For the last one year at RRR, I have been traveling and posting stories without respite. Here’s a selection of the best 10 travel stories of the year. I hope it would inspire you to join me when I pack my bag for the next journey.
1) Closely Watched Trains: I love train journeys. Who doesn’t, alle? So here in this story I put the craving under microscope to study it in detail. Did you too once check out in the reservation chart posted outside the compartment whether there were young girls anywhere near your berth on a night journey? What is the fun if a girl doesn’t vainly fiddle with her window shutter, fails and turns to you with those silent and helpless eyes? A reading would evoke your train journeys.
‘Closely Watched Trains’ is the biggest hit among travel stories in RRR. Click here to start the engine.
“What is it, mone?” She got on to her feet and stretched her arm to wipe his wet eyes with the hem of her blue saree. It was then the missile hit her. “Chechi, now this tha^$# (Mother F****r) says that I haven’t taken it.” Chechi jumped on her feet, her face paper white, mouth open, eyes popped out. All of us were jolted as if a 220KV line had just connected beneath the seats.”
We are halfway between a freekick and a travelogue. What happened to that woman in blue saree who was in the same bus I got into? Click here to get on the bus.
3) In the Palace of Winds: I lean into the wind as I lug myself uphill. But I must put myself softly on the thin-skinned earth. Because I walk along a wound. We are at Ramakkalmedu in Idukki district. And why is there a wound?
This is one of the best resort stories of RRR. Check into this wonderful stay in Ramakkelmedu, where you can open a simple gate and stroll into Tamilnadu. Open the gate by clicking it here.
4) 101 reasons to love Kerala: Tree Shades: This is part of a collection of 101 reasons to love my place. Here I write about the trees which offered me shades after long journeys. Of course there are tree shades elsewhere too. But the ones in my place have a special charm. See how my ideal tree is airbrushed to perfection. Come to this tree shade on a bright night to see how the restless pencils of the moon draw those surreal sketches on the ground.
Come to the shade…
5) My Close Encounters with Death: Sir, have you ever had some near-death experiences in your journeys? My students often ask me. My kind of travel writing is not that risky, because I don’t have the curiosity to get under the foot of an elephant just to know how an elephant look like from that angle. I also stay away from water which is taller(deeper) than me.
Still when I look back, I remember the day I went to Peeru hills in Peermade. A double encounter on the same day. I escaped to tell this tale. Click here for the exciting Peeru hill experience.
“Put out the moon, for it like the sun, bleaches out the philosopher in me like a brawny detergent. Put away the crackling firewood over which old love once again catches fire, new ones get forged. What I need tonight is just the subtle and the faint, the breeze and the starlight. Blow out everything else.”
Ah! I just can’t help being narcissistic savouring my own creation (Evil egoistical smile). Read one of my favourites now.
7) Siberian Chicken and the Secret inside the Bra: This became a superhit story. That doesn’t mean people hankered after its narrative style. But the tagline, ‘bra’ raised unexpected hopes in millions of men who browsed over the net. Here I write about a story I read somewhere. My love for the travelogue gets reflected in the narrative. Click here to know what is tucked into the bra by the Siberian girl.
8) The Darkness I Carry: It is on me this time, the way I misunderstood my driver. I still feel those pangs of regret when I think about him. “I cursed myself. He had the look of a thief. Yes, a dark thief. I began to curse. No, he won’t get anywhere in his life. At one moment of utter despair, I even wished something would happen to his vehicle on the way. I was seething with anger.” Read more about the journey…
9) 101 Reasons to Love Kerala: Jungle Brooks. It is the river this time. “Every time you let a river pass by without you sitting by its banks, you break an appointment with your soul. You are afraid to pick a call.” I am a self-proclaimed agnostic. But sometimes when I write I feel myself getting reduced to a tool through which a higher force executes its will. Beautiful words in magical combinations are forged inside the writer, who is amazed that his skill does not come anywhere near the charm of language that suddenly tumbles out of him. Here’s another example….
10) A Mountain for a Gift: I am turning 40, and I am reluctant to admit that unless I get an exotic spot to announce that to the world in a grand style. What about the tallest mountain in Coorg, Karnataka? I didn’t have much hope that I could cover all the 7kms uphill.On the way I had to play a little drama with Krishnan, my guide to keep my spirits from flagging. Did I really get to the top?
“Why are you smiling sir?” he asked, as I finally caught up with him. I shook my head holding away from Krishnan, that pathetic image of him in a classroom.
Join me in this trek to Thadiyantemole.