Destination: Impossible

My list of places to travel in this life has been a very long one. I have often thought about buying a new shelf to keep that list. The cities like Rome, Barcelona, Milan, Vienna, Florence, Lisbon, Venice and many others have been part of that list, along with a good number of Latin American nations. There have also been nations on the Eastern side of Asia and the South of Africa which have been in my list. But there is something about Eastern Europe and one nation in particular, which I wished to visit right from my childhood, even before I knew more about the nations, their geographical locations, capitals and the distance to be traveled from here.

I know my friends who wish to travel and settle down in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, along with those who are already there. I am the first one to make this wish here, and I made it when I was in school, and nobody knew the name of even one Eastern European nation other than Russia. I wanted to travel to Romania. Some friends thought that I wanted to travel to Rome with its Colosseum and Vatican, but that was not my priority. I wanted to see the legend, the hero and the prince of darkness, or at least what remained of the myth and history.

I have loved almost everything I have known about Romania, the most recent love related to Simona Halep, the World No.2 in Women Singles Tennis; that even lead to our cat being named after her. Coming back to the love for Dracula, the first non-Malayalam horror novel which I have ever read, Carpathians had become a grand part of my perpetual endearment towards the unexplored side, something which was to be kept away – the kid who read horror is never the lovable kid, right? It was the time when I had to read the children’s books, and there I was, reading the horror novels.

20151028_210436

“That kid who read horror novels” – not that much of a popular tag to have at the Municipal Library of a town; it was a fair title though. Then there were people who had the shocked expression seeing me with the horror novels. I was often called Dracula in the class and I loved it so much; as I soon asked to be called that name, my classmates realized that they couldn’t make fun of me by calling me Dracula and they decided to stop addressing me so. The horror always existed with me, and the genre grew, with horror movies and then reaching my final MA English and Literature project about Vampire as a Cultural Construct.

The Carpathian Mountains should be my place to begin. I should be there alone and be the Jonathon Harker of the time, and it is something which I owe that kid who read horror novels. The Bran Castle should be the big destination as the Dracula Castle, along with Poenari Castle and Hunyad Castle making sure that the legend is truthfully followed. I have always loved the castles even outside the horror stories, and with the myth connected here, you know which is the castle which I wish to visit long before any other. The Dracula Castle is like a holy site of myths for us!

Bucharest, the capital and largest city of Romania also needs to be visited. I have found a number of interesting buildings on the pages, most significant ones being Saint Spyridon the New Church, and the architectural beauty in right there with modernity as well as those with antiquity. Another city on the list is Iasi for the Metropolitan Cathedral there. Constanța, the port city where Simona Halep is from, also makes it to my list. The other cities include Timisoara, Ploiesti, Sibiu, Craiova, Brasov, Galați and Cluj-Napoca – you search for details about a city, and you end up wishing to visit them!

Well, it is clear that I have no job as I have been learning the names of cities. I wish that my MA thesis would come to its real end during a trip to Romania, or may be I could do a Ph.D thesis there on the same topic; the journey is a wish that is never to come true, and Romania is a dream destination which is never to be added to the “visited” list. This is one destination which seems necessary for my salvation, but it is also something which I have put on another list of many impossible things. Do I need to say those six impossible things before tea? May be I do.

***The image used in this blog post was taken by me on Samsung Galaxy A5.

TeNy

Bucket List Reloaded

Don’t you wish to live the life you have always dreamed of? Don’t we all have that power of hope that is within us even during the most pessimistic of moments? We all do, and in my case, I have had a long bucket list which I am choosing to bring down to a small list of five. I have never been able to limit the list to five, but these are a few things which were in my mind for such a long time, some of them which my readers might have already known and the others not really brought to light.

1. To visit Florence and Rome: There are many cities that I wish to visit, but these two have been in the list for so long that I feel that this need come from my previous birth. Florence being the city of Renaissance and Rome being once a great city of ancient times, I would want to visit these two places first. It is only fair to start with these two cities as I can always travel more inside and outside Italy, from Venice and Milan to Barcelona and Lisbon outside the Mediterranean.

idbifed

2. To spend a lot of time in a Buddhist monastery: I have never been to one in India, but I have been to a few in Sri Lanka. I have kept the list of a number of monasteries, and there are a few which I have liked more than the rest – they make me wish to travel to Ceylon, but Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and Thailand are also in my list. I have spend enough time in a number of Christian monasteries and it is time I add these to the long list too.

3. To tell Pope Francis that he is awesome: No, it is not that he needs to be told that, but still, with what he has been doing, I feel that it is my duty and privilege to go and say that. He has made people say that the Pope is awesome in such a small period of time. It should also mean a journey to St. Peter’s Square, which should another nice thing. St. Peter’s Basilica, sooner or later, I am coming there and I shall take those photos for my church photography collection.

4. To have a long Carpathian expedition: Carpathians! You should have heard the name. Count Dracula and Carpathians have that kind of a relationship with me that has made my brain remember the name of that mountain ranges a lot of more than I would have needed to. I have kept that in my list from childhood, and some day, I am going to travel to any castle around there and ask for the Count. I do hope that they have calling bells. Yes, I also wish to go back to Romania’s cities and get an autograph from Simona Halep. That means two things in one journey.

5. To volunteer for Missionaries of Charity: There is no other organization in the whole world which I consider with that much reverence as the Missionaries of Charity. I have visited a number of their convents and the places of work, and it is safe to say that being part of the congregation is one of the greatest things of service that one can do. Yes, I can be of service somewhere else now, but may be one day, volunteer for their work if possible. Kolkata is indeed a blessed city.

The list should go on and on, especially with the cities to be visited, which covers almost all of the Europe and a good area of Latin America. There are always more things in the bucket list than you can keep thinking about, and there are always more things in the world to add to that list. For now, these are the five things that I would do if I had nothing to hold me back and I was #BefikarUmarBhar.

*** The image used in this blog post is from the Happy Hours Campaign page at Indiblogger. This blog post was written as part of the Happy Hours contest from IDFI Federal Life Insurance in association with Indiblogger. Please check this link for further details: http://bit.ly/BefikarUmarBhar

🙂 TeNy