Action Replay - March

March has been a crazy month. In every possible way. A hectic project, endless rehearsals for a dance show, anniversary preparations, travel and the start of a new project. But it has been a very fulfilling month for sure. To start of with, I was named the 'Employee of the release' for my last release. Months of hard work and late nights finally paid off. People who know me well, know how much my work means to me and something like this is an extreme boost. I love my job as it gives me my bread and butter and also gives me ample time to pursue my writing. Plus I enjoy what ever I do. So the next time you want to crib about your work, expect to hear a mouthful from me. If you do not like you work, please get out of it and do whatever makes you happy. Its not too hard, all you need is some balls.

We had a client visit in office this month. So a bunch of us were chosen for cultural events and since I was a part of the group that came first place in a recently held competition I was in too. The theme was '100 years of Bollywood'; so we had to cover songs from all the decades. Right from the black and white era, to the east man color, to the modern era. More than twenty songs were shortlisted and then the practice began. More than two hours a day and more than ten hours of body ache. My legs almost went sore everyday and my back was permanently numb. Finally the end result turned out to be wonderful and apparently the client was hugely pleased with our performance. Also, thanks to this, I don't need exercise for a few weeks now.

The highlight of this month was obviously our first wedding anniversary. Seriously, it is still so hard to believe that Cal and I have finished a year of marriage. It still feels like we are dating. That is because nothing has changed between us. I wanted to see The Taj Mahal since I was a kid. I remember admiring its beauty in pictures and dreaming of going there some day. And like almost all middle class families, we had a marble replica of it too. Something that I could hold in my hand and act like I owned a palace. When Cal heard about this unfulfilled wish of mine sometime ago, he promised to take me there. I never thought that it would be so soon. Cal recently had a job change so he could not take leaves. We had three days and planned a strict itinerary. Delhi and Agra were the only places on the list. On the morning of the 21st, we landed in Delhi. The weather was pleasant and we had already booked a car for the entire day. We went to our hotel and freshened up and set out to explore the city. And then it all began.

I never had any expectations about the city, but I was taken by surprise at what I saw. The national capital did not look like one at all. Although the roads are wide and comfortable, the place was extremely dirty. And crowded. Having lived in Bangalore all my life, I find it difficult to adjust to any other city. But this time, it was extreme. I had had a sleepless night thanks to a early morning flight and soon I was plagued with headache. Also, I hate crowds. I feel claustrophobic in public places. The tourists spots are mind blowing though. The Qutub Minar, the Lotus Temple, India Gate, Rajghat, Red Fort all of it stood out like strong as if telling a story themselves. I loved the Red Fort in particular, as it was very clean and neatly maintained. Every brick of it told a tale as Cal and I walked around the whole stretch holding hands. The lotus temple is beauty personified. And the peace you find inside it is something altogether. 

The best thing about Delhi turned out to be Chandini Chowk. The parathe waali gali to be particular. Cal loves North Indian food and I had to almost chain him to me to prevent him for straying. I lost him twice there. The parathas were soft and tasty and the accompaniments that go with it were worth dying for. The place is not neatly maintained at all. I saw a bunch of huge rats right next to where the cook was mixing the paratha dough. I lost my appetite right after it. Next stop was Haldirams for their sweets. Cal was lost again and I found him at the Rasmalai counter peeping into every counter around. Its really tough to manage a husband with a sweet tooth mind you. The next day, we left to Agra.

Agra is a good five hour travel from Delhi. By bus. Internet says three hours, but no. We boarded a bus by ten in the morning and got to Agra by three thirty. Agra turned out to be more crammed than Delhi and it was getting tougher by the second for me to adjust. We checked into a nearby hotel and left to visit the Taj after freshening up. I was thrilled to the bone and couldn't wait to see it. And just like Incredible India, we were asked to buy the tickets in black by our driver, to avoid the long queue. We did like we were asked. The first glimpse of the majestic beauty gave me goose bumps. I stood motionless when I saw the whole of it, standing there in pride. The tiresome journey, the place, everything suddenly felt like it was worth it. The Taj Mahal is truly a wonder and is definitely a must visit for everyone before they die. I still feel a rush every time I think about the day I laid my eyes on it for the first time.

