Down the lane, through random means, I was named “Popa” by my folks. With a nasty heart, I accepted it all and now I have my own world called ‘Popa Diaries’ where I write about my everyday life stories. I try to make each day a little funny by myself but sometimes it ends up being awkward. Welcome to my tiny world.
It comes to end when we swallow
it without retrospection.
It is that form of our inner self
that comes to test, the minute we step out of the house. Yes, the house, the
place where all our comfort lies and cries beneath. We form new characteristics
with every step towards the destination. It is through learning. May be more of
what you are turning to be after this travel.
It goes like your alter- ego. It strikes
you right in the middle of that linear brain nerve, which thought you would
never change that. It strikes like that shoddy rain drop on a Thar Desert land.
It strikes like that unimaginable apple falling for gravity. It strikes like
that unmarked strikes on your mind, trying to make it as perfect as possible.
It is all illusionary.
It is all shimmery.
It is all that you always nodded
a ‘NO TO’
It all comes to test, you know,
Yes you know, exactly where and
how and when.
And that is the first time, you
That would be the first time you
cry through your soul.
That is the first time you shiver
with fear of losing to exist.
That is the first time you would
say no to the gatherings in time.
You would come closer to failure.
Yes, you would come a lot closer
A lot closer to the failure of
Not more or less, the failure of self-discipline.
It all rhymes well till it goes all right. The minute you use a spare word unintentionally, it all messes up right there. The same way you go out of balance, if you lose your attention. You are all disciplined when you are surrounded. May be because, you are in the circumference. May be because, you are told what you are supposed to do. Maybe you have to follow certain rules. May be you have to follow certain customs and over rated traditions or maybe you just have to do what you don’t want to do. It is all in someone’s control. You are woken up by someone else. Your work schedule is decided by someone else. Your meals are decided by someone else. Your pair of clothes is also decided by someone else. It is a rarity. You are just a body and indulged mind.
When you travel, you are all
alone, all on your own. There is no one to guide you, no one to side you or no
one to tame you. You are all your master and you are all your almighty. You are
the decision maker; being the explorer. Now, this is the time when you are all
ready to loosen up and lose your mind. For a small instance, starting with your
morning habits, you can wake up anytime you want. You can eat anytime you want.
You can explore anywhere you want and there is no body to guide or stop you.
This is where the freedom comes in. You are the king.
Freedom by all means is freeing
from all the tantrums. It is freeing from all those four congested walls. It is
freeing from all those vulnerable routine days. It is freeing yourself from
everything that is connected to you in the slightest possible manner.
In this freedom, the only thing
which the nature demands is discipline. Travelling without discipline is like a
car without brakes. It is very important to have certain basic self-discipline
while you are travelling all alone or your with family or friends.
You may be the most notorious one
in the group but when you travel, you should be the most silent one. By
silence, I don’t mean all mute but yes, mute in terms of mischief. It is good
to do things which you have never done before, but it is also important to
follow certain rules and described measures before entering the sky for
skyline. You cannot randomly go away. You cannot randomly swim. You cannot
randomly jump off a cliff.
When you travel, it is very
necessary that you have that power button in your hands. Discipline while
travelling not only helps you but also saves others from falling off the pit.
When you know you can’t perform certain activities and you still go there to
show your bravery, it not only harms you but also the environment as well as
other sapiens around you. For instance, if you know you have a meeting tomorrow
morning and you still sit to drink till 2 am and expect the client to turn
back, you are all mistaken. He would want someone who is self-disciplined in
his own personal life before taking up his professional plunge.
If you know you are on a solo trip
and you still go out with strangers to drink, despite of knowing that you
cannot handle it. It is a breach of your self-discipline and there you get
caught and land in trouble.
Travelling has simple rules. It gives you space for all the adventures, but at your own risk. It does inspire you to jump in a deep sea when you don’t know how to swim. If you still do, it is all your luck. If you know you are afraid of water and you still walk at the seashore, it is all your luck. When you know you are not a booze person and you still drink, it is all your luck that you are all saved and alive and unrobed. If you know you are on a budget trip and you still enter casino, it is all your luck if you reach home being rich. There are certain things which we know about us. There are certain things which we don’t do in normal life. There are certain things which we are afraid to do even in our fantasies. If you still do it for the sake of an extra adventure, then it is all your luck.
