Travelling can be a lonesome business. The long hours on the road talking to strangers, trusting strangers, being in places you have never been and, of course, getting lost. At Bangalore, amongst cousins and college friends, I felt that I had a family for the first time. Whether it was the dinners at Nasi and Mee with my cousins, brunching with Abhishek and Megha at the Hyatt, watching the movie Phobia at PVR or getting drunk silly on expensive single malt at my pal's place - I have been amongst people throughout.
I missed my golf lesson today as I got up late again and realised that I needed to change hotels as my reservations with them were coming to an end. I quickly moved into another one called the Golden Pearl close by.
After tasting Chettinad cuisine at Bangalore and Galouti Kababs slightly later, the food at Murali, a pure veg South Indian eatery was a fresh breeze. I gorged on regular street food Pani Puri (the water breads!), lassi, Pista Milk, Chole Bhaturey (spicy chickpea with maida unleavened bread fried in oil) and Ras Malai (sweet cheesecake in cream) and realised how much I had been missing veg food as I have been predominantly eating non-veg cuisine in this city.
I always manage to watch the best films at Bangalore. Last time in September 2015, it was the Murder Mystery Talvar. And today, it was Phobia which I watched with my cousins. Phobia had Radhika Apte as a psychotic girl who develops a phobia of the world outside. The movie was a cross between the 1999 Ram Gopal Verma film Kaun and Requiem for a Dream. Although on its own, the film was an original and was humorous in its own dark way.
But business wise, the trip has been a tad disappointing and I made no headway with the content aggregators and travel sites. No one was interested in my blog and no one needs pure vanilla travel content or I am just not what is needed! Even in terms of co-promotions that I was willing to run, contests etc. no one was ready to bite! People want money to promote my blog and we thought of running a contest "Travel with Tikku" where a lucky winner gets to accompany me to Mauritius or Madagascar, but there were no takers for a deal and people wanted money upfront to discuss further! We made a low brow, dirty video also at my pal's place to promote the competition as it were and, of course, it would not have flown!
I finally decided to take that call and paid US $ 275 to upgrade my blog on WordPress, to add better analytics (which is Google) and improve the look and feel, perhaps add a chat facility. We will be going live, living all over and a massive revamp very soon is my plan and it is coming to you soon! The conclusion we came to, after a few experiments and discussions, was that we need to build some basics very strong and very fast and that would be a good place to start, pin our hopes on as it were! We took calls and said quality and content, improve the quality of the content, make it more engaging, informative and entertaining plus increase the number of posts - yeah and which is important! Improve the quality of the pictures and videos before we look to spend millions on promotion and contests?! I am not losing hope, just realigning it! Even if the blog remains a diary, so what thought I. It is a reflection of me and my life currently and documents my journey and that is something I knew I wanted. I will keep at it till I get fed up with travelling I guess?!
I encountered the famous Bangalore traffic. Lucky that I didn’t have to drive at all on this trip of mine not that I otherwise do anyway, what with Uber and all! Bangalore is about eating, drinking and I.T. Although it is a city that is still very green and full of lush gardens, but this time, Summer of 2016, the heat was on and temperatures had soared.
I got the opportunity to peek into lives of a few married couples lives and rationalised that I am not missing too much perhaps. Everyone is trudging on with their own set routine trying to make a fist of things while I was footloose and fancy-free. But when I come back to my hotel room after my excursions I am truly alone?!
The quantum of my writing has improved I'd like to think and I feel my blogs are more descriptive now. It’s as if I am not in any hurry anymore to make things happen. Let stuff flow and the universe will do the rest and isn’t that what Deepak Chopra says? Well, if it can come true for him it can come true for me too?! So I am just throwing my intent into the force field of consciousness and I now have to wait for my dreams and desire to manifest themselves and come the hell together! Exactly how long that will take is anyone’s guess and I am not even trying to guess! People around me keep scaring me that one day the good times will run out and I will be left high and dry. Well, we will crisscross that bridge when we come to, it is how I address it. But as of now, I am going to keep my focus narrow and travelling solo. I would, of course, love to perhaps partner someone along on my journey, someone who is equally mad and till then. as Amitabh Bachchan had said in a Bollywood movie – “Main Aur Meri Tanhai”.