We returned to Delhi the next day as our flight back home was from there. Cal and I explored the metro and absolutely loved it. Without a doubt, the best thing about Delhi. It connects the entire city and is clean and spacious. Even the metro stations were organized and well maintained. There was a metro rail that took us directly to the airport. How cool was that? Soon we were seated and on our way to Bangalore. As soon as I got out of the plane, I felt Bangalore embrace me. I am going to sound very biased now I know, but seriously there is no place like Bangalore. Ever. Maybe that's how the Delhites feel about their city too. I was just an out sider after all. Nevertheless it was a wonderful trip and Cal and I got the much deserved break we were craving for.

My project for June started with full swing and I'm going to be super busy. But I am not going to neglect my blog, as I have signed up for the A to Z challenge. So, for sure, they shall be twenty six posts this month. Yay, my highest so far I think!

I watched 'Queen', what a delightful movie it was. The promos of 'Revolver Rani' look brilliant too and suddenly I have newly found respect for Kangana. More on her, in another post.

So today, I bid goodbye to an interesting March and look forward to what April has to offer.

~ Soumya

Desperate Housewife

"What the hell is wrong with you? Do you have nothing else to do? How will I go out now?" My husband yells as I quietly chopped carrots and potatoes.

I planned on making vegetable pulao for dinner, as he had just returned from Delhi this evening. He was a struggling businessman trying to make a name for himself some where. He travelled almost every day trying to find investors for his online pharmacy idea. Nothing had materialized so far though. I tried to be a supportive wife but at times it got on to my nerves. I mean, he had a high paying job at a big MNC and he quit it to start off his dream project. We are surviving on his savings and it has been more than a year since we had money pouring in. I wanted to take up a course and try to contribute to the income, but he was strictly against it. I had to give in.

"Meena, are you listening to me?" He yells again.

"Relax Ramesh. I just went out for a drive. I did not intend to exhaust the fuel." I try to calm him down.

"Your drives are costing me a lot, my dear. We hardly have anything left in our bank account now." He sits down with a thud.

"Don't worry, darling! Something will come across soon. Don't give up now." I place my hand in his.

He hugs me tight. Such bouts of frustration were common at our place. But still we loved each other to no end. He was just about to kiss me, when his eyes fell on a box on the table.

"No, not again Meena." He lets me go and rushes towards the table.

"Its just a...." I start but he stops me.

"What is this now? A mop? Another mop? Are you crazy?" He turns red in anger.

"It is supposed to clean really well. And you have no idea how important that is to a house wife like me." I argue.

"Three thousand for this? God, your online shopping shall bankrupt us soon." He throws the box and walks out.

I get back to chopping the vegetables. Since Ramesh was so busy with his business, he never took me out anywhere. Not on a date, not to a movie and not even shopping. I downloaded all the latest releases and watched them when he was away. Every month he bought the groceries himself and the vegetable vendor arrived at my door step everyday. At times I would not get out of the house for weeks. Thanks to online shopping, I was able to make my purchases here and there. Clothes, make up, house hold items etc was all bought online. Ramesh felt that I was spending too much money, but what else could I do. I was bored to death with each passing day. And occasionally if I do step out, I'd never have the right clothes or shoes to wear. He understood my plight, but at times the frustration got the better out of him.

And then one day everything changed.

I found an online site that changed the idea of shopping for me. Initially shopping meant spending money, but now suddenly it meant savings and earnings. I had come across this site on a boring evening of surfing. I could not believe it at first, but later I got hooked to it.

I started buying the things I wanted to, much to Ramesh's chagrin, but he did not say anything much because I was not asking him money every now and then. He kept quiet, thinking that I was saving a rupee or two. But the inflow of things increased. I even bought books for him to relax. I bought him books that could enhance his business acumen and he was pleased. I even bought him small gifts every now and then to cheer him up. But, one day, he got suspicious.

"Are you asking money from your folks?" He asks with a sad face.

"No Ramesh, why would I do that?" I say with a shocked expression.

"Then all these things?" He looks around.

"Do not worry, its all under control." I say proudly.

"Do they let you bargain at online stores now?" He teases.

