Traveling in the times of Corona Aunty
Welcome … Join us as Ray Deo shares her travel stories with her least favorite travel buddy, Corona Aunty!
Traveling in the times of Corona Aunty
Over to Ray,
Let’s start from where this story began…
So much has been happening since the last year, what with Corona Aunty attacking humanity and still continuing to do so!
It seems ages since one has stepped out of the house without a care in the world, let alone traveled anywhere. Stepping out nowadays is like getting ready to go fight a battle.
The enemy is just a tiny virus named Corona with huge repercussions if it catches you. So to escape being caught people cover themselves from head to toe, mask on their face covering the nose and mouth, sanitizer in hand, and some people cover their head as well. As a result, one becomes incognito and can behave with gay abandon!! That’s the only plus.
But am not here to talk about Corona Aunty, she gets enough ‘negative’ publicity by getting everyone ‘positive’.
Where it began
It was just a month before the Covid scare began here in India, that we had gone on our trip to Ahmedabad and Rajasthan. One kept hearing of cases in China, at that time not too many anyways and no one in their wildest of dreams would have thought that the virus would cause a pandemic. Am talking of the time….December 2019…..seems so long back right?! And though contradictory, at the same time it feels like it was just yesterday!
It was in December 2019 that I received a call asking if I would like to come along on a 10 days trip. I had taken up a new job and did not have much leave, but without batting an eyelid, I had answered in the affirmative! Who wants to miss out on all the fun and frolic of traveling with your favorite group of relatives! Most definitely not me!
The trip was going to be in mid-January 2020. I was wondering how cold Rajasthan would be and yes, you guessed right, I googled. All warm and snuggled up in my quilt that night, I checked out the temperature in Rajasthan ‘now’..…it was freezing, the night temperatures dipping to almost negative.
Now, this presented me with just the opportunity I was looking for to buy new winter clothes! I was so excited, the tickets had not even been booked yet but I was already traveling to all those places in my mind’s eye.
The very next day, when I reached the office, the first thing I did was to check the number of leaves I had. And yes, the stars were favoring me! It was going to be a 10-12 day trip and I had just enough leaves.
I wasted no time in applying for my leave and my Boss, after knowing about my trip, immediately granted my leave and also gave me tips on the places we should visit. (Am pretty certain all of us would like to have Bosses like this). One more reason why I was so eagerly waiting for this travel was that for the first time, right from the dates of travel, to tickets to the various destinations, the local transport logistics, the hotel reservations, everything was being done by my cousins.
I just had to pack my bags, put my feet up and enjoy!
A week later my Ahmedabad ticket was booked. That was our first destination. I was going alone from here and joining the Jing bang in Ahmedabad. Our flights were reaching almost the same time so that whoever reached first did not have to wait for the others for long. So now I knew that the trip was on. And now I was free to shop!
I think one big attraction of traveling anywhere, at least for the female gender, is shopping, pre-travel and during the travel! Am no different though am not a shopaholic by nature! So first I scoured through my cupboard, to tell myself that I did not have any decent warm clothes to combat the extreme cold in Rajasthan, that was of course just to justify my shopping pangs, lest I feel guilty conscience. Next, I made my shopping list, bright and colorful scarves, mufflers, woolens that are lightweight, warm, and soft, a hooded sweatshirt, a bomber jacket, and yes, not to forget a pair of gloves. Making the list was the easy part, going about shopping for these was a task! Like in winters, the days are so small, a few hours into the sunshine and it’s time for the sunset! So some I bought online and the rest from the Malls over weekends. All in all, my shopping continued for almost two weeks.
While all this time I thought there was still a month to go, suddenly it dawned on me that I had just one week left, blame it on the short winter days! Yippppeeeeee!! I was going to be on that plane to Ahmedabad. It had been 3 years since my last travel and I was so looking forward to meeting all my cousins, uncle and aunt and visiting all the places. I had received the itinerary. So it was going to be Ahmedabad, Mount Abu, Udaipur, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Chittorgarh, and Pushkar. Was I looking forward to it, you bet I was! I was counting the days, just waiting to be on my way to Ahmedabad. I made a very detailed packing list – clothes, shoes, socks, creams, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, perfume, chocolates, chicklets, charger, power bank, and so on, including what I would wear each day, and try to avoid repetitions J. My bag was packed a day in advance! My flight was at 7 a.m. and during the Delhi winters, in my book is an early morning flight. I had put an alarm for 4 a.m. but with all the excitement I could barely sleep. I was up and about at 4 a.m., normally you ask me to wake up at that time, fat chance I will!! So now all ready, with my luggage, handbag, and most importantly my ticket and boarding pass! Armed with all this I boarded my cab at 5 a.m. for the airport.
At the Airport
Reached the airport well in time, and baggage check-in done. Bought some Mithai from the airport, everyone’s favorite Kesar Motichoor Ladoos, and Kaju Katli! And it was time to board the flight. The well-organized me had already booked my seat in advance, there was no way I was going to miss out on the window seat.
Messaged all my cousins, and called up home to inform them that boarding was done and the flight was about to take off.
Sitting in my window seat, how I just love looking at the earth as we take off and gain height, the people, houses, trees, buildings, landmarks, everything starts to get smaller. The sky is blue and the sun is trying to wake up through the winter morning fog and mist.
As the plane flies higher, we are one amongst the clouds. I love making out figures from clouds, some birds, flowers, animals, and sometimes even the shape of Shiva or Ganapati. Being in the clouds makes one feel so light, and happy, without a care in this world, it’s heaven!
Wonder what’s it like for the birds, flying high up in the clouds?!
Well, the flight’s off the ground, and almost like a kangaroo’s baby in its pouch, the wheels have gone back into the tummy of the airplane.…..
Here I come Ahmedabad, be ready!
Did you love Ray Deo’s story?
Let’s see what happens once she lands in Ahmedabad, surely more laughter, shopping, and experiences!
Stay tuned for the next episode!
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