Thakur, Tals aur Tatti : A Weekend Getaway to Mukteshwar

People in Delhi are rude, obsessively loud, too outspoken, overly flashy and what not. I had come with this notion to this new city and was wondering whether I’ll be able to enjoy the bond of friendship; even 0.1% of what I’ve had in the past.Well, GOD has its own way of throwing things at you; when you least expect it to be.So, one fine day I was going home after work in Metro and came across this person; Mayank Singh.

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After breaking the ice,he started to talk and seemed pretty genuine. He spoke about close to 15 minutes on a trot; just about CARS. I know about cars as much as Rahul Gandhi knows about Politics. So, I was nodding as I didn’t wish to interrupt his flow. This guy is insanely crazy about cars. He’ll just have a look at the headlight of any car and all its specs would be on his fingertips. I mean, when people who are passionate about something, it is evident from their eyes when they speak. The same was being reflected from his’. That was the second hint that okay we could be friends. First was his over-gapodi and jolly nature. And the fact that he told me that he belonged to UP, not Delhi; was an icing on the cake.

And did I mention that we used to work in the same office! From that day, every morning we used to greet each other with swears and our divine love for “aalo patty” did the rest of the bonding. Then, after a few days, Karim’s happened. Trust me, some booze, good food and craziness is all it takes to transcend the bond to a next level. Within no time, we were chuddy buddies. Eventually I had started to show my grey side – where I can choke anyone to death with my lame jokes and it was too late for him to back-out now.

After a week or so we thought of making the full of the extended weekend and immediately the trip was on. The best part about this dumbass is that he doesn’t plan things. May be he does at the back of his head but he believes in executing things more. The same evening we were off for the mountains. No packing, no reservations.

The trip started off with a bang! We gatecrashed a wedding. Hogged some amazing aaloo tikkies and the the journey was sorted. Then comes a twist. A good one! Rishab aka Baba joins the two of us in the trip.

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Loaded with gadgets and candies, Baba Mayank’s closest aide from college; adds an extra dimension to the awesomeness of the trip. Mayank was on the controls, the driving seat; Baba on the front and I as usual chilling at the back with a bottle in one hand and a pack of chips in the other, grooving to the some amazing Punjabi tracks. 3 Peg by Sherry Mann eventually became the trip-anthem. We literally lived to each and every word of its lyrics.

On the way, we halted at Shiva Dhaba, Hapur and at some unknown place in Rampur and finally arrived to Nainital at about 5:30 in the morning. So, I have this super-power ability to sleep off anytime. Like I can sleep even on a roller coaster and this lose Mayank was aware of it, so he made sure I don’t even sleep for a minute. Hard brakes, throwing water on my face, abruptly incraesing the volume of the songs and zig-zag movement of the car were some cheap tactics applied by this gentleman.

Mayank’s balls start to ache if everything is going as per the plan and he decides for all of us that Nainital seemed to mainstream and we are chucking it and heading towards someplace else, preferably with lesser people and more fun. So, Muktehswar was on.

“Hey dude, but what about Potty ?”, I asked him with a grin on my face.

I was under the asssumption that we’ll hit Nainital, check-in and freshen up. Also, your belly is in synch with your thoughts and it automatically gets ready to poop. I was like I need to take a dump, man ! Screw you and your plan.

“Bhai aaj to kuch toofani hoga, jo tune kabhi na kia ho”, were his golden words to my query. I lost it totally. I didn’t care about anything except, potty. That was all I wanted to do that moment.

”Haan to wohi bol raha hu, chal aaj khulle mein lutfa uthate hain”, Thakur was in in full form. Bring it down. Let’s defecate in open.

Look at the view, the breeze and the backdrop. Shit is about to get real. Bro, be a man. Go over there and squat ! Somehow he convinced me. I took my share of the toilet roll and looked for my spot. I geared up, found the place, kicked a few pebbles, rested my feet firmly and the pant was down in a flash. The sun was up. Those misty winds flirting with your butts, birds chirping and Ilahi playing on the phone simply made it the holliest shit of my life. My words cannot do justice to that epic feeling. It was the eve of Shivratri and were on top of the mountain,  put up in the best Guest House by Kumaon Govt; closest to Shiva’s abode.

