A Leaf out of my Vadodara Journey Diary
My first ever visit to Vadodara (Baroda) was a journey full of confusion and uncertainty. Interestingly the trip was planned a week prior but it never turned out to be according to the plans. I was working with my previous company and was travelling together with Anjali (my colleague then) for an in-house event.
The event was scheduled to happen the next day. It was an important event for every one of us and since the sponsors were already confirmed, we could not have shifted the date. We took the train to Vadodara in the evening and reached the city early in the morning. You must be wondering what went wrong when everything was going as planned. Well, it was in the wee hours of morning (around 3.30 – 4 o clock) when we reached the place and we were little terrified as it was still pitch dark outside and both of us were travelling for the first time to Vadodara. Even the boy who was travelling with us was of little help and was completely dependent on us both (what can be worse than this). Fortunately the hotel we had booked was located close to the station. The actual problem started when we reached the hotel; it was not even close to what was shown on their website. Anjali then got into an altercation with the hotel attendant to return the booking money for we could not have stayed in that shabby place. She even threatened to call the Manager to the hotel at that hour if the money was not returned. After constant nagging the money was returned, but we were left stranded in the middle of the night with nowhere to go. With weary eyes and dragging our bags behind, we started off once again searching for a new place. An autowala who was watching us from a distance came to help us but we, thinking he might land us into some kind of trouble, tried to avoid him. After walking some distance we saw that the autowala was still offering to help us and would not leave us alone there. “Beta,” he said. “It is not safe in this part of the city to loiter alone. If you trust me, let me take you to a good hotel. Your safety is in my hands.”
We looked at each other and thought of giving it a try. Anjali whispered in my ears that if he tries to create any problem, we 3 of us are enough to teach him a good lesson. As promised, he took us to a hotel and we checked into it after we were convinced that the hotel was a good one. We were so sleepy that we could not think of anything else but were fast asleep on our beds in a couple of minutes.
The event in the evening went off good and we were all happy that we could make it there without fail. We were still at the venue celebrating the success of our event when we got a call from our office informing that our return tickets to Delhi the next day were still not confirmed. That came as a second blow on us after all the drama in the morning. Oops!
I was not in the mood to stay back one more day in Vadodara and I was praying for a miracle to happen. We were initially told that flight tickets would be booked for us from Ahmedabad but when it was getting difficult to get the tickets in such a short time, the office informed us that we will have to travel by the sleeper Volvo. Are you kidding? was what our first reaction was. Travelling for more than 20 hours in a bus was beyond our imagination. This is the miracle, I thought. But I was pleased that I can get back to Delhi without staying one more day in Vadodara.
We took the bus from Ahmedabad at around 1 in the afternoon. The initial journey was exciting for us because we were travelling in a sleeper Volvo for the first time. But it soon turned horrendous and tiring for us. At one point, the conductor came to us telling that we were actually in someone else’s seat and that the passenger is boarding it in the next stop. Pointing to the back, he told us that our seat was actually at the farthest end of the bus. You mean the last seat? Oh my God, get ready for the jerks now, we told each other.
The journey after this became even more arduous. Our body starting aching after sometime and we could not lie down in a particular position for long. We both cursed our office for having taken us for granted and not taking care of our return tickets. Anjali even bought herself a bottle of Limca for fear of throwing out inside the closed bus and had a sip whenever she felt giddy.
Then at another stop, we all got off the bus to get freshened up and I somehow got late at the loo. When I came outside, I saw that my bus was leaving without me. I got horrified and started screaming. When Anjali could not find me, she asked the driver to stop and scolded the conductor for not checking if all the passengers had boarded. Oh, it was quite a sight then, with the bus leaving and me running behind the bus!
We reached Delhi the next morning sometime around 8 or 9 in the morning. Lack of proper sleep and constant jerks during the road journey made us look even more tired. The only thing we could think of was our beds.
Till date, this whole incident comes to our mind even at the slightest mention of Vadodara and both me and Anjali laugh out loud at what has befallen us. We learnt a good lesson that whenever girls travel alone, it is always advisable to get the confirmed tickets beforehand and check the quality of the hotel before booking it. This was indeed a journey with many twists for us.
About Twisted Journey
This section will talk about one of those many unusual journeys in our life that start off with a twist but end up with many good experiences and memories. Though they may become arduous at times, these journeys also leave us with many fond memories to reflect on later in life. They teach us to experience new situations while travelling to a new place and meeting with new people. Recounting and sharing such experiences with our readers would help them react to such unfamiliar situations, when and how they come into their life.
– Samrita Baruah / Anjali Sethi Joshi