Friday, January 25, 2008

"Good Brakes, Good Horn and Good Luck"

Ok so I have been absent for a while because of a number of reasons that are best left unsaid. But posts will be more regular from now on. Atleast so I hope....

One of the books that was a recent New York Times #1 bestseller and is available on all travel aisles in bookstores is "1000 Places to See before you die" - supposedly very popular these days. So when I was browsing through the travel channel TV guide and found a show by the same name, I was all curious.

In their own words about the show, the channel says - "1000 Places to See Before You Die chronicles the journey of a young couple - Albin and Melanie Ulle, who put their lives on hold to travel the world". Apparently they are getting an all expense paid trip to visit the places in the book over a period of 5 months.... That is definitely something I would love to do - put my life on hold and travel - but then always, there is my husband to bring me back to reality.

Now coming to the main story (yeah all this was just background), their most recent episode took them to India - Delhi and Agra specifically. The couple had a guide with them, a certain "Achala Sharma" who was orienting them. She took them in rickshaw and tuk-tuk, through some of the poorest and crowdiest of neighborhoods of Delhi. Honking in the west (read US) is a big no-no, and so when Albin asked her why do people in India honk so much, she said - "In India while driving all you need is good brakes, good horn and good luck" I thought that was a very interesting thought :-)

What are the actual places she took them to ? - Dilli Haat, Humayun's tomb, Gandhi Memorial, Red fort, Chandini Chowk, Spice Market, Bukhara, Hookah Bar (I haven't been to the last 2), Agra Fort, and of course, the quintessential for any visit to India - the Taj Mahal, which is a jaw dropping experience for any visitor. What surprised me though was that all frames showed a lot of poverty and crowds and traffic in India. A more balanced representation would have also included a trip to IIT, AIIMS, the high-rises, a couple of malls etc. But I was definitely glad there were no elephants or snake charmers in the show.