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He did have a great time on Shivratri as we had stopped at Garh Mukteshwar, which is like Mini-Haridwar on the way. People were tripping on Shankar jee, smoking chillums and dancing to the intoxicating trance which was being played for the Kawadiyas. Then we climbed to the railway tracks, sat on the platform for a long time and without talking too much observed life at 3 in the morning. It is probably the finest dawns I’ve ever experienced; all thanks to Mayank.

Baba’s sublime touch was visible when we started to hop the cafes the next day and came across this insane family; whom we met at every place we went. The family consisted of a show-off mother, two brat kids and an overly pampered dog. They reflected everything I hate about Delhi. The dog was insane. He hated men and the family spoke in English throughout and a sense of plasticity was evident amongst them as depicted in the movie Dil Dhadakne Do. Baba left no stone unturned to comment on anything that they uttered. We all spent the entire evening laughing. Baba even made us forget the hopeless pizzas and pastas we all had to eat. Baba rocks.

Too bad that the dog didn’t entertain us. But Pahari (Hilly) dogs are awesome. Furry balls of love they are. They make sure you pamper them and they will hike the mountains with you throughout.

The only bad part about the entire trip was that I couldn’t read. Rather, these two jokers didn’t let me read my book. Okay, not showing off but I usually do carry a book along wherever I go – be it a bus, car; specially when I’m in the mountains. The uddand (notorious) duo made sure I hit my record worst. I could hardly read 5 pages in those 2 days. Nonetheless, I had fun.

To beat the cold in the nights, whisky was poured, glasses used to clinker, extra quilts were put on, life was discussed and the toasts were raised to a lifelong friendship. Cheers!

On the way back we visited a few Tals and did some touristy stuff in Nainital.

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Don’t forget to try the Bal Mithai and Sonam’s Momos when you are on the Mall Road. Stay tuned for the next tale.



 

 

 

 

Zayka Chennai ka – with Mayank Dua !

Chennai? Are you going to Chennai?
For FUN! LOL. What’s wrong with you man?

Yes, these were the exact responses I was bombarded with after I told my bitches about my weekend plan. I repeat, I went to Chennai over the weekend to “ENJOY “in Chennai. It was a perfect getaway from the bustling Bangaloren lifestyle. I literally had a foodgasm! We had a great time. We as in Dua Saab (yaaron ka yaar Mayank Dua) and Batman.

Chennai always had this special place inside my heart ever since I dated a Tamilian. Oh! And how can I forget Chetan Bhagat? Neither am I a huge fan of his writing now, nor would I recommend his books except 2-States. Well, to be honest it had a role to play. After a set of serious debates, negative inputs from Pinky and Ajay Bhai, ignoring Pune and other cooler options and sticking to “How-can-I-dislike-a-place-I-have-never-been-to” Chennai was finally locked. Glad, I took that call. I volunteered myself for planning the whole thing as always and Dua Saab handled the online ticketing front.

D-Day arrived. Well, it wasn’t a usual Friday. The adventure began early morning itself. When the planner goes to salon and comes out as a retard. All, he had said was “Bhaiya I want a summer-cut”.Before he could foresee the outcome, it was too late. Trust me, my mom’s reply was

Son, firstly you quit your well-paying white collared job and now this. No, girl will even look at you. Please use the tiny little brain of yours at times. Dumbasss! (She didn’t say the last word though).

I wrapped the day early, went back home, picked my backpack and left for Dua’s mansion. We hogged some yummy Aaloo Paranthas before boarding our bus from Madiwala.

