The ecstasy of the last minute plan, the rush in the rush hour is indeed an indelible piece of memory. So abstention is strictly injudicious.This reminds me of my venture to Jaipur early this winter in January. Ridiculing the elaborate, extensive tour plans which were the products of intense brain-racking of my friends, I embarked on the trip after a contemplation of half an hour and successfully accomplished the two nights, three days sojourn with Rs. 875 in exactitude. Well, let me alight on the beginning.
Jaipur Literature Festival is one of the most awaited events for any student of literature or so inclined. It is one trophy excursion that we are apathetic to miss and thus you have yearlong anticipations and arrangements, plans and preparations, conjectures and concoctions. End of January ushers pretty much a spell of literary fanaticism and Jaipur Literature festival with its illustrious literati and the other appealing paraphernalia has got a lot to catalyze it. So, this year, like all others, the onset of January saw excitement building around the imminent trip. But, a precarious pile of pending assignments and a pithy wallet had been disincentives enough for me to refrain from the zeal.
The festival was scheduled between the 19th and the 22nd of January, the most conducive time of the year to experience Jaipur. The morning of the 18th, I entered a half empty classroom and perceived more than one professors on leave, for the obvious reason. I couldn’t be more jealous. For once I thought the assignments could wait and as of the finances, something had to be contrived. Tentatively, I signed up for an essay writing competition the same afternoon, hoping to no end that those gruelling creative writing lectures will finally bear fruit. Perhaps, it was my earnest desire or the magnetic charm of Jaipur, things did work out. I bagged a cash prize of one grand and was ready to take the bus to Jaipur leaving that night at 8. Few imploring phone calls and I had my travel mates with me too. With nothing but the certainty of unparallel enjoyment, we set out. From Kashmere Gate in New Delhi, we availed the Delhi-Jaipur Volvo bus which cost us rupees 500. We reached our destination early the next morning, the refreshing winter breeze and the spectacular landscape of Jaipur mesmerized me right then.
We lauded ourselves for this 11th hour adventure. Now, accommodation was a concern, however, to our much delight we found many cordial and consenting residents offering their spare rooms to students like us and we managed to nestle under a fairly comfortable roof of a quirky and yet immensely pleasing rajasthani family. Of course the most delightful aspect was that the tariff was a meagre amount of Rs. 100 per night. Mornings and afternoons were spent in the enlightening talks and seminars and the evening showered a flurry of musical events. It was almost surreal. The next day, we gallivanted through the city to visit the different forts and palaces, the beautiful bandhni emporiums and soaked up the local flavours of rajasthani dal bati churma. These flattering palates priced at Rs. 80 on an average are sure to leave a lasting taste. I was on cloud nine, engrossed in the whole Jaipur experience.
Jaipur trip for me, was the epitome of the last minute, impromptu travel and I relish every moment of it. But all of the above weren’t the end of it. The most memorable episode was our return journey. Indulges, literary and otherwise had quite exhausted our budgets and the trip back home was jeopardized. But, as another burst of miracle, one of my friends met her old school gang who had a bus to themselves and readily took us in, although the only place vacant for us in the vehicle was the roof-top, which we were only to happy to lay our hands on.
Needless to say, we were ladened with nostalgia and fond memeories of Jaipur, but what we also brought along with us was a leftover of rupees 200 out of that precious one grand. Thus, let the world of protocol say what it likes about rash and rush tour plans, I get by with a little help from my friends.
Contributed by Yashaswini Basu