Travel demands certain
discipline. We hear a lot of stories, where people die due to one or the other
reasons on trip. I experienced it with bare eyes. I learned it very hard way. I
learned it through thick and thin. I learned it, when I was almost about to
lose my life. I learned it, when I felt it was my last breathe. I learned it,
while taking a selfie on a broken bridge, all barefoot. I learned it, when I
heard my cab driver shouting for my life. I learned it, when my silliness over
crossed my brain puddle. I learned, when my senses went all numb and dumb.
I know I can’t swim. I know I
can’t handle myself. I know I can’t handle a small camera with a selfie stick.
I know I can’t. However, all I wanted to do was a simple selfie on my phone for
the memory lane. I opened the car door and ran towards the bridge with a broken
edge. I ran all barefoot. My heart struck when the bridge slightly tried to
slide down. However till then, I had managed to take two beautiful selfies where
I looked my almost best. Above is the picture of the same. The red hair girl
Almost crossed the puddle
Almost ended in a cliff
Almost non- alive
For what, and for whom? Was I
same when I was at my home? Did I ever bend down hard in my balcony to look
down for the cat? Did I pick up any strings to pull it hard, to hurt me while I
play? Then, how did I lose my senses? What made me do such a thing which all my
life I had said ‘No To’.
Was this the fun I had in my
mind? Was this the tour of fantasies dwelling fine? Or is this the butterfly in
that unborn stomach who tries to give the flatten rise? I was not me. I was not
at all me. It was pure her and her harbour. I was a self-care taker. I was
calm. Yes, but that day I was calm too. I was clam a little differently. I was
calm like the thunder waves.
This was the time, I realized how
we change so surely and immediately; when we spung out of our nest. All we do
is just spree free to the heavy trees. I realized how my indiscipline could
take my life and I would wake up next day in the diamond studded teeth, all
sharp and pointed, in the crocodile’s shit.
And that day, it changed it all.
It changed the way I looked at travelling plans, the way I looked at plane tickets, the way I looked at fairy beaches and most importantly the way I looked at the gusting wind. Through my little tiny eyes, I saw my death, sliding down from a snow flexed shade. Deep and deep and deep beneath! It all came to a rounded end.
There is always a difference that you and I… don’t understand.
I always travelled at places like a tourist.
Like, I’m there just to see the place and not to understand
Like, I couldn’t hear those winds and those squirrels,
jumping trees to trees.
I played snakes and ladders, I played Bowl – a –rama, but
all I couldn’t play is jumping jacks.
For all I knew, I was there for you; to check on your
I never ever knew there were synonyms for squirrels around
Because, all I did was not paying attention.
I would happily call that ‘Chipmunk’ by my hypocoristic name
and expect her to hear me back,
For all I neglect, by heart, her oxymoron reality.
She forgives me every single time for not knowing her breed,
just to give me space to pull a boner again.
And I, yes, like always, I fail to recall one more time; her
How uneducated, untaught and unschooled I was to confound
And there I was…
All shut up,
All unbalanced and senile,
To look up to the benign sky, for my misapprehension.
All these years, I never thought it was important enough to
know about a particular place or about a particular community. Being a
Gujarati, I could hardly make a difference between a Madarasi and a Malayali.
And, not because I was not educated enough but because I simply didn’t make
effort to know.
In the same way, I would just visit the place and come back.
Yes, I would see the gliding tress and graceful water but I would never
question their realities. I accepted the place as it is. I accepted the place
as it was shown in my 4th grade’s geographic textbook. There was no
difference in me after my travels. I would just be the same. I would not be a
little marginal intelligent among my folks. All because of pure legit
The pictures in the wallpapers wowed me then as it wow me now. However: with a cosmic difference. It wowed me then as I would get to see my text book pictures live and it wow me now as I would get to learn about the place in its true sense. I would pre-search about the place, about the food, about the people, about the air, about the water and most importantly about the language.
I pre-learn some of the words of that particular language in
advance. It is not because I face problem in communicating with the community
but because I want to converse with the locals in its true originality. I want
to have that same accent, I want to hear that same accent like I had heard them
in the television, and I want to know them in their own way.
I want to change for them like earlier they changed for me albeit
I landed in their own town. I want to eat their food as per their choice and
not interrupt my own taste. I want to drink the water in the same way as they
drink and not in my style. I want to dress up in their costumes and not mine. I
want to dance like them and not like how I twirl my feet. I want to sing their
hymns and not mine like I do in my sleepy voice. I want to sleep like them and
wake up like them, I want to speak like them and listen like them, I want to
turn like them and swirl like them, I want to climb like them and swim like
them. All I know is, I want to be like them for the next 5 days.
