Mumbai Mirror: Life In A Floatel

Food has an ability to get you travel through time! An aroma of simple roasted besan takes me back to the pre Diwali days when the besan ladoos were made . Or a sweet caramelized smell of blissfully bubbling jaggery brings back the memories of Til ladoos made during Sankranti. Even a familiar smell of methi thepla or a tadka makes me longing for mom’s cooked simple meals… That’s the power of food…it brings out the best cherished memories of your past and takes you straight to the time when things were simple yet so bright. 
Another strong contender is Places and Trave. Whenever I hear about a city.. especially the one I have lived in or been on a  holiday, it takes me back to the times and the people I have had the privilege knowing.. The places I experienced and the food peculiar to the local tastes. How much ever you try to cage  those flavors in the form of spices n packaged ingredients and bring back home, you just fail to replicate the same taste and experience. Probably its the air and water that adds magic to the whole culinary experience, that unique feeling ,and that can never be brought back. It stays back at its place of origin and in your memories forever..
So after being locked up at home for a good two years of pandemic when we as a family finally decided to come out of the shell and travel, we decided to add a few more good memories of food plus travel combination.  
We humans resist change, and women like me who love the calmness a routine offers, a change feels like a social issue that needs to be fought..
 I never have traveled by road for more than 200-300 kms. A 3-4 hour drive was the limit for road travel…If the distance exceeded the threshold, then there was always an alternate plan ..air travel. So when my husband suggested a long road trip to Udaipur , I was my usual skeptic..resisting the idea .. only to be convinced later on that it will be safer than closed space air travel ( this was during the tail end of Covid era, when we were cautiously threading through the waves of pandemic) The adventure aspect of a Road Trip  never really got me excited …at least till the time we began our journey…
They say life gives you a jerk when you least expect it… well I’m fortunate I got a pleasant one this time.. 
The road trip was a liberating experience… not only did I get to shrug off my fear of speed while driving, I learnt to navigate through the highway traffic and transform into an experienced and a fairly good woman driver.. The trip taught me so much about our own nation.. Most of us otherwise carry a preconceived notion about a lot of things and places. The first hand experience was a mix of surprise , learning and pride for me. It was such a pleasure to explore the places, meet the people, experience the food, the warmth and most importantly watch the development and change that’s happening all around our country . Its not just limited to metros.. My heart swells with pride when I see even a small town with such technology and prosperity. 
Trying out local food at a small joint in a new place felt like a mini adventure. It is tough to locate a place where the Google maps fails! That’s how its gotten in this era now. But this fail turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me. Being an Introvert, it was tough for me to ask strangers for help. But the friendly locals , all so humble , just smiled and willingly helped, trying to ease me after gauging my expressions of terror, some of them even travelled along on their bikes to show the way, some helped to navigate through the narrow lane traffic and some just smiled and gave way .. That’s when that feeling hit me….. its my country, my home, n these are my people and I shouldn’t be scared anymore to venture out of my comfort zone! I now know why they truly call us Incredible India!
When you keep an open mind…miracles happen… They say miracle is 99% divine but 1% your own willpower… I am grateful that I opened my gate of miracles with traveling …and discovered a treasure chest of adventure, people, humility and food. 
So the next time somebody suggests a small town or a place not painting the walls of social media , but a small niche town …keep an open mind and travel….you never know you might just open the flood gates to miracles, adventure and experience.
I have documented my first two Food road trips and hope to add a lot many more in coming years.. ..I know I’m still a baby in the world of travelers… but I hope my experience and the food places will benefit you all in planning your travel itinerary and enrich your experience about the places and cities.

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