India Diaries – The 2024 Edition – with a twist

A long time ago, in March last year, the Ashwina and I returned to India for a brief holiday, carrying our precious little cargo, the one we shall henceforth refer to as Baby. You might have read or heard from me that the trip was far from relaxing. So, this time, we prepared ourselves for, at minimum, the likely scenario of falling ill.

As usual, we secured some reward flights that made us pick the last two weeks of January to be on holiday. We flew to Bangalore overnight and landed at the new terminal, designed as a “terminal in the garden”. We had booked IndiGo for our flight to Pune. However, we discovered that we had to change terminals to the old one which was quite far away and required a bus ride. Fortunately, based on our experience, we hired two porters who helped us reach the terminal and get checked in without any hassle.

The last time, we had a horrible experience with SpiceJet, which is now forever on our no-fly list. Our experience with IndiGo was significantly better, although their vegetarian offering could do with some work. We did have to spend quite a bit of time at the airport waiting for our connecting flight. Some of which we spent feasting upon some yummy South Indian breakfast. You can rarely go wrong with idli wada.

We did have an issue at Pune airport. Probably because of the time we landed, we had no porters to help us. The Uber pickup at Pune airport is located in a mall far away from the terminal and requires a long walk, a narrow lift and slopes! All of this with a few hours of sleep as the little one kept us awake quite a bit.

Unlike previous visits, the next two weeks were rather uneventful. We had lunch with Saby on Saturday and I met Akshat and Neha for lunch on Sunday. This time, Ashwina made the trip to Mumbai with her dad while I stayed back with her mom and had a fun day with Baby.

I spent a lot of time working on the new update to Better Search and also rebuilding Aqua Air Logistics.

The new look of Aqua-Air Logistics Inc
The new look of Aqua-Air Logistics Inc

The Twist!

I have never managed to take a proper break from work during any of my holidays, and this one was no different. However, I did manage to squeeze in a trip to Sydney and Melbourne during the holiday. It allowed me to set foot on another continent and catch up with a few friends who I haven’t seen in forever.

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Ajay near Flinders Street Station
Me near Flinders Street Station in Melbourne
Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street Station in Melbourne

Because of the trip to Australia, we had to rebook our return journey. For the first time, we took an Emirates flight back to London from Bangalore via Dubai. Baby spent most of the flight Dubai-London leg walking around the plane and saying “hi” to everyone she met. I think I got my 10,000 steps.

We reached home extremely tired, and it took my body several days to adjust to the jetlag. Suffices to say, our next trip to India will be via Mumbai.

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