"Yes, they even provide me coupons and cashback." I say with a straight face.

"Wooo lady, are you like high on something?" He raises an eyebrow.

"No darling, come take a look at this now." I laugh and take him to this site.

With eyes open wide, he went on click after click. He finally looks at me and hugs me tight.

"Thank you my dear. For understanding my struggle and supporting me through it." He gets emotional.

"I love you Ramesh. I'd do anything for you. And more over I do not have to give up on anything now. Nor do you." I say with a smile.

Now that my shopping budget was cut in half, we managed to get past the next few months easily. Finally a deal came through for Ramesh and we started getting a small flow of regular income. But nothing has changed for me. I still shop at GoPaisa and continue to save. I was only a house wife before, but now somehow I am contributing to the income. Ramesh is proud of me and that's all I need. We are yet to hit the jackpot with a big deal, but I finally have got back the man I fell in love with. No more frustrations and fights. Only love.

This post is a part of the Shop, only to Save More! Activity by in association with

~ Soumya

Ready To Move On

(My Bed by Tracey Emin )

Since two years, I have lived here
Hoping someday you would come back
I have nothing left with me any more
Apart from your memory stack

Why did you leave me and go
What was that he could offer more
Wasn't my love enough for you
Or did I somewhere turn into a bore

You said you hadn't met anyone like me
Yet you left me without a blink
How am I supposed to forget you
For months now, I haven't slept a wink

I haven't gotten out since you left
In this caged room I slowly suffer
When you could dump me like trash
What solace can anyone else offer

Day after day I look at your pictures
Thinking of our days on this very bed
I haven't discarded your things here
Even though for you, my heart bled

I drink to erase you from my mind
The bottle is empty but you still remain
No matter how hard I try to let go
I'm bound to you with an invisible chain

Now I have made peace with myself
I've realized that you are not worth me
You made a mockery out of my love
Your infidelity how did I not see

I shall bury my love for you 
Pack your memories and throw it away
I've been tormented enough
With my mind, I shall not let you play

I can finally let go of your thoughts
In a few days, your remnants will be gone
I shall walk out of here, head held high
Because now, I'm ready to move on

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 212.

~ Soumya

Turning One

Today, the wife in me turns one. Oh yeah, it has been a year since the above magical moment. Although it did not feel like a marriage since we have been together for almost three years now. No surprises, no shocks. Only love and more love. Like I have said a million times before, falling in love is not important, staying in love is.

As you are reading this post, we are busy exploring the by lanes of Delhi and soaking in the beauty of the Taj Mahal. Cal's second visit and my first. Its so funny that every trip that I planned before I met Cal, never materialised. All my dream vacations are with him. Wow destiny, you rock! We were related, yet we never met during our growing up days. We did meet other occasionally during some family functions, but only exchanged a smile or a couple of words. And today, we are standing here as husband and wife. Wow, the magic of love and the miracles of destiny. Like they say, if it is meant to be; it is meant to be.

Below are a few quotes from my personal collection. Today seems to be the perfect day for sharing it. More on the trip, when I return.

~ It’s one thing to fall in love. It’s another to feel someone else fall in love with you, and to feel a responsibility toward that love. - David Levithan

~ I love you the way a drowning man loves air. And it would destroy me to have you just a little. - Rae Carson

~ I never loved you any more than I do, right this second. And I’ll never love you any less than I do, right this second. - Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

~ I am catastrophically in love with you. - Cassandra Clare

~ I love you. Remember. They, cannot take it. - Lauren Oliver

~ But you’ve slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart. - Maria V. Snyder

~ And I’ve realized that the Beatles got it wrong. Love isn’t all we need; love is all there is. - Morgan Matson

~ No matter where I went, I always knew my way back to you. You are my compass star. - Diana Peterfreund

~ Soumya

His Eyes

"I love you", he said before leaving.

I stood motionless, quietly watching the pain in his eyes. I don't know why he came here everyday. Who was he? They said I was suffering from amnesia, but how could I not remember the fact that I loved him. Even his eyes don't seem to help me.