Day-1: Saturday May 23, 2015

00:00 hours – We started the journey with some catching up, which precisely included – catching up with some Tesco stuff, Dua Saab’s love life, the tales of my struggling startup phase and humming of our anthem – Yeh Veeraniyaan. We reached Chennai around 6 am, got down at Central and took an auto in search of an economy stay. “Brace Yourself Amma is coming “was the theme of the day. Jayalalitha was supposed to take the oath as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. People had flown down to Madras to attend the event from all the corners of the state. All thanks to the lovely lady, all the rooms were booked and we managed to get a room finally in our sixth attempt. Hotel White Park it was. On the way, we came across Chepauk Stadium as well. That was the first genuine smile on our faces in that scorching heat.

As soon as we checked into the hotel, immediately I told Dua Saab to kick-off as we had a lot to tick-off the list. Dua Saab gave me a subtle look and politely asked me to calm the fuck down and sleep off for a while. Eventually, we both ended up sleeping for three hours which was just supposed to be a 15 minute power nap.

10:30 hours – We were ready in our white tees (The Cricket Gully) and cargos with shades and backpacks clung to our bodies. It was time to convert the potential energy to kinetic.

With a lot of skepticism, we got into a Black-Yellow auto rickshaw to head towards our first eatery joint – Ratna Café, Triplicane. To our sheer surprise, this guy didn’t overcharge us but the worst part, no one travels on a meter in Chennai even during the daytime. Well, you need to deal with it in case you do not believe in the technological advancements like OlaCabs.

The ambience of the restaurant was not at all good. It looked like a college mess but trust the once you taste their sambhar, you will go bonkers. It’s the kind North Indians usually eat, the one on a spicier note. We had idly-vada with multiple refilling of the lip smacking sambhar. The best part, their waiters carry jugs filled with sambhar all the time, you need not have to ask for the replenishment.

We burped and moved on to our next hop in the list. Yes, the same list which I tricked Dua Saab into. Well, I did my part. I had all the to-visit locations ready for him on the paper, all he had to do was to connect the dots through his GPS and boom he did it in style. Cheers to our old man’s awesomeness. As opposed to his theory of saving energy for future, we decided to walk into those dingy lanes and finally reached Bombay Lassi, a small place behind Devi Theater. We tried their Chilled Lassi topped with Basundi and seriously it was worth the traveling in those extreme conditions.

From there we decided to take a walk down the memory lane. We visited the Government Museum.Right from the art to bronze to Science gallery everything was fascinating about that red colored institution and the best part is we bought some postcards from the Connemara Library. You lucky fellas, they are on your way.

Madhu, my colleague and a very good friend joined us from there and the trio set off for Sarvana Bhavan, Mylapore- The land of Temples. We ordered a ghee roast masala dosa, chili parotta and some masala fried idlies. My eyes were lit up seeing the size of the dosa. It was meant to give me family packs and the crumbled chili parantha was cooked to perfection as well. The amazing part about the idly was, it seemed to look like a Gobi-Manchurian. You cannot even call it a piece of rice. Meanwhile, Dua saab got high over the food and started cracking his deadly PJs. We a lot can happen over a Dosa.Highly recommended place. It has a lot of Chains globally but this junction amidst the temples is divine.

Later, we decided to go for a quick evening digestive stroll in the area and whoa we barged into a legendary place – Rayar’s Mess. You won’t even know if it’s a restaurant even if you are standing right in front of it. These guys serve the best coffee in the town, undoubtedly. There was no place to sit inside, so made use of the porch outside and had the coffee of our lives.

Madhu left and within no time using the highly optimized route we managed to reach the Kapaleshwar temple on time. After nurturing the religious side of the place it was time to go beachside – Elliot’s in Beasant Nagar. The beach is nicely maintained and is surrounded with too many eating options. We tried some corn and gave our moving bums some thoroughly deserved rest on the shore. Dua Saab was engrossed with admiring those waves meanwhile I was having my kind of fun – Reading. My second favorite activity after eating.

I read about a boardroom brawl and how Clem Hill beat the hell out of McAlister. After a relaxing evening we thought of giving the Broken Bridge a shot. The same bridge shown in the movie 2-States. Again, we took another auto to go to a place just 1 km from our location, thanks to our lazy ass Dua.Till now, everything was going as per the plan, which was highly unusual.

