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Coming back to the city
I feel humbled that this community now has 200 people signed up receiving my newsletters every Sunday. The number may not be big, but it makes me feel grateful that those many people are actually interested in reading what I write. Thank you for being one of them. There is nothing more an aspiring writer could ask for :)
This last one month has been a great mix of emotions. For some time now I have been wondering about what success, happiness & love mean to me, their role in my life and my encounters with them all. It is difficult finding words to write about it all. I shall keep trying anyway.
Coming back to Pune after a month in Mussoorie
I have been back in Pune for about 9 days now and it has been a strange experience. I don’t think I have felt so detached from a metropolitan civilisation as much as I did in the month of November. Coming back to the city lights, traffic, pollution, noise and sheer number of people around me was unsettling for the first couple of days. I waited for my COVID -ve test and went to the parents’ house to just be in some place familiar.
Today there is no story, but instead some resources and a quick snapshot of details related to accommodation, money etc. for anyone who is looking to go travel right now:
I went to Mussoorie, Uttarakhand. If you’re planning to go to any of the places in this state (Mussoorie, Nainital, Rishikesh, Corbett, Auli, Badrinath, etc.) here are the latest updated tourist guidelines.
You need to register yourself to travel to Uttarakhand on this website and provide all travel related information (transport, accommodation etc.).
I lived at Zostel Mussoorie for a month. The reason why I chose Zostel is because of their #MoveIn plans. Under this option, they charge you at a discounted rate for weekly/monthly rentals instead of per night cost. Some locations are as cheap as INR399 a night if you book long term.
(I spent a month at Mussoorie and paid only INR11.9k for accommodation which included my stay, free wifi + electricity & amazing fellow travellers for a month!)
You can also check out GoStops - another hostel chain with some great budget stay options.
My travel to Mussoorie:
Pune - Delhi: Train 02493 (PUNE NZM AC SPL)
Delhi - Dehradun: Train 02055 (COVID-19 JAN SHATABDI SPL)
Dehradun to Mussoorie: Cab (would cost you anywhere between INR1200-1800 depending on no. of people and size of car) | Alternatively, you can take local buses which run every hour and are much cheaper.
The reason why I’m listing these train details is because railways are operating well now and have also started alternate special trains post COVID lockdown (including the both above). You can easily find trains to go anywhere again.
On my return, I took the same train back from Dehradun to Delhi and a flight back from Delhi to Pune. I had to get tested at Pune Airport (INR1400) because of stricter travel laws from Delhi to Maharashtra (this rule is not applicable for all states. Do the research for your city!).
Do keep in mind that policies are very dynamic currently and keep changing every few days depending on the city/state and mode of transport. Do your research well, take all necessary precautions and it is absolutely possible to start traveling again.
It is GREAT to be back in the kitchen after so long.
I am going to try and experiment more in the coming few days. Here’s the link to the recipe for a quick and easy to make Vegan Kheema. Let me know how you liked it.
…I tried to find my voice, in vain. I don’t even know if what I’m saying makes sense.
For some time now, alcohol has stopped affecting me. I have probably exposed my body to too much of it in the past. Now I feel it is futile for me to consume if it doesn’t have an effect me.
But it’s not the alcohol that’s intoxicating right now, the moment is.
I’m restless already, being back here in Pune. It is easy to get lost in the whirlwind of day to day life and not find space for gratitude.
I honestly didn’t start writing for people to like it. I would do this even if no one does. For almost 6 weeks, I stopped writing (Sept-Oct). But I am grateful now for every single one of you who reads what I write. When I talk to anyone who reaches out to me after reading the newsletter or my essays, it is a special feeling.
I hope to keep writing more.
What/who are you grateful for?
I’ll talk to you again next Sunday with more updates on running, another recipe and some more excerpts from life. I’m hoping for some big changes soon. I hope to tell you all about it if & when they do come through.
In the meantime if you like this, show some love & tell your friends.