Going to Punjab is not usually an annual thing for me, after going in October 2015 we made an exception as my Nana passed away in January and figured we’d say hi to the rest of the family out there.
Even though I’m British I grew up in a Punjabi household, I don’t agree with a lot of things but I have to say I do love the Punjab, everything about it, don’t get me wrong I know it’s not a perfect state or that India is the perfect country but hey where is!? There’s no way to describe India and I feel that everyone should visit at least once in their life to understand how different it is out there, no explanations or films will ever do it justice, it’s definitely a land that must be experienced.
This trip was a little special as my younger brother was coming with us (me, Mum & Dad) as well as my future sister in law. My brother hadn’t been in 8 years. It was like the prodigal son had returned, I may as well not have been there the first night! Ha ha!
We met some great people, I wasn’t sat with my brother and sister in law on the way out there and got sat next to a guy who wasn’t sat with his wife and baby, Rita and Vik, they were such characters and so warm and chilled. Rita at one point shoved her baby onto my brother’s lap because her husband was sleeping and she needed the bathroom. They were a really sweet family. Often you get that sense of dread when there’s a very young child on the flight but their son was a diamond.
I should point out at this stage that we flew Air India, not the worst or best of airlines. The most hilarious aspect was the fact that as my family is quite tall, my brother being 6ft5ish he got an aisle seat by the doors. The air stewardesses show the passengers how to unlock the doors ‘in case of emergency’. By the end of the trip we knew all about those doors. Our favourite air steward was on the way home from Delhi to Birmingham, he showed us again for the umpteenth time how to unlock and then finished with ‘if anything happens and I pass out please take me with you’. What a legend!
Punjab was great, we spent time in my Mum’s village, then went to Chandigarh for a few days and on to Shimla. We’d never been to Shimla before and whilst I knew you could see the Himalayas from Shimla, those who had gone before failed to mention that Shimla was IN the Himalayas. Oh my god! The journey up took 6 hours in our mini bus – there were 10 of us going.
If you know anything of India, you know about the crazy ass drivers, well our driver was insane, going round hairpin turns at 40mph, the problem with the turns is that going into the mountains you don’t exactly have a direct route!!
Journey aside, the city of Shimla was beautiful. The next day we went to an adventure land were we did a bit of tight rope walking, and had the most amazing view across the mountains and the houses where people lived.
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped off to look at some Yaks. My sister in law and I were ‘volunteered’ by our party to sit on the Yaks, but then for the cost of Rs300 (around £3.50 each) we were dressed up as Himalayans, sat on a Yak and given flowers for the ultimate photo opportunity. Safe to say my family had a blast, we even ended up being a bit of an attraction for passers-by, who stopped to take pictures of us. So, somewhere in the world I’ll be on a random person’s phone dressed up as a Himalayan sat on a Yak.
- Shimla Adventure Land
- Village – view from the top of the house
Amongst some of the stuff I love about India is how they are hilarious without even realising it, pictures speak a thousand words and I think the two below sum up what I mean;
NB…There were so many highlights and I would urge anyone to go to India, not just the Punjab, but to travel round and see how a culture is so different from each state but so similar. Also there are loads of elephants just wondering around the streets, it’s a sight to behold.
Have a good day xo