On the way, I was singing out loud – Mann Mast Magan, Bas Tera Naam Dohraye but our joy was short lived. Boom!Dua Saab got a notification from Book MY Show – “Time to Leave – Tanu Weds Manu Returns starts in one hour.” Holy Shit! Wasn’t that supposed to be tomorrow? How can I be so careless while booking, Dua sighed! Aaila, but anyhow we showed some agility and within a minute we thought of skipping the romantic Alia moment (FYI: we both love her, however dumb she might be) and decided to take the same auto to AGS Cinemas, Villivakkam.

But everything comes with an auto-charge in Chennai. We knew we were doomed and purposefully didn’t bargain. We immediately saw a 500 rupee drifting down the lane but we didn’t have a choice. I told the auto guy in a childish –tone “Anna show us the Narayan Karthikeyan in you. Bhagao“. He literally took it to his heart and took a U-turn in a flash on the sandy road. The auto lost its balance and we almost had a nearly-death encounter as we started to slide downwards towards the water belt. We had our balls inside our mouths and I was like “Bhagwan Jee aakhri ichcha to pooch lete”. Thanks to those sturdy bushes for saving our asses. We owe them one.

Later, I jumped out of the auto, followed by Dua Saab and the auto guy. Dua Saab was the bravest amongst the lot.Without giving a damn about his brand new UCB’s 800 bucks Chappal which was lost and the accidentally damaged phone cover, he started pushing the auto upwards on his own. I also added my force vector in the same direction and the auto guy started pulling the auto upwards from the front. Finally we did it. We were back on the surface. Meanwhile I was thanking GOD, our Dua Saab came up with another masterpiece – “Bhai Dua ka saath ho jiske, uska ghanta koi kuch ukhaad sakta hai.”. I took a deep breath looked up and sang – “Dua tera swagger laage sexy” and we started marching towards our Tanu jee.

Thanks to the fiasco, we reached 15 minutes late for the movie. Something that’s very rare in my life. I have a knack of reaching early to the theaters. I do not like to stamp on someone’s foot, who had the courtesy to reach early .My conscience doesn’t allow to block the view of a settled person. At the same time I believe in (Khandani Filmy Hoon. Aaya Hu To Saare Trailers Dekh Kar Jaunga) making full use of the paid resources. But this was an exception. Anyhow, the guy next to us was kind enough to share the plot we had missed. Kangana and Pappi Bhaiya stole the show. Never in my life had I imagined that I would watch a movie loaded with Haryanvi punches amidst a 99% Tamilian crowd and I would shout my lungs out on every dialogue.

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The most we were cursing ourselves to spend a lot on the auto rides we came across an auto guy, who not only gave us an honest advice to travel via a local rail to reach back to Central at the earliest but also charged us a minimal 50 rupee fare to drop us till the Villivakkam Railway Station. Well, let’s not stereotype the crowd as the people usually do, there are great people out there as well.

At night,Dua Saab got a news which made him emotional and the day gradually ended with some philosophical talk with soulful music from Arijit Singh being played in the backdrop.

Day2: Sunday May 24, 2015

01:00 Hours – No one of us actually slept and were talking the whole while. In between Dua Saab comes with this – “I’ve reached to such a state in life,that only a few close buddies and family matter to me. Thak gaya hu doosro ke liye kar karke. Jab doosre value nahi karta toh bura lagta hai. Bas ab aur nahi!” I replied,”Dua Ho Ja Zara Matlabi” in a filmy style. I think both the fools deserve some slow claps here. Finally we crashed down.

Google Fit was clearly indicating that our Dua Saab had travelled 20 times his average steps in a day. Now, that was something fascinating to start the day. We checked out at sharp 10 and headed straight to the nearest Murugan Idly Shop. I could die for those Idlies, podi idly to be precise. Served on a Banana leaf with 4 kinds of chutneys on the side its steamed rice topped with a red-colored powder soaked in Ghee. It is something I can never forget and definitely intend to have it in the menu at my wedding (in whatever way it happens – Northie or a Southie). I would rate that dish at par with a cheese burst pizza on my food-scale. We hogged enough of those tiny little things to run on it for a day. At last we had a refreshing drink called as JIGARTHANDA to end the breakfast on a cooler note.