~ Soumya

The Honest Post - Phase 8

When Cal dropped me to the airport this time, my parents got a whiff of our relationship. He came home and helped me pack. He even boarded the cab, with me, right in front of my folks. I don't know what was running in their mind, but they did not say anything at that time. I was going away for a month and it was troubling me to no end. As it turns out, this was one of the worst journeys of my life. Soon, you'll find out why. A colleague wanted me to carry some luggage, for his friend in Accra. I agreed without flinching because this person is highly respected and I enjoyed working with him. As Cal and I met him at the airport, the luggage turned out to be a big bag, larger than both my bags together. He even agreed to pay for the extra baggage. I obliged. Cal and I spent some good time together and soon it was time for me to board the flight. After a lot of hugs and kisses, I went in with with a lump in my throat. And then, the troubles began.

The extra baggage cost more than thirty five grand and my colleague had only given me five grand. I did not have that much money in my personal account and my corporate card was declined. There I was standing in the airport, with the flight authorities, waiting for the payment to go through. And I had only five minutes before I could board the flight. I looked at Cal through the glass doors with tears in my eyes. He called me and assured me that everything will be fine. I paid for the baggage till Mumbai and decided to ask my colleague for the money before I could take off to Dubai from Mumbai. I had a four hour wait there anyway. The forty five minutes on air was the worst time of my life. Somehow that instant, I decided that I did not want to travel anymore. And I wanted this to be my last journey ever, without Cal.

I reached Mumbai and my colleague was not in a position to send me the amount to take the luggage to Accra. I called Cal and started bawling. Middle of the night mind you. Around 2 am. He asked me for sometime. He tried to contact all his friends in Mumbai and soon I got a call from an unknown number. I picked up. It was guy who was Cal's friend's friend, saying that he shall come and give me the money in half an hour. I finally took a deep breath. Promptly, in about thirty minutes, he arrived. He was a stranger I had never seen before. He gave me thirty grand just like that and left. I wonder how Cal had managed to get this done. In an unknown city, at 2 am. At that instant, I fell in love with him a million times more. I called and cried my heart out. He sat awake all night talking to me until it was time for me to board the flight. I paid for the extra baggage, and finally boarded the flight and immediately dozed off peacefully. With Cal's thoughts and with a smile on my face. I knew I had made the right choice, but this incident just sealed it for me.

I arrived in Accra and got rid of that extra baggage. I called my colleague and informed him that it was done and asked him to send across the money as a cheque to Cal. He agreed. I was onsite this time to render some trainings. So I was busy all through the day. Like the previous time, Cal kept me company until I went to sleep. Even though it was past 3 am for him. Everyday we spoke on Skype and this time I had carried my web cam with me. We could see and feel the presence of each other everyday. It eased my home sickness. Now since his parents knew and my parents had a hint of our relationship, we decided to break it off to everyone we know. I informed all our friends and sent our pictures to them. The subject of the email read "He is the One!". They were shocked at first. They knew I was commitment phobic and would get bored of people very easily. They thought this relationship was one of those kinds too. Boy, were they in for a surprise!

Went we went live on Facebook and everyone from our family found out about it. They thought it was a secret, but if it were a secret, why would we put it up on Facebook? So now, we were the talk of the town even without us knowing it. Even Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez wouldn't have been spoken about so much. Somehow thirty days passed and I came back. On the return flight to Dubai, I made up my mind that this was my last travel alone. I did not want to be away from Cal any more. I bought my final set of chocolates from Dubai airport and stood at my terminal awaiting the boarding call. I was so lost in Cal's thought that I was waiting at the wrong terminal. I was so busy writing a love note for him that I did not even check the monitor ahead of me. I went on writing poem after poem and just before ten minutes to take off I realized that they had not called out yet. I rushed towards the monitor and saw that I was seven terminals away from the right one. Dubai airport is like Neverland. You can get lost very easily. I grabbed my cabin baggage and rushed looking for directions. It looked like a scene out of a movie as I arrived at the terminal just before they were about to close it. I was the last one to board and everyone looked at me like an alien from Mars! I did not care, I was getting ready to rush into the arms of the man I love.

I arrived in Bangalore and saw Cal waiting for me. I threw my luggage and pounced on him, constantly telling him that I'm never gonna leave him again. I kept my promise.

To be continued.

