After returning from one of the best trips ever—a bike trip to Ladakh, I started craving travel again! I always consult 2 of my close friends whenever I start getting such an itch. We three have similar mindsets and thought processes so I called up Kunal and Pratik and asked them how to get rid of this itch. Unfortunately the itch was contagious and instead of discouraging the trip, we ended up planning one. I have a huge group and it takes a couple of years to plan a trip from Borivali to Andheri so we thought about getting the plan execution-ready before inviting participants.
We are engineers and have retarded minds (Thanks to our course) so we started with those typical places but later realized that it was time to move beyond MTDCs. We shortlisted Kutch’s Rannmahotsav and decided to explore the white desert and the kite festival in Gujarat (Half my friends would just goto Goa but as I said we three are unique or weird!)
My mother has always been interested in my travels and my parents always support (Never sponsor) my passion for travel, be it Cycling in Himalayas with strangers or Biking to Ladakh again with strangers. It takes a lot of skillful planning and some good behaviour to get a life-time trust visa from parents for all future travel plans (I do free consultation for my friends who find it hard to pataofy adamant parents).
So my mom heard me discussing a trip over the phone and said that she would like to join me and my friends on the trip. I was a bit surprised at her request as we guys travel low-cost, hard-core and explore unknown, unwanted, left out places for fun on our trips. I told her about the terms & conditions and she signed on it and was onboard.
I told Kunal and Pratik about it and they were happy. They know that my mom is really cool and decided to ask their respective moms as well. To our surprise all the moms were onboard. Obviously we had certain issues with our respective dad’s as they didn’t like the idea that their respective wives were going on a trip with their respective sons, leaving away their respective husbands to fend on hotel food! Entry to dad’s on this trip was a clear NO and they were told to make their own food arrangements for the week.
Due to some issues the plan shifted to Rajasthan from Kutch. The trip planning was very strategic and well managed. All three of us were given targets to achieve. I being the talker got the hotel bookings and negotiations, Kunal being the explorer took over the places to visit and Pratik—the Dual-Core took over travel. He used A-star algorithm and planned the most optimum trip with distances accurate to the last millimeter! A super computer would feel shy on seeing the sheer awesomeness of the shortest path that he built! After tons of Google spreadsheets and word docs floating around and many conference calls later, the 4 month planning phase finally came to conclusion. We had the most optimum trip budget wise, travel wise, value wise, time wise and ROI wise! We are AWESOME! We forgot to inform our other friends and directly bid farewell to them (some of them threw abuses at such discreet planning and swore to never go out with us again but they took it back) and were on the trip.
We had Mount Abu to chill, Udaipur and Jodhpur to explore and Jaisalmer for a camel ride of a lifetime! As always, we guys skipped the most obvious/commercial places to visit at these cities and focused on the one’s that people don’t explore. Every place is beautiful in its own way but I believe that the company you keep makes the trip what it is! We saw a completely different side of our respective moms! The best part was that as we three friends are a subset of our respective moms, we could be substituted by our moms. So if Kunal wasn’t around and I wanted to ask him about something, I could just ask his mom. However, this is a unidirectional data flow as the super set can give out data but cannot absorb new data, instead the subset takes new data and passes on to the superset in a refined manner. So I ended up saying certain things to Kunal’s mom that she clearly didn’t know about! Sorry Kunal! 😛
Pratik is a man-machine! His mind works faster than that of Chacha Chaudhary. He is our banker, treasurer and sole saving instrument in this world of financial chaos! He is a fund manager on such trips and manages money amounting to few hundreds to millions (thousands actually). However, Kunal and I ganged up against him and tried to get him hitched by talking to his mom about his escapades. His mom almost got convinced about his alleged affair with a friend in my group but then Pratik became red! When Pratik gets red he goes into this rage, this violent phase and he starts hitting everyone around him!! Well no, actually he starts answering in mono-syllables. He refused to continue his banking responsibilities on the trip since we were damaging his reputation. Kunal and I realized the perils of such actions and spoke out the truth to his mom. Pratik is still single after that day! 😀
Post the trip, our respective moms have become really good friends. They often complain that we guys haven’t planned another trip. Since we three friends had sponsored the trip and hadn’t budgeted our respective moms initially, we were in for a financial setback and needed to recover. Markets were not good so we started a new fund to sponsor our next trip and obviously the banker aka Pratik, took his fund management fees in Pani Puri Khakhras—hand-picked by Kunal! Our assets haven’t grown drastically but we made decent interest gains. The Dual-core has slowed down these days and has become more of a Celeron but he still manages.
A couple of months back I got that same B**** of an itch and got on a call with Kunal. I asked “How about something like Andaman or Laskhadweep?”. I was very sure I was alone in the room but the next day, I noticed that my mom was grinning more than usual and I didn’t want to know why 😦