So who are the Glovelies, you ask? Well, they're a not-so-secret gang of girls, that has a motto (yes, the motto rhymes, and no I will not divulge it, or else I might lose my last ditch attempt at being perceived as humanly sane.) They...ahem...we decided that it was finally time to put a memory or two down in our scrapbooks of life, and decided to go on the vacation of the millennium.
Basically, when everything can go wrong, it does. And more. That probably best describes the beginning of our trip. But after everything has gone wrong, it somehow manages to untangle itself and become one huge right. That's what the trip actually became. :-)
So this is the story of eight girls who had been planning on this trip for a long time. I still cannot fathom as to why, after all the weeks of advance planning, we decided to buy tickets a few hours before departure. What touching belief we have in the Indian Railways, really. Considering the fact that it was Valentine's Weekend, and practically everyone with something that resembles a heart wishes to visit the epitome of love (The Taj Mahal), on this day.
I began writing the entire trip in prose, but realized it would take me days to finish....so here are little snippets that conglomerate into one heck of a trip!
Our hair-raising auto-ride (jaldi chalao bhaiya...train choot jayega!), which resulted us in landing up ridiculously early. So we fooled around with those jing-bang-colour-colour weighing machines..(I'm intellectual, romantic and a perfectionist....and also Yukta Mookhey, apparently).
Bribing the TC to convert our unreserved tickets into a sleeper berth by giving him full puppy eyes which read Akeli ladki uss ghor jungle jaisi compartment mein kaise baith sakti hai?
Potate's true Jab We Met fashion of catching the train.....our high pitched squealing at spotting her make her way into our compartment. And then Ash's Jab We Could Not Meet fashion of missing the train.
The weird compartment dude, who was acting all pseudo-politician.....I climbed all the way to the top compartment to give him an * cough* accidental kick on the head with my sneaker.....sigh....I think I missed by a few millimeters.
Agra Cantt station, Farid Chacha's Ambassador that fit all of us in...and the marvelous guest house, thanks to the PsychoMommy! :-D (Although, we were not exactly on our best behaviour...I wonder if they'll welcome us back!)
Our long rambles on Sadar's MG Road...the auto ride to pick up Ash (who finally caught the next train in a not so Jab We Met fashion.). Why a simple auto ride, you ask? Well, one auto, seven girls and the poor hassled driver! :-D And since we had made such a spectacle of ourselves, we decided to spare the other auto drivers and walk back home instead! We did, however, hassle a baraat ka ghoda, some random lost tourists and just the general public. I think there have been cautionary posters put up in Agra now, which forbid us from entering the city, and others from abetting our entrance as well!
Greeting Ash in true Ekta-Kapoor Serial style, re-doing it a couple of times to capture a good video. Retiring to the beautiful rooms, watching that gawd-awful Akshay Kumar movie, even more gawd-awful songs and that funny reality show where everyone cheats on everyone and gets caught on camera.
Dinner time! The Valentine themed decoration in the Mess, and our messing around with them! Ice cream at MG Road late at night....and then gol guppas!
Sameer....sigh.....what a man. It's not very often that you come across a gaudy-flashy-white-car filled with men who increase the tempo of their music just as your gang walks past them, only to throw some confetti at you. (I was actually going to yell at them about littering the beautiful road, only to realize later that what they'd thrown was their number and the name of the brave man Sameer, who decided to represent the fountainhead of fools.) On a particularly spiteful day, we intend making good use of that number! ;-)
The late night banters....ridiculous overdramatizations of everything! And the million pictures that were taken to capture those into memory.
Waking up before the sun, so we could catch the Taj in it's dewy splendor. Reaching the Taj, waiting in the line with all the Oh-my-god-we'll-finally-see-the-Taj foreigners (By the way, did you know they are charged at least 50 times more than us for tickets? Poor things. I'd rather be Indian than ripped off. But oh well. It's all contributing to our economy anyway.)
Potate's Hot Foreign Men. (ok ok. I did ogle at them a little later, and yes, I concede they were quite dishy.)
The TAAAAAAJ MAHAL! (and the seedy background music sonorously provided by the gang from a movie with the same name.) Of course, either the Taj is just very shy, or was really scared of harmless us, because he was cowering behind the thickest blanket of fog. Hmph. So much for wanting to raise hand and pretend to hold the minar pose. We didnt give up though. We did pose at the exact spot. Spotting the Taj, however, is left to the beholder's imagination.
Oooh...the kachoris and that yummy matar ki sabji that came with it outside the Taj Mahal. And those paranthas that never stopped coming from the depths of that little kitchen in one of the small dhabas in the by lanes of Taj.
Agra Fort!! Now, this is one place I could totally live in. Seriously. It's so green, serene and clean. This is Reason #2 why I want to relive Jodha Akbar in reality. (Reason #1 being, obviously, Hritik Roshan as Akbar...duh!) It is the most mesmerizing fort I've ever seen (and believe me, I've seen quite a few.) We just couldn't get ourselves out in time. Even pictures fail to capture the feeling of wonder, although we've tried our hardest.
Honestly dude. I think I'll retire from MA and go find a time machine that will transport me back to the times of Akbar....Shah Jehan even.
Hmm...did we eat lunch? I cant seem to remember......we did eat a lot of chips, some Agra Petha and more chips. And then raced towards Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri is equally breathtaking (partly also because you have to climb a hefty flight of stairs to reach the top, and partly because the guide was making us hurry...so that we don't miss our train to go back....for which we still didn't have tickets...really, people worry about us too much, I tell you.)
The ride back to the station after having visited everything......the driver seemed to be in a hurry to drop us back too....hmm....I seem to notice a pattern here.....
Finally, the station, where we found tickets, had to use the bribe technique again, found ourselves in a compartment with two cute little brats (aged 3 and 6) who decided we were trampolines, so they would occasionally launch themselves at us without warning and expect us to laugh and clap about it (which we did...the first couple hundred times at least)
Then back to Delhi....sigh...why? :-( As our bus was taking us back home, I wished we could've rewinded and paused on the weekend. It really did deserve to be frozen in time. So the Taj was fogged out, and I was the one who had insisted that we go see the Taj for the longest time. But strangely, I never felt any regret in having missed its view in sunshine. I enjoyed the fogged out Taj way more, thanks to the gloveliest gang of girls I went with! :-)