We went straight to Broadway Bus Terminal and boarded a 277B AC Volvo for Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram. We explored every corner of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trust me, there is more than just stone carvings to the place. It’s beautiful. Both of us went into a teenager’s shoes and clicked pictures like crazy.

On the way back we got down near Nungambakkam and tried scavenging the area. Sadly, Royal Sandwich Shop was closed on a Sunday but The Fruits Shop on Greams Road made it up for that.The smoothies were amazing. Finally it was time to cross off the best and the most awaited place from my list – The Marina. It’s a paradise for seafood lovers. It has a fish-market theme. You can pick up the kind of seafood you like, weigh it and get it cooked as per your taste. I had my eyes on a sexy looking Black Pomfret the moment I had entered and decided to take it with me. Alongside that I had ordered some Prawns as well. Both were grilled to perfection and presented nicely with some fresh onions and juicy citrus lemons. I still wish to eat it as I pen this down.The staff was courteous and service was impeccable. Dua Saab in a parallel universe was busy eating some boring ghaas-phoos.

I didn’t even care to properly make a note of it and consider it worth mentioning here. I usually tend to become overly emotional and honest in case I’m high on good food and the same scenario happened. I went on gyaan-giving spree. I started sharing my other travel tales and how travel has made me a better person, a better friend.Hopefully, this turns out to be true in this case as well.

At last we reached our final destination, Shama Sardar Travels. We came across another good soul, who didn’t loot us. Charged the bare minimum from The Marina to Periamet. We were two hours early to our schedule, so a unanimous call on finding a place to watch the IPL final was taken. We are initially kicked out of one place but we couldn’t afford to not watch the game. We tried our luck again and this time we honestly told “Anna we are only here to see the match. Neither are we going to book a room here, nor are we eating anything. In case you don’t mind, we can sit and I am writer and I promise to spread a good word about you and the place on the internet”. And it worked. As promised thank you Mr. Badshah and SR Guest House, Periamet for a truly humble and modest behavior. Next time I am using your lodging. We moved out during the innings break out of courtesy and didn’t want to occupy his couch meant for his guests. But truly you were a King, Mr. Badshah.

Guys, let me tell you one thing very clearly. It’s all bullshit that people from Chennai are mean and they hate North Indians. It’s not the case my friend. It’s all about your perspective and they do speak Hindi and English as well. And learning a couple of Tamil words won’t affect your ego. I leant a couple of words, tried respecting their culture and met some nice people out there.

At last, just before our departure point we made ourselves comfortable outside Hotel Bell Central and wrapped the second innings there. We boarded our bus around 11. On the way back we spoke about Dua Saab’s circle of friends. Now, I literally know everything about everyone. It’s just that I haven’t met anyone in person except Kushagra – The Tau. We had those conversations where you laugh more than you talk. Dua Saab thanks for being there and making this trip so memorable.

I am always there and I’ll be the bro every bro wants! Cheers

Bytes to Biryanis: Fateh Hyderabad

The mid of the week is usually the most ambiguous time in the life cycle of a software engineer. Monday blues are over, tasks are stacked up and Friday looks like a mirage. On a Wednesday afternoon, tired of the same old canteen food and life we decided for a getaway during the weekend .A much awaited change- way back to our sanity! A unanimous call on Hyderabad was taken and a joy wave traversed across the lunch table.

Charminar -The first thing that comes to mind when you listen the word Hyderabad.

Charminar -The moment you hear Hyderabad.

Before I imbibe the readers with my story, let me put some light on my allies- Avinash Hegdal and Mayank Dua.

Avinash: The not so foodie, happy go lucky, damn enough of Karnataka now let’s go out of it guy! Avi is also known as the loud speaker of the team. Office turns out to be a deserted island the day he isn’t there. You can pull his leg all day long, you’ll get tired but he’ll stay at peace like a monk.