Exactly like them!
No pushing, no gushing, no smashing.
Just like them, all calm and jamb.
We often travel to a destination in the name of a travel but
when someone asks us regarding the place and culture and traditions and
political party!!! We are often speechless.
We spend lots of money just to make our wallpapers live but
we never make a little effort to know about a place, about its origin, about its
history and its victory.
If we don’t know about a place, we should not travel or make
a big about it. It is like staying in the same apartment for years and not
knowing your next door neighbours. You just live for the sake of living. In the
same way, you just travel for the sake of travelling.
You walk and talk like a tourist and not a traveller.
A traveller in true sense doesn’t need a tourist guide. A
traveller cultivates his own habits of exploration. A traveller would be able
to explain the routes of the unexplored parameters of that place to everyone
once asked. A traveller would be able to talk and sound like a local when he’s
back. A traveller would explore every possible inch of the place just because of
the burning curiosity in his pump. A traveller would be a guest in the stranger
The world is all yours and you have the ability to know it
Next time, you go for a destination…
Be loud, be mad, be humble and be a traveller and not a
There is a difference.
There is always a difference which you and I… will know!
If you have such stories in your life, do share with me at Readywithriya@gmail.com
Social media is crabby! Yes, it can be haunting at times.
And, to our surprise the new AI systems in the name of ‘Helping hands’ makes it worse by tracking our minds and popping that heartbreaking ads.
I know your purpose of coming here! I know you definitely don’t want to sit on your office desk in this perfect monsoon evening and cry to yourself saying, “If travelling was free, you would never find me here”, “I wish I was in that fleshy jungle smelling those wet leaves while sipping my best diet tea..” or something like, “I wish I had more money like that next door neighbours who are diving deep into the turquoise sea right now…”
Trust me, we share the same sun. I can oath that you would leave this page by booking the next bus in your schedule! Yes, I said bus. And, I would say many other things like this just to make your pockets happy.
Let’s hop on hotfoot on my budget travel tips.
Pick the Shoulder Season
We know some places are best at a particular season. For instance, Auli in winter and Bali in summer. In the same way, there is a ‘Shoulder season’ for travelling when the tickets are priced in the lowest possible section. This is the time when most people are busy and won’t travel around the world. This is fall or spring season, mostly. It varies from destination to destination. Hence, you need to do a little homework for finding the shoulder season for your dream place. Once it is decided, you can start saving and planning in advance. (Tip: Try to travel when there are less tourists at a particular place so that you get full attention and time from locals and you can explore as many places as possible with quickest available resources)
Get Up Early On Sunday
Sunday is meant for sleep. Your
bed demands that Sunday long naps and quirky long social media surfing. However,
swear on the universe, you get the best deals on early Sunday mornings. The
word early is quite ‘Early’ for your weekend as it shows exactly 5 A.M on your timepiece.
Well, this is just valid for the flight bookings. In case, you are planning to
go by train or bus (which is awesome), you can book it 28 hours before your
trip and you can get some really happy deals. (Pro tip – Try to search for some
promo codes or discount codes on the websites in order to enjoy more
Learn Burn Turn
This is where your spying out on your boyfriend skills comes to use. Yes, you learnt a lot of research work there (without getting paid as an expert researcher: p). As you have already made up your mind to go to your dream place, now it’s time to spy on that place. This will help you in many different ways, like you can save up on tourist guides, on uncharted transportation costs, activities at the spots and the major one – from getting kidnapped at some stranger street! This would give you an exact idea regarding where you want to travel and why? What attracts you there and which history books connect there. The main reason we love travelling is because in our subconscious mind while coming across any books and talks, we imagined ourselves exploring there. If you are well versed with the place and its surroundings, you can learn about the place in a very comprehensive way.
Yes, Bumble it is. These kinds of platforms are real blessing for networking with localities. Most of the foreigners use it while they are travelling solo in order to get a company in a totally new hemisphere. It would help you in understanding the globe in a better way. Next time, you come across with a kick ass stranger through it, we are sure you would come back with waggish stories. (Disclaimer: It is not just a dating platform!)
