Travel With Your Job
Winners of GoUNESCO Travel Challenge 2013 we share our ways and tips.
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Travel Inspiration 14- Small things and happiness



This was in the train to Hatton from Kandy. I have traveled a lot in train this past year but I am really scared to hang from the door the way Aj is doing in the picture. He loves it, so he asked me to pose and me being the stickler for rules and damn scared just spread my hand. I was definitely not standing on one leg. He on the other hand was really keen so I clicked this picture and you can see how happy he is.
We all have these small things we have always wanted to do but we don't. May be because we don't realize that we want it or because we are busy thinking what others will think. When you are away you can relax because they are all strangers and you are yourself. It can be therapeutic and will make you really happy. Try it sometime soon better yet go travelling and discover what small things you like.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

My phone was stolen, People overcharged and I still love to travel. Get over your fears of travel


I don't know how long I'll live, even if I don't become legend for others I should be able to look up to myself.
My phone was stolen on our very first train ride for GoUNESCO Challenge. I had just finished reading the last book in Shiva Trilogy on it, its battery had died and I dozed off for a few minutes. It had been a particularly cold journey in March which is rare and we struggled to get any sleep. As I woke up from the cold I searched around for my phone on my berth. Couldn't find it anywhere and finally called out to Aj sleeping in the berth below. He looked around and in a few minutes we knew it had happened. Coincidentally train had stopped in some lonely area around the time and it started again by the time we concluded that the phone had been stolen.

Why do I share this story with you? For two reasons

1. First, you should be careful with your belongings especially if you are travelling in sleeper class on trains. There are lot of people traveling who are simply not reliable and the are everywhere. Being absent minded will get you to your destination without your belongings.
2.Second, I did not let this incident stop me from traveling and many more incidents both good and bad happened along the way
.
I put up Thread on Reddit which I did mention on---- which asked people to complete the line 
I would travel if only....

One of the replies was- Fear.


I have written about fear on my other blog as well and you can read it here. Basically fear is a crippling crutch which feeds on your insecurities and leaves you paralyzed in situations where it is a must that you deliver. Crying on my hotel room pillow and missing my phone would have helped nobody. Instead we went out as planned and visited beautiful caves of Ellora along with some other delights Aurangabad has to offer. Next day we were off to Ajanta and even though I had lost my phone a day ago I had awesome fun and did appreciate the hard work artists and monks had put into the detailed sculptures and paintings. I wasn't going to let some thug interfere with me experiencing the epitome of Indian painting, and I did not.

No doubt there are situations when we are overwhelmed and can't think straight. I have found out that these situations reduce in number longer you travel or involve yourself in any activity. As you travel more you would have experienced more and learned more. For example when a cab driver quoted a certain price I checked it with another person who would be sharing the cab with me. It resulted in a better price for me and taught me a lesson. The reason I asked was because I had learned to double check prices over the past year.

But that did not save us from being overcharged in SriLanka. We let our guards down when we find helpful people and generalize that all the inhabitants of  a particular place are truthful. SriLankans are welcoming and helpful and as we got down the Rock temple in Dambulla we decided to eat right across the street.
We did not ask price and were charges over 400LKR for a plate of fried rice, it had cost us 150 almost everywhere else. Even if you take lessons and learn to get past problems they will always be there and find a way to creep up to you. It would definitely not have done us any good to fight or stop believing in the locals. Except for this person everyone had been great.

If you are not traveling because you are afraid of all the bad things out there  you are wasting your own time. I don't know how long I'll live, even if I don't become legend for others I should be able to look up to myself.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What you should be eating in Jaipur

Last two weeks have been very different from our regular travelling weeks. We went to Jaipur my home town and stayed in almost the entire time. We get to visit my family for limited time and it is always nice to be able to spend time with your family. I wrote no posts and did practically nothing except sleeping, talking and eating. Boy did we eat it was like stumbling from one meal to another. So I decided to do this post today though this should have been the story from the road post but what the heck its my site an I can take liberties if I want.

Jaipur is a paradise for vegetarians we have more pure vegetarian outlets than I have ever seen anywhere. I have a feeling that Gujrat would outdo us but haven't been there so Jaipur takes the crown. This is what I think you should be eating if you are in Jaipur and they are all vegetarian fare.

1. Daal Baati


This is a must have and you have more than enough opportunities to stuff yourself with huge amounts of food and the sweet torture of piled up and ghee drenched food will be with you no matter where you go. It is definitely the way to grow your food baby.
All time favorite for daal bati and accompaniments is Chowki Dhaani. Make it a full night affair and it will be a night to remember.

2. Ghewar


If you are in luck and you visit the city anytime around teej, gangaur or other Rajasthani festivals you are right in time to sample some ghewar which are unique to the city. Even if someone says they have had better ghewar they are lying to you it has to be the rabri ghewar of Jaipur that will steal limelight from any other out there.

3. Tikki


We have many kinds of aloo tikkis being sold around the city. My fondest memories are of the ones which are a part of marriage buffets around the city. This is something that has to be a part of marriage along with s many other stalls we have grown accustomed to. Whether you like tikki with dahi or chole you will never be at loss in Lakshmi Misthan bhandar. My mom used to treat us to tikki in the shop and its legacy has been since their childhood. Though the shop seems to have gone down over time.
Another one I love is a small shop which opens its shutters in the evening at Indira bazaar. Its not the ones near Raiser Plaza. It serves some of the crispiest tikkis you will find.

