booking.php

Day 3: Stay @ Tent City and visit to Kala Dunger
Our 2 nights & 3 days package included early morning visit to white sand desert to welcome the sun and Kala Dunger (black hill) @ 2PM.
We were too lazy and cold to wake-up for sun rise and hence spent our morning in our tents and later gorging on the gorgeous breakfast which included all delicacies of Gujarat. If you are a street food lover then you are gonna love Gujarat. “Dhoklas” and “Jalebies” became my personal favorite after this trip.
After breakfast, we explored the tent city, flea market, kids indulged in zip lining and other adventure sports. By 2PM, we were ready for visit to Kalo Dunger.
AC buses were arranged and snacks were provided to all guests. On the way to Kalo Dunger, buses stopped for a short visit to the local village of Kutch. You can be a witness to the real life of Kutch in this village and also freak out on shopping handmade items.

Buses then departed for Kalo Dunger and we reached there half an hour before sunset. Kalo Dunger the highest point of Kutch. It is a home to a 400 years old Dattatreya temple, a breathtaking view of the white sands far away and a beautiful sunset.We spent an hour at the Kalo Dunger and started our journey back to tent city. In the night we enjoyed folk dance and music, followed by dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Day 4: Travel from Tent City, Dhordo to Somnath

We relished our last breakfast at the Rann Utsav dining hall and had our last view of the colorful Rann Utsav. All we could say was “Kutch Nahi Dekha to Kuch Nahi Dekha

Journey to Somanth started @10:30 AM, I would recommend to start early as it’s ~500kms and more than 10 hours travel including breaks. Day 4 was thus spent on the road and we reached Somnath @ 7:30 PM. All we could do was check-in into our rooms, have dinner and sleep.

Tips for stay at Somnath

  1. Somnath is a pilgrimage and a small city. The main temple is located at the sea, exactly as Mr. Bachchan claims. So book a hotel near the temple.
  2. I will recommend any Somnath temple trust guest houses, like Maheshwari, Lilavati, Sagar Darshan.
  3. If you want to book rooms in any of the above guest houses, then you have to book early. Online booking is possible and starts 120 days prior and gets full with-in minutes. Link for booking online is given below:
  4. https://booking.somnath.org/GuestHouse/
  5. City has a coastal smell lingering in the air during evenings, so be prepared to endure it.
  6. Mobile phone and any electrical devices are strictly not allowed inside the temple premises. Lockers are available but there is always a long queue. So I would recommend to leave your phone, wallets etc. in the hotel room.
  7. Have proper coordination with your group about meeting points after darshna, as it’s difficult to locate your group without a mobile phone.

Day 5: Stay at Somnath

Somnath temple premises is huge and a serene place, one of the few temples, where you will find a moving queue with no pushing and pulling of devotees. If you want to perform any rituals then you will have to go to the old temple where you will find committee pandits to help you out. After darshana, we spent sometime in temple premises. It is built on the sea shore, and if you just want to hear the waves hitting the shore then Somnath temple is the place to be. You will feel presence of an unknown power.

There is a beach at walking distance but it’s really crowded and not so clean. If not for over-enthusiastic kids, we would have skipped the walk to the beach. There are other temples in 3km radius of the main temple that you could visit in an auto rickshaw. Evenings are made colorful and musical with light and music show at the temple. Temple shines out in different colors of light and with Mr. Bachchan’s voice, narrating the history of Somnath, you will feel proud to be a part of Indian culture. Day 5 ended with music and light show followed by dinner at a small restaurant near our guest house.

Day 6: Travel from Somnath to Dwarka

Somnath to Dwarka by road is ~230kms and took us approximately 6 hours to reach Dwarka. We reached Dwarka at 5PM and checked into and OYO hotel. It was 10mins walk from Dwarkadheesh temple. After freshening up, we headed for temple. My eyes were just moving on from one handicraft shop to another, deciding on what all I need to buy on the way back 🙂 Temple is crowded beyond words, mobile phones are not allowed and so no advice works here. You have to be pushed and pulled to have a glimpse of DwarkaDheesh. But all the effort is worth it. After dinner, we retired to bed to wake up fresh the next day and explore Dwarka.

Day 7: Exploring Dwarka

We started our day by visiting “Bet Dwarka”, which was the capital during the reign of Lord Krishna on Dwarka. Jetty to “Bet Dwarka” starts 30 KM from Dwarka, and takes around 15 minutes to reach the island city. City is again crowded, with lots of street vendors selling a variety of things, from sea shells, real pearls to handcraft items. After Darshan, we headed back to Dwarka.

