Travel Instead

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The cutie pies of Arunachal Pradesh

Photo of Travel Instead by Rohan Sadadekar

Story 1: An Unexpected Encounter(Bhalukpong, Arunachal Pradesh)

One thing you have to be aware of, while driving in Arunachal Pradesh, is the blasting. The terrain is mountainous and the extreme weather conditions are the reason for land slides and blocked roads. The brave jawans of BRO are doing an amazing job day and night blasting the hills and clearing the mess to make way for vehicles.But if you are not aware of the BRO schedule for the day, you should probably not set out to drive. We learnt this the hard (yet beautiful) way, though.João, Ana, Mau and I left for Tenga from Tezpur in our Chevy Spark at around 10 am. We reached Bhalukpong in an hour, completed the mandatory ILP checks and proceeded towards the hills. Exactly at noon, we reached a small village, the name of which I cannot remember, and were stopped by a metal barricade. Upon enquiring with the officer, we came to know that the road had been blocked for six hours, for construction.My immediate reaction was despair! How could we wait for six hours? It would be way past sunset by then and I would have to drive in those treacherous roads in the dark!'It was mentioned in today's newspaper and also announced on TV,' he said.It was no use pleading or arguing, and there was no other way to Tenga. It was our fault, we should have been up to date about the news of the place we were traveling. Dejected, we parked our car beside the road and sat on a stone platform.However, those six hours gave us a nice peep into the tribal life of Arunachal Pradesh. One of the most surprising things I found, was the various types of pickles. Right from bamboo to all sorts of herbs, fish, and berries - this place was a museum of pickles! I was amazed by the number of jars on display in every shop, and I'm sure you too will be awestruck when you see the pictures below. Later we found some kids playing in the fields and joined them. And ultimately were invited in a household for a sumptuous mid-day meal. The road blockage did in fact come in as a boon for us!P. S. - I did try one type of fish pickle. Won't say I loved it though, but it was nice to try something different.

- Story By Rohan Sadadekar

Photo of Travel Instead 1/2 by Rohan Sadadekar
Photo of Travel Instead 2/2 by Rohan Sadadekar

Story 2: Walking in the mountains(Zanskar, Ladakh)

The sky is the clearest shade of blue, with small and large bundles of cotton here and there. The sun is shining bright, yet the temperature is close to zero. The pathway threads through the mountains. To hike here is to weave oneself into nature, to become a part of the fabric of the place. It is these mountains that have kept the soul of this place alive and they tell its story in unspoken words. A 360° view of snowclad peaks upto the place your eye sight can reach, it is no match to anything else. You can walk along that path for hours together and you won't feel bored. It is a connection between you and the higher. When there will be nothing else, there will be the Divine, there will be Nature and the spirits to guide.The sun will teach you how to bloom, if you let the light in.Living in makeshift tents along the Zanskar was quite a spiritual experience. And the hostel we found in Leh city was also beautiful. We came back to network after almost a month, which allowed us time to process and upload the documentations of our journey.Living the life of a digital nomad is difficult, but definitely a challenging and exciting one.

-Story by Rohan Sadadekar

Story 3: The magic of art(Puri, Odisha)

Do you know what is the highest level of happiness? It's the satisfaction of creation.That could be any type of creation - whether you splash the canvas with colors or whether you engage people with your pen, or in this case whether you shape worlds in sand - art is bliss. When you conjure something out of nowhere, it's quite and elevated feeling.We met this amazing sand artist on the beach of Puri who was trying to sculpt a dolphin in the sand. I couldn't help but notice how dedicated and patient he was. During our stroll on the beach, Mau and I crossed him multiple times and every time I saw the dolphin come to life in a better way. He was working diligently for hours and when he was done, he sat there beside it, looking at the waves with a chai in his hand. Seeing that he had finished, we took this opportunity to appreciate his work and sat beside him with a cup of chai in our hands each. We got talking and later he took us to his den. It was a whole new world in there! He had created so many different scenes right from the puranas to western superheroes to current affairs!Here are some of them for you to relish.His name is Sudam Pradhan and he lives in Puri. Do meet him if you ever get a chance!

Story by Rohan Sadadekar