Mayank: The not so golibaaz guy anymore. He is someone who values the relationships more than anything in this world be it family ,friends or his girl( extra affection included here ).Khulla saand ,ready to take on the world right now (Just imagine Sunny Deol from the movie Gadar).

More than colleagues or friends I see them as brothers for lifetime.

Coming back! So, Avinash decided to book the tickets from Bangalore to Hyderabad, Dua sahab did it for the return and I decided to take on the planning department. There we were – Looking for a transition from bytes of code to kilos of biryanis.

On Friday July 25(which was our scheduled date to travel), the first thing I listen to in the morning is “Bro we guys are saved! By mistake I had booked the 9 am bus instead of the 9 pm one. Hahaha! What a way to sally. I had an evil laugh in my mind and I started to ponder about the bloopers to come.

We boarded our KSRTC airavat bus from the Shanti Nagar bus stop. As soon as we occupied our seats, clouds of sadness started hovering over Mayank’s head as there wasn’t any charging facility in the bus. Just imagine a guy obsessed with whatsapp (24×7) had to go through when he saw that. To add fuel to the fire was the battery symbol in his cell phone that was proudly displaying 40% charge. Woahhh! Now this was something to cheer me and Avinash, considering the fact that it could’ve helped him follow the brocode. Well, the brocode said “No whatsapp, no reading, no girls and follow the divided by N principle.” which implies that we’ll live together, sleep together, drink together, eat together and divide the expenses by N (3 in our case).

The journey to Hyderabad was a bumpy one. We reached a couple of hour’s late courtesy the flat tyre but it was a memorable one. Avinash also was the victim of brocode. His exacts words were “Yaar jab bhi main travel karta hu tab hi sab ladkiyaan kyun ping karti hain, baaki din kyun yaad nahi aata unhe yeh Avinash and Dua gave him that look – Bitch please. Put the mouse back in the house and don’t give us all that! Hahaha.

The fun part begins now –

Saturday 6:00 a.m. MG Bus Stop Hyderabad- Day 1
The so called “Planner” just woke up from his slumber with absolutely no clue what to say when bade Nawab and chhote Nawab asked him “Planner Bro! Where do we have to get down?” The thing that made them doubt my planning abilities was the reply “Saalo mujhe kya pata.Jo last stop hai utar jao. Yahi hoga! Dekho  sablog to utar rahe hain.

Waah as if it wasn’t enough .Another event triggered at the wrong time and gave me the official tag of “A Useless Planner”. As soon as we got down the bus, we were bombarded with hotel brokers from all possible directions. Panic button was pressed and it was I ,The Planner who took the charge and told one of the broker/auto  guy to take us to Taj Mahal Hotel(as per my itinerary).The move backfired as he enlightened us about the existence of 6 different Taj Mahal hotels situated at different corners of the city. I recollected from my little memory that it was Secunderabad and ordered him to take us there. He replied “Bhaiya 15 km hai! Chaloge kya?” Nawabs were left dumbstruck.

Considering the fact that we had to board the bus from the exact same point the next day and logically the hotel should be in some proximity. Then the so called “Wise Men” took control of the situation and we settled at Hotel Sandarshini Inn. When you can’t decide between your heart and brain, go for the dick. Well the same logic was applied in the hotel selection process. Not that the hotel was great or the tariff was low, the fact that we got a magnificent view near the reception counter did the trick.

the three musketeers

the three musketeers

After some spicy roadside dosas, we decided to get into an auto rickshaw for our first destination- Golconda Fort. The auto guy told us about the various places on the way ,their history and seemed to be a genuine guy till he stopped his auto in the middle of nowhere and told us “Bhaiya aapke 7 Tombs aa gaye” and we were like WTF we didn’t even ask you to get us here !We were still OK with it .The moment he asked for 300 INR for a 200 INR meter reading, saying “Bhaiya yeh to purana meter hai new rates ke mutabik 300 hoga ” and when he replied that the updated price sheet is at his home when questioned Dua sahab lost it completely. He was belted left and right with all possible mother sister words. I was the peacemaker and Avinash bhai a mere spectator (standing 3 feet away).