In the evening we headed towards the beach, it was getting cooler and Sun was going down slowly. Beach has some rocks, not sharp, so one can stand on the rocks and feel the waves kissing your feet. You might feel some small fishes and shells tickling you. There are some water pockets where you can find some life shells and hold them. We spent more than hour at the beach, playing with the shells, sea waves and witnessed a beautiful sunset.

City of Dwarka was bustling with action, tourists and pilgrims filled the streets. We started off on foot to explore the streets. On every corner other corner, we found vendors selling, jalebi, rabri, samosa, fafda, kadhai wala doodh and so on. We couldn’t resist for long and ate like never before. If you like street food then Gujarat is the place to be. Our Our champ announced that he wants to have Jalebi and Rabri for breakfast next day too and “for once”, we agreed with him !! We ended our day 7 with the sweetness of Jalebis!!

Day 8: Dwarka to Ahmedabad with a surprise visit to Marine World

As promised to our son, after a sumptuous breakfast of dhoklas, fafdas, samosa and Jalebi, we started our journey back to Ahmedabad.

A friend had recommended visiting, “Marine National Park” in Jamnagar, which is on the way to Ahmedabad. And we decided to give it a try. It’s a natural marine park. When the tide is low, sea recedes and many sea creatures get stuck in the corals. During the 2 km walk, we found live crabs walking in their shells, star fish, jelly fish, wool crab, flat worm, brittle star and many fishes. We could hold and touch all these marine animals which was a unique experience. If you decide to visit the natural marine park, then I recommend to plan your visit between 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM when the tide is low.

Since we spent a lot of time in Marine Park, it was almost 8:00 PM by the time we reached Ahmedabad. I had booked a 4-bedroom villa on Airbnb.com in Ahmedabad for our stay. It turned out be a beautiful villa in a peaceful locality. Swiggy brought us dinner and we called it a day!

Day 9: Exploring Ahmedabad

We were so smitten by Jalebis and dhoklas of Gujarat that we ended up ordering that for breakfast too and then we headed for Sabarmati Ashram. The book store of the Ashram was the place we spent most time. If you are a book worm then you are going to love it. It was overall an enriching experience for all of us and our son. He finally got to see and read about our struggle for independence.

Then we headed for the Vintage Car museum and it was my turn now to be excited as a child. Blue Cadillac stole my heart away!

Kankariya lake was not a good experience for us as new year Carnival was going on there and had no place to even walk. We spent a peaceful night in our villa and packed our bags to take the flight back home next day morning.

Day 10: Back to Bangalore (Traffic)

Nothing much to say here!

Mukteshwar – Abode of chirping birds and melodies of flute

Hidden in Kumaon hills, at an altitude of approximately 2000 meters, small & silent town of Mukteshwar is a treat for travelers who are seeking peace from the usual fast pace of life.

It lacks the label of a tourist spot, shopping destination and foodies’ paradise, but yet, it is one place where I would like to go back and spend more time, exploring myself and the place.

I visited this small, picturesque town in the month of May. Intention was only to visit a cool place and get a break from scorching summer sun of Northern India. Little did I expect that this place would turn out to be such a great surprise! In month of May, Uttarakhand hills are filled with tourists, especially those who visit the famous lake town of Nanital. We had instead, decided to give Mukteshwar a chance and guess what, it was our chance to be alone with nature and ourselves.

The Arrival

The moment our car took a deviation from Bhowali towards Mukteshwar, number of cars on the hilly turns started dwindling. Totally unaware of what awaited us, and also a little skeptical about how Mukteshwar would be, we started making plans of leaving for Nanital, the next day. Out little boy was already not happy with the deviation that we had taken. All he wanted was to reach Nanital and experience ropeway, boating and buy mini games that are sold at every 10 meters on Lake Road.

We had booked ourselves into a holiday home. Mr.Bhat, the caretaker was waiting for us when we arrived. First approval came from our son, “Ghar to acha lag raha hai (House indeed looks beautiful)”. And we all laughed out loud. It indeed was a beautiful two storied villa, with a spacious living room, splendid kitchen on first floor and 2 bedrooms, with a wide porch on second floor. We instantly fell in love with the place. It was very tastefully designed by the owner, everything from sofa, beds, paintings, interiors and lights were exclusive. Porch had a perfect setting with a coffee table, comfortable chairs and flower pots with blooming roses and marigolds.

Our caretaker, Mr.Bhat, a very polite and simple man, made coffee for us, while we enjoyed the view from porch. It was almost noon and we were hungry too. Mr.Bhat offered to make local style daal & jeera aloo with hilly herbs and spices, along with hot phulkas and steamed rice.

