On this day :
1814 Napoleon exiled to Elba, 1721 Moravian missionary David Zeisberger is born, 1888 Henry Ford marries, 1862 Confederates surrender Fort Pulaski, 1951 Truman relieves MacArthur of duties in Korea, 1870 War is narrowly averted, 1968 Last survivors of ferry accident rescued, 1970 Apollo 13 launched to moon, 1979 Idi Amin overthrown, 1988 Cher wins Best Actress Oscar for Moonstruck, 1931 Dorothy Parker resigns as drama critic for The New Yorker, 1961 Bob Dylan plays his first major gig in New York City, 1803 Talleyrand offers to sell Louisiana, 1977 President Carter hosts White House Easter egg roll, 2004 Phil Mickelson wins first major at Masters, 1963 Troops from Hawaii sent to South Vietnam, 1972 B52s strike North Vietnamese positions, 1919 International Labor Organization founded, 1945 The US army liberates Buchenwald concentration camp,

Essays

Hyderabad - A Momentous Expedition

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Day 1 Avalanche

We were grossly woken up with a sprinkle of cold water when we refused to leave our revelries of insanely cheerful students parading around the map of Hyderabad. I woke up, helped my sister emulsify the shock of waking up early, and then we both got ready, barely believing the fact that we would not linger around our house for five days, and it was strange that we would be gone, miles away from our family members, whose presence we took for granted earlier.

We huddled together in a group, and I broke the ice by saying jokes to my friends though deep down I was really nervous and was just making conversation in anticipation of an extremely joyous journey.

Our teacher were our saviours, they had organised everything for our well-being. I quickly took my seat, talked with my friends for a while, and then drifted into a trance-like state which happens to me often, just thinking about the future and looking out of the window, examining the scenery and manifesting imaginary visions.

I marvelled at how the teachers had managed everything in such a tight budget once again as I had a rare treat of pizza garnished with the characteristic corn, along with a burger which had a nice aroma and sumptuous flavour. I could eat a whole box filled with burgers to the brim, day and day .....

Afterwards, we retreated to the train and settled down in our respective compartments after talking a bit and aspired for a memorable and uneventful future.

Day 2 Fresh Beginnings

I was in my compartment when I thought I must be losing my marbles. I was sleeping, but was fully conscious of everything going on as I was a light sleeper. I was having ultra bizarre dreams, and my body was aching all over when I heard rumbling sounds, sounds of boisterous antics of my friends and I looked out of the corner of my eye to see an empty seat where Ishita Ma’am was supposed to be sedately sleeping.

“What on Earth is happening at this unearthly hour?” I asked myself. The accused, Shruti, Gianna and Ruin, were the causes of this tumult, who at 5 or 6 in the morning went around waking everybody, immersing them into the feeling of being flabbergasted, and causing havoc. I woke up and was given a glimpse of the proceedings outside by an extremely amused Ishita Ma’am, I was then promptly dragged to a compartment where my friends wished me ‘good morning’ when they had spoilt my morning, I felt like bidding them an adieu. The infectious euphoria soon spread and I have no idea how and when it started, but soon we were all talking, singing and having lot of enthusiasm and gusto, and thus acquired an ‘uncontrollable’ tag. Due to the same fervour, we reached Hyderabad tired and panting like dogs. Our excitement nullified our fatigue and we found ourselves retracing our steps down the lanes of history when the foundation of Hyderabad was built, crumbled and eventually became what it is today at the Qutub Shahi tombs and Golconda forts. The food, throughout the day, was perpetually breathtaking due to its affordability and quality. We returned and had entertainment after which we retired to have our priceless siesta.

Day 3 Lustrous Glaze

I stretched myself. I was to go into the washroom last today so I was very serene and ecstatic. I pushed aside the curtain, sat on the bed wearing the blanket, and basked in the slight sunlight, experiencing bouts of coziness. It was a very pleasant weather outside. The sun shined slightly but was still cool and the breeze was like a lullaby. I missed my family and still scarily believed that everything could be so awe-inspiring.

The breakfast, as usual, was lovely. I had developed a fetish for bread, jam, cornflakes and juice during our prolonged stay.

After breakfast, as usual, we visited the illustrious Salarjung Museum which was deviant from other museums but still allowing, like a miniature ‘paradise’ – captivating and refreshing with items like glass, warfare items and paintings, it was everything fantastic collectors would die for.

During our time in the bus we debated on all sorts of topics, and at the end cracked up laughing because most of the explanations were hilarious and nonsical.

We then saw the ‘Vintage Car Museum’ – its name was very apt. Why anyone would dislike this museum was inexplicable. It was liked enough to be enlisted in the Guinness World record, it was the wackiest car museums with working cars of different shapes and sizes, and then diversity and assortment was astounding. The visit to the must see Snow World knocked the sock on us. What started as never seen before fun ended up on the state of being frozen and we soon lumbered out, which we didn’t know we would regret afterwards.

Afterwards, we were tired but still trudged to the boat and were delighted at the hospitality they showed. We danced to the beat until my friends, the world, and everything just ceased to exist in my eyes, and I had to be carried upstairs by my sister because I had gone into slumber suddenly.

Day 4 The Final Promise

I had woken up in a manner which perturbed me. I made promises to myself that I would not get carried away in the heat of the moment and would be conservative. I had watched TV at night due to which I felt like sleeping right away. ‘As you sow, so shall you reap’, came to my mind.

I simply got ready, had my breakfast, and mechanically did as instructed, while perplexed friends exchanged looks of curiosity and concern for my apathy and lack of emotion and expression. I slept all the way during the bus travel, after which my spirits were soaring and ready to accept the indulgence which Ramoji Films City, as an illustrious film centre recognised by many organisations, would offer to us students. Going there was like taking a look into a director’s head, it was as if I had entered into the premises of a film going on in progress. ‘Everything you see may not be true and what is true may not be seen’, really applied to the world of film ventures! The hospital I would have believed realisitic would be fake, while a person acting out a scene in reality would not really have to be in a situation which we learned the interesting way out when Kalia Ma’am was ‘chased’ apparently by dacoits while in reality she just whipped an imaginary horse to death. Frankly speaking, I was more interested in the ‘curse’ inflicted on the Ramoji Film City, which was very much like a forbidden topic and was not brought up by any staff or teacher. Our day was soon ending.

We waved good bye to the city who had nurtured and enlightened us – Hyderabad!

Day 5 Transition

The first word I said today was, “Ma’am?” And it was scary. How I would get over not being here in Hyderabad with everyone was hitting me like a hurricane, though I badly wanted to say ‘Hello’ and much more to my mother and my father. I didn’t know if my nostalgia would ever subside. Everyone today was extra quiet, extra solemn, with a glint in their eyes, as if they could never bear to let go. Gradually we realised that if this was our last moment, we should not have the profanity of wasting it, and everyone became cheery, happy and a little teary-eyed.

We swapped experiences and told each other our opinions and in that instant I felt that Christmas had been recreated right in our berth, though we had a few problems here and there. The apple juice which was spilt on a girl, the food which had few imperfections, the bickering, the arguments, and so on were so worthy, valuable, timeless yet considered petty by some. We couldn’t attain perfection, but we all were at the apex, knowing that we had made a right choice for joining this school and attending this trip, and that itself was commendable. Broken hearts, nostalgia, pains, aches, and all ailments would exist but be healed by the most soothing salve known as time.

Over time, we would separate, times would change, and at times judgement would be clouded but memories were never-changing and eternal, like this trip which had become an unforgettable chapter in the book of my life.....

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