Trip to Vizag: Short Yet Sweet

Vizag Times
 This is a long overdue post that I had been trying to write for the past few weeks, but something or the other always came in the way. So, here's a glimpse around our Trip to Vizag: Short Yet Sweet. Finally.

Three days in Vizag went by in a jiffy. Three of us had a gala time. It seemed we had never been out of touch. Even ten years later, we were the same 14-year-olds giggling and gossiping and worrying about life. We still were the same emotionally. Had the same perspectives about the world as before. Same philosophical mindset. Perhaps the internal clocks had stopped ticking after that age, and our souls are still fourteen years old.

When Vinny was leaving Keonjhar in Class 8, Sagarika had given her a letter dated April 7th 2007, along with a pouch full of chocolates. She had preserved that letter with care and we re-read the words together exactly 10 years later. Time flies. Happy yet tough realization. Vinny is getting married, and till now it seems such a far fetched idea. We once again created memories to last us some more years in this small time of togetherness. It indeed was as if we just started from where we had left off. Nothing felt like there was this long gap, and that closeness was the best thing that I cherished from the trip.

View On the Ropeway Kailashgiri

Day 1 was spent in catching up on one another's lives, chatting about friends and family, spending a calm peaceful evening in Ramakrishna beach while brimming with excitement. The sea holds a lot many memories for me now. I think this is a recent development that I got so attached to the waves, the brine, and the ocean's horizon. I miss the water and sand under my feet so much these days. It's like post-travel depression. Beach withdrawal symptoms. After returning to Bhubaneshwar I had been to Chandrabhaga beach with my friends too, yet I still miss it.

At RK Beach

The Day 2 in Vizag began on happy cheerful notes with a hot cup of coffee and Vizag Times while we tried to wipe off the sleep from our eyes. Aunty had prepared idlis and delicious yummylicious chutneys to go with it. I loved the combination of mango pickle, onions, and curd in the red chutney. Lip smacking one. We started for Simhanchalam temple, located in the outer city, dedicated to Lord Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Vinny had a vow to keep which needed her to walk to the temple by the stairs. We were naive enough to go by the same means without much research, excited. The stairs seemed infinite, never ending . Stairways to the heaven. Later we came to know it had 1200+ steps. It was as if we were on a hiking trip. OMG. Even with four halts of five minutes each, we were exhausted. But when we finally reached the top, there was a deep sense of accomplishment, and the city view from the top was really good.

Off To Kailashgiri

We encountered many devotees on our way to the temple who held bowls of haldi and kumkum, and applied it on the edge of every single step before climbing. Some also went up on their knees. Such sights were common at the place. We returned home for lunch - another round of lip smacking dishes- mango dal was the best. I loved the taste of fresh homemade curd and ghee with rice, it was refreshing enough after a tiring hike.

View From Stairs To Simhanchalam

In the afternoon we went to Kailashgiri- loved the ropeway ride though it was just for 5 mins. The view, again, was mesmerizing. The ships approaching the beach from the far horizon, the sea reflecting the beautiful colors of the sunset sky and the city getting all lighted up slowly and steadily. One of the best views ever. I'll cherish this memory dearly. Perhaps I would love to settle for some time in a quiet town with a beach.

In the evening we lazed away our time talking with the family, about old friends and speculating life after years. We reminiscenced the good bygone carefree days, school life. Browsed through old albums, pictures and appreciating it all. Next day was the day of return. 


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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