Once the brawl was over and the auto guy was about to leave the Saint (Avinash) popped out and told him some words of wisdom – “Bhaiya aapne galat kiya yeh!”God knows why he took it to his heart so much that he started emphasizing on the fact that he would drop us to Golconda Fort now, no matter what happens !Our Punjabi brother (Mr Dua) advised him to leave ASAP unless he wanted bruises all over his face. After a mild tussle with the security guard over the camera, we were lost in the picturesque view of the 7 tombs of Qutb Shah Dynasty. There were three kinds of people over there. First – The photographers, Second- The coochy coo types love birds and Third- US. The sight was reasonably unpleasant for our Dua sahab considering the fact that he was on a sabbatical from his love life .We have termed it as “Off season“- the time when bros before hoes saying holds good in a true spirit.

Nawabs -Standing tall at Qutb Shahi Tombs

Nawabs -Standing tall at Qutb Shahi Tombs

Finally,after admiring the beauty of the tombs and decided to save some precious calories took an auto for the Golconda Fort .We BTW, refers to the two Nawabs who did not show  any spirit in walking at any point of the trip. For the first time the auto fare was actually fair. Then arrived the biggest dilemma whether to take the guide or not. The planner acted like a small kid and after a series of yes-no-yes-no finally it was decided to include Afroz (the guide) with us .Trust me the decision was worth every penny we gave him. Afroz is a pioneer when it comes to history, facts and engaging people. He made us climb 360 steps within no time, told us about the tharkiness of the king (how he had created a secret tunnel for one of his mistress that connects Golconda to Charminar, later married her and named the city Hyderabad on her name “Hyder Begum“).He demonstrated the architecture like a true craftsman.

Golconda Fort (shepherd's hill)

Golconda Fort (shepherd’s hill).View from the entrance

Golconda Fort (View from the top)

Golconda Fort (View from the top)

After the tour we were dead tired. I, on the other hand was equally scared at the same time. Considering my lack of geographic knowledge about the city what if they ask me “What next Mr Planner”. Playing safe I told them I don’t know which location would be geographically feasible from here, it’s better if we ask some locals. Based on majority of the recommendations, we decided to head towards the legendary Paradise Biryani at Secunderabad. The auto guy had an amazing Hyderabadi accent and was really a gem of a person.

On the way he helped us in restructuring our itinerary and emphasized on going to Salar Jung museum the next day especially because of the dwarf that rings the European clock. The Biryani was good (though I expected it to be fiery spicy).After the sumptuous meal,Birla temple was right there on the cards.

Paradise Biryani,Secunderabad

Paradise Biryani,Secunderabad

The planner was at his best once again, when he suggested walking down those 3 miles. How long it’ll take, just check your GPS?, asked Mr. Avinash. 20 minutes bro! Those two got furious at the reply. Seriously Bhai it’s by car not if we walk! Considering the criticality of the situation I didn’t retaliate and calmly slid my bums in the nearest parked auto because I knew even if I don’t take the rickshaw those Nawabs would’ve charged me anyway (remember the mighty By N rule).

Afterwards we saw the display of some quality marketing skills. The auto guy agreed to take us to the hill (where Birla temple is situated) in just 10 bucks, provided we visit a Pearls shop and spend at least 5 minutes over there. Even after the extensive peer pressure Dua sahab (the only eligible contender to buy something from there) didn’t buy anything and flabbergasted us with this filmy reply “Bhai baat 250 ki nahi hai, khareed to main 25,000 ka bhi lu, saali koi value to kare iski “. We both laughed till our stomachs ached. That by far was our cheapest auto ride in Hyderabad.