Seriously, what’s more phenomenal
than getting new roommates on rent in a stranger land! Yes, you get them on
rent. There are different hostels in India and overseas which allow you to stay
there in a minimum of 200-300 bucks per night. You can cook your own meals,
play taboo, share a story or paint their walls with oil paints etc. The fun
never ends. (Please check http://www.worldbesthostels.com/
for international travel as well as https://www.hostelworld.com/hoscars
for domestic travels). And if you are lucky, you can get a free haircut like
Buy a Brand New Pair of shoes
Yea; buy new shoes with the best quality. This shoes would help you replace your uber’s and ola’s. I recommend you to walk more in order to save some notes. This has multiple benefits like you can check out pretty surroundings as well as take a halt if you find something interesting and you can even grab that new outfit which wasn’t fitting you last month (Gyming while travelling, Ulalala).
Talk While You Walk
Your best friend while travelling is your Tongue. It can take you to places and smells. You can use your best friend to talk with people around you. You can share a good story and end up in one of the local shelters. And, you know what you can eliminate? The horrifying expense of food! Yes, food is the costliest affair when you are travelling. However, your best friend can taste the yummiest local food just by using some mannerism words! (Uff! Control your water)
as A Workaholic
I know your idea of travel is just travel and no other tantrums! Howbeit, you can get free rooms and food by working for a brief time. By this it doesn’t mean you have to work your ass off but specifically 3 to 4 hours in a day which would make your entire day’s stay complimentary! At the end, you gain local experience and amazing local buddies who can host you free; next time you plan this place. It is as breathtaking experience to have friends in different countries as it is to paraglide in dissimilar winds. It gives you edge as not only a traveller but makes you understand and develop diverse perspectives towards a particular culture which you might have misunderstood by hearing unknown tales. Here, are few global websites which allows you to find work while travelling: https://www.workaway.info/ and https://www.helpx.net/)
After a long extended walk, you
need H2O. For sure, that means just hydrogen and oxygen atoms and not Ethanol. You
can save up gobs by not consuming alcoholic drinks. It would also give you edge
over others in enjoying the night by hearing out blurry spilled secrets.
And, here I end with my killer budget travel tips! Go sassy and book your next trip right away (Secret: January, February and September are the best months to travel cheap. If you don’t believe us then check this out)
If you have such stories in your life, do share with me at Readywithriya@gmail.com
I realized, I love her, all of a sudden it gave me shivers. Before that I never felt this for her. I analysed her deeply this time. She was a beautiful soul with little scars on her heart. She was all I ever wanted and ever imagined. Her wavy hairs were dripping down with mountain rain and her eyes were shimmery with the view of lavish green landscape. She was collecting flowers when I saw her like this. She used to collect flowers from every place, she goes. When asked, she would grin and say, “This is the only beautiful and inexpensive thing I can afford to gift myself”.
All this years, I wondered about life; generalizing it in gigantic things .However, one fine day she happened to me and my mind changed it all! I started liking small things. Yes, all small things from balloons to tents, eclairs to bicycles and most importantly atoms. I was me; first time. All loud with deep breaths. I was swirling and singling to my strains. She changed it all. I could hear those jingle bells and guitar rhymes, blowing in the heliotrope sky. She made me alive.
She made me cognise; how important the person in your reflection is. How you can make wonders if you fall in love with the girl in the mirror. How she can make you blush by her actions in the middle of an arid day. They said, particularly said, ‘You will bend and adjust’, ‘You will bend and adjust the day you fall in love with her’. And, there I was, all rough and smooth, toiling to her, saying, “I wanna live with you, I wanna brush my soul against you, I wanna jump puddles with you, I wanna crush and I wanna trust, I wanna dance and I wanna climb, I wanna roar and I wanna smile. But all I wanna do is; do with you”.
Saying this to her, I stood up, strangled the old me and called the ghost cops to complain about her. She killed my dreams, she demeaned me of my abilities. She obstructed me to the heaven gate. She told me constantly and loudly, “You can’t “. I died each day, just by the thought I was not enough. And then, I met the new me on the hills, which showed me my way to the peak, screaming loud and loud and loud, “Oh baby, you can”. You can do wonders. You can cross the puddles alone. You are the fire in the water that no one can flout.
And this is the way; I met myself
Happy and sound me.
The day I realized, I was the one who can change my own life, it changed everything.
Like everyone, I was scared. I freaked out every second. Sometimes twice and often thrice on my first solo trip. But, I handled. Everyone handles, You will handle too.
When you are alone, you are your own bodyguard. Your own boss. Your instincts and gut feeling will notify you in every step when you are about to do something wrong. Listen to it. You will be saved. Hell saved.
Like me, you are good to go!
Make sure, you never turn a blind eye to your sparkle!
And, you are all there, sipping your brew in the nature bed.
If you have such stories in your life, do share with me at Readywithriya@gmail.com