~ Soumya


"Hello, I'm Lucky, from Bangalore and I'm really excited to be a part of this trek" I said proudly, looking at the monstrous peak in front of me.

"Hahaha Lucky, what a silly name", they all laughed in unison.

Thirteen of us walked up with our torches and support sticks, in the middle of the night, led by a guide. Suddenly, there was a rumble and we saw a huge bunch of rocks falling down from the peak, approaching us.

In about three minutes, all of us were dead, except me.

This five sentence fiction is written for the topic 'Lucky' at Lillie McFerrin Writes.

~ Soumya

Closer To Love

We had an arranged marriage. I did not understand love then, it was considered a taboo. Rishi was from the same city and my parents got his alliance from the best broker in town. I was twenty one and had just completed my studies. Bachelor of Arts. It was a big thing for my parents and me as I held my journalism degree in my hand. My college was one of the those lesser known ones. That was what I preferred. I suffered from a case of inferiority complex and the lesser people around me, the better. Introvert would be too small a word to describe me. All my life, I've had my parents around me. My mother dropped me to college and picked me up. More so because the college was just about ten minutes from home. I've never had more than two friends and I liked it that way. I did not miss anything in life. I was more happy than everyone around me. I lived in my own small cocoon and dreamt within it. Ignorance is bliss they say. Well, I loved it that way.

That was until I got married. I met him twice before our wedding. He was the third guy who had come to see me. I had liked the first one, but he did not get back with his answer. The second one wanted a huge amount as dowry. So that did not work out either. When Rishi came to see me along with his family, I did not feel anything new. As usual, I walked with a tray and stood in front of them. He looked up at me and smiled. I smiled back. Later, his parents spoke to mine as I was sent to the balcony to spend some time with him alone. I was shy and awkward as usual. But he was very cheerful. He spoke with deep interest about his work and hobbies. He was an electrical contractor and had done up huge buildings in town. He spoke about how he loved pottery and how he planned on pursuing it some time later. I just listened to him with a smile. He asked me about myself, and I told him about my college and my friends. I told him I enjoyed cooking and that I would like to be a stay at home wife and not a working one. He was amazed. He asked me why I preferred not to work as he had no qualms with me working. I told him that I did not like crowds and that I preferred to stay low key. No, it was not something my parents had ingrained in me. It was who I am. I did not want to go out and explore. I was content being in my own shell.

Three months later we were married. Rishi was the perfect husband in every way. A loving partner, a gentle lover and an appreciative human being. His parents lived in the country and we lived in the city. I was the wife who cooked for him and he was the bread winner, even though he never let me feel it. He took me out to movies every now and then, and we roamed parks holding hand in hand. He did not want to have a baby anytime soon and he took the precautions himself. I was glad to be with him. Gradually, I started opening up more. May be that was love. Even if it was, I was not aware of it.

The biggest shock of my life came when he got a contract abroad. Dubai to be precise. I did not want to get out of my city and he did not force me. He travelled a week later and I moved to my parents house. I promised him that I would visit his parents every week and he promised to call me everyday. He bought me a laptop before leaving. We spoke on Skype everyday and he told me how much he missed me. His contract was for three months and I waited for him to return. I was bored, sitting at home all day. One day on our regular call, he suggested that I take up pottery to pass time. I reluctantly agreed and enrolled in an art class near my place. Of course mother still dropped and picked me. On the first class, I was asked to feel the clay. Second class, he asked us to make anything we want. I made a lamp. Third day, he gave us the wheel and we started making pots. The feel of clay in my hands and the joy of giving life to something from plain mud gave me immense happiness. How come I had not come across this earlier I thought. I sounded very cheerful on the call that day and Rishi was thrilled to see me so happy. He encouraged me further and I took up dancing classes. I met more people and made new friends. Soon, my friends started accompanying me to my classes and not mother. I feel an unknown sense of freedom. A month since Rishi had gone and I began to see a new glimpse of me.