4. Gupta ji ke Burger

I have no clue who Gupta ji in question is but that's is how the vendor's would quote these burgers to be. Some would call them Dilli ke Mashoor burgers but it makes no difference. These oily morsels are tiny sliders of deep fries bread cut and layered with a small potato patty (its tiny) slice of tomato, onion and paneer with chutneys to add to the flavor. These started out as 5 Rs a piece and last time I had one it was 10 bucks and just as awesome.

5. Papita shake (Papaya Shake)

This invention/recipe changed the fate of a juice shop making it a millionaire (from what I hear). Sweet shake with Papaya, milk and oodles of Icecream loaded with nuts and raisins it is something I never miss when I am in Jaipur. Though many places now sell the shake original outlet is at Gopal Pura by Pass under the flyover.

6. Kachori


Nobody does Kachoris like Rajasthanis and yes I am ready to let the arguments start. If you are in city you would be missing out on a lot of flavor. The city wide mecca for kachoris is Rawat. If you are coming to the city through train or bus it is not that far from you either. Take a small break and sample Kachori both with daal (roasted lentils), pyaz (onion)filling or mawa (sweet milk based).


There is a lot more that the city would love to feed you with and I feel bad omitting ganne ka (sugarcane) juice, Guddu's Icecream or Link road's Golgappe. It might be in one of my next posts soon.

All photos courtesy photopin.com

Monday, April 7, 2014

Travel Inspiration 13- Delicious Fruits of Travel


Every corner of India I have visited and the countries I have seen I have been amazed by the variety and abundance of produce available. Over time these have made inroads in our local stores as well but the mangosteens taste best in Malaysia and the ones they have in Hyderabad stores don't even get closer to it. It is the same way how mangoes taste in Delhi or Uttar Pradesh and how they taste here in Hyderabad or how rice turns into idli and dosa here compared to northern India.

If you have not been traveling you are missing out on a lot.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Emergency contact numbers in India


You can run into situation everywhere and anywhere. We all have had our stuff stolen or lost, required medical care or just happened to be at the site of an incident. What you need at that time is a contact which can handle emergency the right way.

Why Do I Need These Numbers?

When you are travelling to a foreign land it becomes even more important to be well versed with the emergency contact information for the country. If the country is India you might want to be equipped with the numbers before you land. After you are here it is easy to forget about such mundane things and get lost in the quirks of the country.

What is the response like?

India being a big and majorly rural country it is very difficult to generalize any service. It is actually difficult to generalize any service even in one city. There are areas where you can be assured of prompt response and then there are areas where you might be able to handle the issue on your own before any help arrives. In most metros and Class A cities response is quick and almost guaranteed.

Is there a 911?


Sadly no, India doesn't have a countrywide centralized emergency response system. Many states have started with a single emergency number though the separate numbers for each service still remain operable.The Telecom regulatory authority is still working on a system to create a nationwide easily recognizable emergency contact number. (You can download the research paper here)

In the current scenario you will have to dial relevant number for the emergency and specify your location and other data as required by the operator. This is in-case the state you are in is not covered by the GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute. The institute provides a free of charge centralized emergency service.



The basic numbers


Number

Emergency Service

100

Police

101

Fire

102

Ambulance

108

Emergency Disaster Management applicable to states of states of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra,Uttarakhand, Goa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh
2611
National Emergency number (Use this number for all emergencies and if you see any suspicious activities. this was launched after the November 26 Terror attack in Mumbai.

Special Numbers


Number

Emergency Service

181

Delhi-Woman in distress

1094

Delhi-Missing children and women

1096

Delhi-Crime against women

1099

Central accident and Trauma services Ambulance service;

1056

Emergency medical services in local area

1050xx

Heart Related

1057xx

Ambulance Services

1054

Poison Control Service

1059xx

specialized hospitals

106x

state of art hospitals and medical institutions e.g. 1060 -AIIMS

107x

Emergency Information services  -  e.g.  1071  is  for Air Accident info 

A complete list of these emergency numbers can be downloaded here. You might in all probabilities not require the numbers beyond the basic ones.



Personal Experience

Thankfully I have not had to call any of these till now but my family had to avail the services of 108 when my grandmother fell sick. Her blood pressure plummeted and the closest nursing home (300m away) did not have facilities required. As my mother-in law got her back home she asked a family friend for help who in turn called 108. An ambulance came within 30 minutes and took her to the nearest hospital.
The ambulance service was prompt given the fact that we live in the outskirts and also 4 years ago when this happened there were barely any people living in the vicinity. The ambulance cones with a helper an driver and is completely free. Since then we have not had to call for help but I have seen a lot of 108 ambulances plying all over the city.

The information is this is correct as on March 2014 as per my research and experience. If you find any contradicting information or anything that you would like to get added please mention it in comments.

You can also Download the PDF version of the post with all the numbers and links by clicking on the cover art here. You will be directed to subscription page. If you are a subscriber please check in the Resource box.

All images are courtesy Photo Pin.