Who doesn’t plan before embarking on any trip? Even if you don’t decide what to do after reaching the destination, at least you decide what will be your destination, right?
It’s very rare that one just starts off to go where road takes them – without any plan, without any agenda, without any expectations. The kind of trip that surprises you, tests your endurance and invokes the wanderlust in you! On our 4th Anniversary we did just that!
Leaves were a problem for Neetan as he had taken a lot of leaves for my sister’s marriage. With almost 8000 people on the guest list, we pulled off the event with style! I too was tired with all the pre-marriage preparations, maintaining the guests at home and managing all the rituals that follow after a marriage. We desperately needed a break, but Neetan couldn’t manage more leaves and we had to settle for a day trip. I was too busy to plan anything, so, this time, I left all the planning to Neetan.
Neetan informed me to be ready by 6 AM sharp. When asked about where we are going, he said ‘We’ll go for a long drive!’ There will be a surprise waiting, I thought. I should have known that Neetan and surprise are miles apart!
We love Road trips
Road trips are something what we love and never get tired off. Our usual long drive circuits within city limits are: Nice Road – Electronic City and back home or Whitefield – Hoskote and back home or NH7 – Chikkaballapura and back home through Doddaballapura. So, when Neetan breezed through NH7, I thought it must be the latter.
Though I kept asking where now? The answer was always, ‘We shall keep driving!’ I couldn’t believe that there was no plan and kept telling myself that there is a surprise and I need to wait. We crossed Chikkaballapura and surged ahead. I looked at him and he said the same old dialogue ‘We shall keep driving!’ I said, ‘No, not that. I am hungry!’
By this time, we had crossed all the major eateries and were nearing Puttaparthi. We slowed down and started to hunt for a decent place to satiate our taste buds. Unlike other major Highways, NH7 is a let-down in this regard. After half an hour, we found a decent shack and gorged on yummy bread omelette to be back on the road again.
Well, by now I had stopped asking questions and convinced myself that there was no surprise and Neetan was serious about his ‘We shall keep driving!’ statement. Just then, I spotted the board ‘Dharmavaram’ written on it. The heart said ‘Quick, Take a turn here!’, but the brain said ‘Your wardrobe is full of new unworn Kanchipuram sarees, so digress’. And thus I didn’t speak a word.
We were just driving
We reach Anantapur and Neetan says ‘Why don’t we have Hyderabadi Biryani for lunch?’
I thought for a while and appreciated the fact that he understood I shall be hungry soon and I need to refuel my stomach and I grabbed my phone to open Google Maps for a quick search – not before I stopped the hunt when I heard, ‘In Hyderabad !!’
I quipped, ‘Are you serious? You have to be at work tomorrow!’
He said ‘We are half way through and It’s still 10, so lunch in Hyderabad will be perfect! We shall be back home by midnight.’ The offer was too tempting to decline, for, there is a mention of ‘Hyderabadi Biryani in Hyderabad for Anniversary lunch’.
‘I am Game!’ I beamed and my eyes went wide with awe and wonder.
A couple of quick calls to friends and the place was decided! The famous ‘Paradise’ Hyderabadi Biryani would be our pit stop before we start our run back to Bengaluru 🙂 . As a rule of thumb, we always check if our documents are in place before any long drive. As this decision to go to Hyderabad was made on the go, we rechecked the documents only to find that the emission certificate had expired.
Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist Quotes “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” And this quote perfectly fits into our situation. Just when were worried about an expired emission certificate, we see a lot of mobile emission testing vans parked along the highway! We quickly dropped by and got our certificate done 🙂
This was my first ever trip to Hyderabad, but certainly will not be the last. I had only a couple or more hours to explore which by the way is too less time for a city like Hyderabad. Was thrilled to see the ‘Welcome to Hyderabad’ board. After some research, we found there a lot of ‘Paradise’ branches, but the best one is the one in Secundrabad. Though we were reluctant to enter inside the city, we took a bet. After all, we came this far for a Biryani, why not have the best one!
The flyover from NH7 into the city was a breeze. We drove past Hussain Sagar and thankfully the traffic was not that bad. Reached ‘Paradise’ just in time when butterflies started to rumble in the stomach. Half an hour later, we have a beautiful spread of mouth-watering delicacies on our table and I had to pinch myself to believe that 6 hours back we were in Bengaluru and now we are celebrating our Anniversary with a lunch in Hyderabad! The food was absolutely delicious and made us realize that it is famous for a reason. We ordered one more biryani to be eaten on the way back to Bengaluru, considering the lack of good restaurants on NH7.
Well, what is a trip to Hyderabad without shopping for pearls? So, with very little time in hand, went on some pearl shopping spree. I was really skeptical and was not convinced in a couple of shops. So, dropped the idea of pearl shopping and kept it for my next visit. Or can I say, I needed another reason to visit this beautiful city! 😉
Time was ticking and we had to leave Hyderabad asap. Remember, we were still inside the city and have to leave before the traffic madness starts – so a 4 PM start would be ideal. But, it was already 3.45 when I decided to quit my pearl hunt and Neetan was getting restless. I had not shopped anything, so unlike me! I told Neetan to get the car and I shall be done with my shopping. He nodded with disbelief and I promised not to keep him waiting. And he came in 10 mins and I was done with shopping 3 dresses. So, what’s the lesson learnt? Never underestimate the shopping skills of a woman!
We were back on the road cruising through the Hyderabad Elevated Expressway to join NH7 only to reach home by midnight.
P.S: We had no intentions of making it to newspaper headlines, so, to be on a safer side, we took home, loads of Pootharekulu ! (Folks back home love Pootharekulu, if they knew that we had been to Hyderabad and came back empty handed, we wouldn’t have been spared!)
Been on a surprise road trip ever? Made plans on the go? Let us know in the comment box below 🙂