|Taj Mahal, Agra|
#finally. it was then 10th day of the trip, hence the last day where i'd be departing and back to home.
the last night in Agra don't have much to shout about, other than me wandering the ghost-mall to buy some last minute souvenirs and watching the happening traditional wedding of the locals, hosted at the street nearby the mall. i went back to the room and then packed up all my stuff, getting readied for the departure on the next morning.
despite the early bed time, me and madan happened to be overslept. well..it was more that we took our time to get up, and then getting ready for the departure. no one came to our door for the wake up call, and the whatsapp group was even silent that morning. i only knew that everybody was already on the bus as i got a call from syib, told me that they were waiting for us. darn! we left agra when it was almost 4am. well...just half-an-hour late from the schedule i.e. 330am, and the journey was nothing fancy other than everybody went back to the rem cycle. it'd be another 4 hours journey to Delhi.
we arrived safely at the airport, and small incident happened due to our big fuss on having a last gathering etc. well..two of us would be departing on the next day and apparently, as like most airport in the world that prone to the safety threat, only passengers flying are allowed to enter. so we had to be separated earlier instead of meeting again after the luggage check-in. the commotion was luckily agreeable to be stopped, as we even had one of the security heads came etc. and we were still not allowed to gather etc. even, when we, the passengers flying asking to go out from the compound to meet our group, after check in our luggage etc.
5 hours flight with Malindo Air, back to Malaysia. Alhamdulillah...it was a good weather throughout the journey. we arrived KLIA2 around 9pm, we bid good bye to each other, and guess what...few minutes later, the whatsapp group suddenly filled with the local food pictures - tomyam, nasi goreng etc. hehehe...i guess everybody was really missing the malaysian food! we had enough curry, dhal etc. for the past 10 days!
thank you for being patience with me. perhaps my India travelog that spanned almost 50 entries, is the longest tales that i'd ever told in my blog. the telenovela has come to its finale.capice! eventhough, i only had like 9 solid days (as minus the travelling time from and to Malaysia), this journey was such an epic-tales for me, and i had so much things to show, to share and to tell. like the theme of this travel entries - memoirs of rangoli, my journey has been literally as vibrant and colourful, as the colours of rangoli. the culture, the people, the history, the monuments, the food...all speaks its own uniqueness. i am truly not hesitate if i were to ask to go for another voyage on this land of wonders.
India again? i know. but India to me is among the places that you should visit, in defining yourself as a traveler, regardless either you are a flashpacker, backpacker or a tourist on a tourist's bus. the magnitude of the reality of life, particularly, will open up your perspective and pushing your own boundary.
travelling with Rarecation, on the other hand, has broaden my world, meeting with new group of travelers. i was on a limbo, due to some hard decisions and disheartening episodes that happened back then, and as i quoted, my 2-weeks before flying decision, had been among the best things that i had done in my life. the people that i met, and been my travel's buddies were great and crazy, despite it was the first time for most of us to be in such a long journey together. there were ups and lows, but somehow we managed, and it came to my surprise how easy to tolerate things, compared when i was travelling with my close buddies etc.
one thing for sure, my India journey, which somehow sounds like my spiritual journey to overcome my problem, has been my memorable journey, as i could do what i love most about travel - photography. with our kapten, as well known photographer, and a group of people who are not just love to travel, but also photography, i feel like had my reset button being pushed when i turned my dial mode to M on my camera.
smell the roses. ah...it was too irony as you would not smell the roses...or even the saffron in this land, other than the reality - stench, spices etc. but my journey with them allowed me to stop from chasing the moment, but made time to smell, to see, and to wander, and to memo-graph. it was totally hit me for a while, as it outdo my flashpacker/backpacker habit that tend to touch base with the destination. the appreciation grew over time.
even at the first night, it struck me when Syib asked me why i didn't shoot anything yet as we walked towards Kareem's restaurant for our dinner. then we happened to spend time memo-graphing the acts of the cook at Chadni Chowk...we stood beside the busy street of Khaori Baoli...meeting the locals and memo-graph their portrait etc.
India is rich with its history of old kingdoms, hence explaining the existence of many forts and palaces that spread all over the country especially Rajashtan, where we spend most of the time of our trip. i visited few old kingdoms' palaces and forts before, in other places, but what India have, from its old empire, awed me at huge magnitude for many reasons - the size of the places, the details of the architecture etc.
well...if i were to pick among the forts, Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur, perhaps was my admiration. not because of its cameo appearance in the Dark Knight trilogy, but the fort felt majestic as you entered and passed the main gate. once you started to wander around, and look closer to the details of the carving, for example...and the way each rooms and spaces play with lights...etc. it felt such a wonder.
'Jodhpur!' i answered without hesitation when Syib asked me during the interview, about my favorite places that we had visited for the past few days. despite, this part of the city seemed to be dominant with Hindus, and we had problem to get halal food and had to stick with vegan diet, but i fondly remember the kindness of the people of the blue city, the cheap auto-rickshaw ride, the majestic fort, the memorable night at the desert of Osiyan etc.
The Taj Mahal of Agra. a visit to this iconic place of India finally made a tick on my wishlist. i don't have much things to shout about it. been there and done that. yeay!
so...47 entries. i hope you enjoy this sort of telenovela thingy. pardon me, as again, i don't share much details if you were to plan the trip to india, as i believe there's a lot of travel blog that has shared about it before. whether you like or not, my writings meant to tell my own story of the journey, and details speaks of what i felt, what i remember etc.
i hope you enjoy the photos that i memographed and shared here. my next project will be to produce a coffee table photobook and/or a photo-journal book of this journey. i am a self-obsessed, as i love to see it as a hardcopy where i can browse and glance through, while sipping my latte in the late afternoon etc. hehehe. do you want to buy a copy?
ok. so India will definitely be in my travel wishlist again for the coming years. i want to extend the route as far as Jaisalmer or Amritsar (perhaps border crossing to Lahore), and maybe down to Varanasi to witness its holy festival...well..who knows?
till then! :) and enjoy our theme song of the trip!