I never had attended any of Rishi's office parties as I hated crowds like I said before. I did not let him host any of his meetings at home as I felt awkward. I did not go out to meet his friends as I was worried that they would make fun of me behind his back. I don't know why I felt that way. One day, I stood in front of the mirror and looked at myself. I looked pretty. Frail body and honey dipped skin. Black waist length hair and full lips. There was nothing wrong with me. Externally. But internally, I had always felt empty. But now I felt something else. I felt the need to be heard and seen. Rishi had supported and understood every insecurity of mine, but I had never let him help me with it. Now, without me knowing, he was stripping every veneer of mine. I decided to help him with it and started interacting with more people at class. I even volunteered to take pottery classes myself. I enrolled in an image consulting course and before I knew it, I was bringing out the aspects in me that I never knew existed. Rishi was aware of what I was up to as he was sending me the money for it every month. He was happy and thrilled with all my achievements.

Two months later, he told me that his contract has extended but he could not take it up as it would mean that he would be away from me for close to a year. I listened as he spoke and casually asked him, if there were art classes in Dubai. He was shocked. His eyes were filled with tears when I asked him to take up the contract as I was ready to fly and go to him now. He sent me the tickets and in a week I was on a plane to meet him. No, my mother did not accompany me this time. My only company was my self confidence, my talent, and love for my husband. He had gone through hell and back for me. Now, I was on my way to go show him heaven.

This is my entry for the 'Go further to get closer' contest on Indiblogger, in association with British Airways.

All images are taken from Google.

~ Soumya

I Am Still Here

(Pic: Lee Plaza Hotel, Detroit, photo by Bonnie Beechler )

I clearly remember that fateful day
The agony is still fresh in my mind
A group of intruders barged in
I was the only one they could find

They pushed me on to this very chair
As though I was an element of fun
I yelled but they only laughed
Then they pounced on me one by one

They were five, my mind count count
My eyes remained glued to the light
They gagged me to silence my screams
The TV here solely witnessed my plight

My body was torn and soul broken
I grabbed the table sheet to ease the pain
I kicked hard and tried to push them away
My feeble body finally gave up in vain

Two of them held me to the chair
The others then gathered everything around
They broke the cabinets and ripped it apart
They checked and took everything they found

They set fire to my clothes
I tried to wrap myself with the sheet
They pulled my hair and threw me down
They hit and kicked me with their feet

When they were done with their pleasure
They threw me into the fire to burn
I cried and screamed my heavy lungs out
My tears were none of their concern

Destroying my house and myself
They left the place leaving me for death
My body surrendered to the flames
I still remember my last breath

My family came home that evening
The charred body of mine they found
A few tears and howls later
They lowered me to the ground

They abandoned this place for good
But my soul was not at peace
The people who took away my life
Were let off with such ease

I have found all of them now
Their laughs I can still hear
Planning my vengeance for them
My disturbed spirit still sits here

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 210.

~ Soumya

The Lankan Dream

The first time I visited Sri Lanka, was on work and I was there for a very short duration. Yet, the beauty of that small country baffled me. I was put up at Colombo in a room facing the pristine clear ocean. I could see the clear sky and the blue water. The roads were well built and there was no speck of dirt at all. Yeah, coming from Bangalore, I was surprised to see such neat roads. The weather was calm and peaceful and it felt like a vacation even though I was there for business discussions. The best part about Sri Lanka is the currency. One Indian Rupee is approximately equal to 2.13 Sri Lankan Rupees. Yeah, more than double. The next best thing, is the food. Since India and Sri Lanka are neighboring countries, there is no much difference in the food. The spice and salt is accurate hence making everything almost edible. When you have lived in Africa for two months, you know how much edible food means to you. Plenty of Indian food is available in Sri Lanka, why, my five star hotel even served dosas. And finally the bestest thing about Sri Lanka is that it just an hour and a half away from Bangalore. I mean I can get to Colombo earlier than I can to Delhi, from Bangalore.

I had just started dating my then boyfriend, now husband and we were soon to be married. So I had decided in my mind that this would be my honeymoon destination. I wanted to explore more about this wonderful country and I wanted to come back with the man I love to share the beauty of this gorgeous city. It has plenty of wild life and is a dream for a nature and animal lover. After all, the explorer Marco Polo of the 12th century wrote that Sri Lanka is the finest island in the whole world and I wanted to witness the whole of it. I got married and the honeymoon destination was changed due to lack of funds. No, none of our relatives gifted us any travel vouchers. Sad na? Well, anyway, we did not want to burden our parents with the added financial responsibility. So we went to Goa instead. But Sri Lanka has always been on my mind and I shall travel there soon. Very soon.