Later, my darshan got jeopardized and I was barred from entering the temple because I wasn’t wearing full length pants. All thanks to my brilliant convincing skills I was allowed to go inside. We offered our prayers and headed for Niloufer Bakery to have the best Irani chai and Osmania biscuits in the town. The bakery was named after Niloufer, one of the Nizam’s daughter  who was also considered the most beautiful lady of her era. The tea was simply breathtaking. No water, loaded with milk and sugar with a slight aroma of chaipatty.After a soothing stroll at the nearby Necklace Street we decided it call it off for the day and went straight back to our Hotel. The day ended with some peaceful pegs and “Yeh Veeraniyaan”(Dua’s favourite) in the hotel room.

Birla Mandir

Birla Mandir

Day 2 kicked off with another major goof up. Finding Govind was the sole aim of our souls. We reached Ghansi bazaar early in the morning looking for the best street food Bandi (lorry) in the town. Our confusion level reached the peak when we couldn’t figure out which was Govind as we saw two lorries parked back to back at the Ghansi Rd junction with equal number of people circumcising them in terms of popularity. Then the wise men suggested the usage of GPS, which clearly indicated that it’s 500m from there.

So I switched off my data packets and we proceeded. Merely after walking some 200 m God knows what struck us; we saw a fancy lorry and assumed it to be Govind’s. We stopped there, ordered 3 plates of Idli vada and even clicked a couple of pictures. Later the planner’s photographic memory came to the rescue and the planner suggested that it can’t be Govind as I can’t see any cheese and tomatoes here, which according to the internet is his speciality. After Dua sahab’s intervention we decided to move on and the moment we saw the GOVIND DOSA board, we were ecstatic. After eating at that Lorry, I could proudly admit that it was the best street food I’ve had in ages. Govind, the guy who runs on a Red Bull, should be treated with uttermost respect for his offerings to the food lovers.

Govind ,Ghansi Bazar

Govind ,Ghansi Bazar

After a brisk affair with Charminar and the Persian tea at Nimrah we decided to check major tourist destinations off our list. I don’t know whether the autowallahs in Hyderabad don’t interpret what we say or they are over smart to take us wherever they feel like taking. Again we got fooled and were transported to Chowmahalla Palace instead of Salar Jung. Due to that over hyped dwarf story, we wanted to be at Salar to witness the bell ringing ceremony.(12 times for 12:00 hours) and asked him to take a U turn and drop us at Salar on account of some extra money. Our sheer curiosity went in vain as no dwarf turned up (kat gaya bhai bade wala feeling aa gayi), still we had a great time exploring the museum.

The sword collection was imperial. It made me get lost in my wander land of Game of Thrones. We even checked our BMI and horoscopes. Mayank’s slip read “You exaggerate too much at times. Behave yourself” and mine said ” You are bound to get ditched by a colleague of yours .Sadness is expected (which did happen in terms of travelling plans)”.After a tiresome time we revisited Chowmahalla. Vintage cars and the royal photo shoot finally reflected the planner’s hard work and resilience.

Salar Jung Museum

Salar Jung Museum

Then came the major twist in the plot.Samridhi (one of my friend from Hyderabad) called me and said she wanted to meet and keeping in account the fact that you cannot expect her to come that far because of the iron nail incident, we had to go to Madhapur (that’s where she stays).Also Shadab Hotel’s haleem was still on the list to be checked, which was in the opposite direction to way we were planning to go then. I went into a numb state for a fraction of seconds due to the fact that I had to choose any one keeping the time constraints in mind. Then the Sr. Nawab’s decisive skills, Junior Nawab’s bargaining skills and their leniency in modifying the brocode came to my rescue. We decided to meet her at Basheer Bagh (half way at Madhapur).The Nawabs could see a big smile on the planner’s face. We escaped the narrow lanes of Charminar and Mecca Masjid and with every lane crossed Avi bro was chanting “aaj to bhai ko Samridhi se milwa ke hi rahenge in an over filmy way”. Finally we met her at Cafe Bahar and had Haleem as well. My joy had crossed all boundaries.

The famous Hyderabadi Haleem

The famous Hyderabadi Haleem

At last we bought some souvenirs from the Karachi Bakery and boarded our multi axle Volvo(the one  booked by Dua sahab). We had a hearty laugh looking at the charging sockets.

Cheers and I’ll come back soon Hyderabad.