In the pursuit of….

We savored our food to the last bite and then set out to explore the unknown and unseen. We could hear a beautiful melody of flute and curiously walked towards the direction of melody to find its source.

Mr. Bhat had told us about the handicraft shop, Avani, and it was difficult to miss. A small hut shaped shop, with hand–woven clothes, colored with natural dye, stood out at the corner of the road. The shopkeeper, who was again a local guy, hired by Avani group, explained the process of making dye and clothes. We bought a scarf and organic crayons as a souvenir from Avani.

Our pursuit towards the source of flute melody continued. After 100 meters walk, we succeeded. There he was, eyes closed, oblivious to the presence of tourist, he played his tunes. It was a small café and he was standing at the entrance. We stood there mesmerized till he finished his tune.



Next stop was an organic products shop, bought some fresh hilly turmeric, aloe Vera and strawberry crush. Roses brushed each other in mild breeze and we walked ahead, in search of choco-brownie, needless to mention that who demanded it 🙂

As if Mukteshwar was hell bound to prove us wrong, a small choco-house popped up at the next corner. What happened next, needs no guessing, fresh baked brownies and some more handicrafts made way to our bags.






Our next stop was Mukteshwar temple, and we decided to reach there by car since it was more than 5 km away from our stay. On our way to temple, we found out that the area near temple was more densely populated with many hotels and resorts.

Our guide at the temple, took us on a trail towards “chauli ki jali” and narrated stories about the significance of the place and temple. It is said that if a barren woman passes through “Chauli ki jali” then she is blessed with a child.

Many tourists had come to the cliff for rock climbing and zip lining. With a deep gorge beneath them, I am sure these adventure sports brought in a surge of adrenaline rush.

With divine darshan of the Shivlinga at Mukteshwar temple, we headed back to our gorgeous villa to enjoy sunset with a sip of coffee.

After yummilicious dinner of Pahadi kulath ki daal, paneer makhani and parathas, we retired to our beds and promised ourselves to wake up at sunrise.


Mukteshwar Morning

It wasn’t difficult to wake up before sunrise, chirping birds did the job. All of us including our little one was up even before sky started turning orange. We sat in our cozy beds, inhaled the morning breeze, and aimlessly looked at the hills. It feels so satisfying when you are not particularly planning to do anything and just enjoying the moment. That was our moment.

However, spell was broken by our boy, who was excited to see Himalayan range shining in the first rays of Sun. So we put on our jackets and started on foot to get a better view of sunrise. It was one of the most beautiful sunrise and Himalayan range sparkled for a split second. Mr. Bhat told us that the Himalayan range is clearly visible on a clear sky day or after rains. And during winters, entire town of Mukteshwar gets covered with white sheet of snow.

Not wanting to go back to our holiday home, knowing that the trip is coming to an end, we wandered on twists and turns of Mukteshwar. Mr. Bhat showed us his home in the valley, where his wife was taking the cows out for grazing.  Jingling of cow bells melted with the sounds of chirping birds.

It was now time to head back and pack our bags, but all we wanted was to extend our stay for one more day. I am sure, another day wouldn’t have been sufficient though. With the aroma of hot aloo parathas and coffee, we bid goodbye to Mr. Bhat, and Mukteshwar.

Mandatory details:

How to Reach:

By Rail: Kathgodam Railway station is the nearest railhead to Mukteshwar situated at a distance of 62kms.

By Flight: Delhi to Pantnagar flight, and 94kms by taxi from airport.

Stay: Tranquil Home Stay. For booking contact: 9837040943, 9720096446, 7351481899

Best time to visit: March to June during Summer/December to experience Snow

Recommended duration of stay: 2 nights and 3 days

Travel tips: Carry warm clothes as it gets cold during evenings and mornings. Comfortable shoes would help to explore the place on foot. Try out food at local cafes or with local people.


Checkout Uttranchal tourism blog for more details and places to visit (that we didn’t)



Enjoy your trip and do leave comments.









A man was walking in a park when he saw a cat running towards him. He turned back and started running to his house. When he went in his house, it was haunted. He wasn’t so happy with his house. He went in his bedroom. There was a little blood in his bedroom. Suddenly a ghost appeared in front of the mirror and a man beside him with no reflection. The man understood that he was a vampire. A skeleton was playing football outside. The vampire told, my hobby is killing people and he told that in a scary voice. Suddenly his house became dark and black. Bats came in. He started running. He dashed into a wall and got hurt. The dangerous house suddenly became normal. The man became very happy.