I am an obsessive compulsive freak. To crazy extents. And if any aspect of my vacation goes haywire, I scream bloody murder. So I'm making a list of the things to do, places to visit and how to get there. Making lists give me a thrill and this was no less. I checked a lot of websites for help and finally found 'Skyscanner' that had answers to all my questions. The gist of my list is shown below for a week's visit.

1. How to get there?

~ Opened Skyscanner and searched for flights on the desired dates.
~ Booked 'Sri Lankan Airlines' for two and chose my seats.
~ Paid and received the acknowledgement and the tickets.
~ So now I had two return tickets from Bangalore to Sri Lanka.
~ Took print-outs (free from office) and was set.

2. What about the Visa?

~ Went here and filled in the details.
~ Made a payment and the visa was emailed to me in four days.
~ Took a print-out and packed my passport case along with the tickets.

3. Local Transport

~ Opened Skyscanner and clicked on Car Hire.
~ Entered the desired dates and type of vehicle.
~ Booked the vehicle for a week and received an acknowledgment along with the driver details.
~ Informed the driver to be available at the airport at touch down.

4. Hotel

~ Opened Skyscanner and searched for hotels.
~ Selected the best hotels at awesome deals and booked them with a minimal advance.
~ Received acknowledgements saying that the payment has to be made on check-in.

5. Luggage

~ Since most of the branded clothes are manufactured in Sri Lanka, I was keen on a lot of shopping.
~ This meant that I need to travel light to be able to accommodate my shopping bags in the luggage for the return journey.
~ The weather is pleasant during March there, no there is no need for warm clothes.
~ A few basics and toiletries and its done.

6. Places to visit

~ Negombo
~ Bentota
~ Sigiriya
~ Kandy
~ Galle
~ Dambulla
~ Yala National Park
~ Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
~ Polonnaruwa

~ I am not exactly sure of the distance as such, hence I plan to get there and talk to the hotel manager about how to get to these places.
~ Based on the distance of each, I shall plan an itinerary for each day.
~ Inform the driver about the plan and make sure he is able to cover all the places.

7. Calling card

~ Get a calling card the minute you land there.
~ Do not waste money on international roaming.
~ Parents don't know how to use Skype, so calling card gets mandatory.

8. Currency

~ Do not convert currency at the airport. They do not give the actual exchange.
~ Change currency at the hotel. They give you the correct exchange rate as per the current day.
~ Carry enough local currency, in case of a sticky situation.
~ Do not carry all your money with you. A new country might have its muggers reserved for tourists. Better safe than sorry.

9. Food

~ As much as possible, stick to what suits your palette.
~ Trying out new dishes might result in a stomach upset, upsetting your whole vacation.
~ Experiment with desserts and fruits.

10. Shopping

~ Buy souvenirs for our close friends and family.
~ Chocolates from duty free.
~ Clothes for him and me.
~ Local spices and herbs.
~ Sri Lankan Dilmah tea.
~ Fridge magnets (I collect them from every country I visit)

11. Leisure

~ A day before leaving indulge in a full body massage and spa at the hotel.
~ Leave the country relaxed. It helps build better memories.

Thanks to Skyscanner, the vital elements are taken care of. I can close my eyes and travel and finally get that honeymoon with my husband now.

This is my entry for the 'Travel Smart with Skyscanner' contest on Indiblogger.

All images are from Google.

~ Soumya


I was furious, my body was no longer in my control as my mind and soul seethed in anger. I was on the verge of killing, as I struggled to come to terms with myself and the truth in front of me. Of course I had a hint of suspicion, whenever he came home late and smelt of a woman's fragrance. Today, I saw him with his assistant, his hands all over her skimpily clad body. I stand quiet, clutching the knife tight, awaiting him, still unsure of whose body it will be plunged into.

This five sentence fiction is written for the topic 'Furious' at Lillie McFerrin Writes.

~ Soumya

Hail, Womaniya!

~ Soumya