I was always convinced that a break would help me maintain my frequency as a writer. But that’s the thing about being a writer, you get a break when you feel the need to. The weekend was planned – almost as if it was pre-emptive to my future breaks and financial troubles. But, as I had mentioned, a writer knows when they need a break and mine was just about in time.
I have been a resident of Delhi for as long as I can stretch my memory. The proximity between Delhi and Chandigarh made it an obvious choice. But that wouldn’t have been a pressing choice if I was not asked to be accompanied to Delhi.
My poet friend from the US was visiting Chandigarh via Delhi and asked me the way to reach “The City Beautiful”. He was following a trail of organized poetry fests that had transpired in Chandigarh, and he asked if I would like to accompany him.
It was at that moment that I realized that I needed that break. So, I quickly booked a cab from Delhi to Chandigarh with an experienced driver, and I boarded that cab right away.
In pursuit of poetry: Day 1
Chandigarh is a small city with an extended dimension of 114 square meters. By the looks of it, the city could be traversed easily by a car. My friend had already booked a convenient cab from Delhi Airport to Chandigarh. I think he wanted to have a little road trip for himself and I did not object to that idea.
Since I was travelling alone too, we decided to meet in the city and give each other a call once we reach. Breakfast is the forgotten meal that made cameos in my routine and today it had a pre-decided cameo.
I looked for a stop on the highway and had my share of morning glory – breakfast i.e. OvenFresh was the name of the place and it was one of the oldest cafes in Chandigarh. I could have had some pizza but that wasn’t my morning jam (pun intended).
Shortly after, I reached the city and met my friend at Sukhna Lake. Since we had already left early in the morning,
I thought it would be nice to catch up on its morning beauty. It was a shame that we missed the sunlight by a few hours. But I was never a morning person anyway, neither was he. But it looked great, even at 10 am.
So, after checking in, we decided to take a power nap before we proceeded to see our poetry event.
I have been to many open mic events in Delhi, but this was a new experience since I had never travelled across cities for a poetry event. My friend set his camera up and he started to talk to the organizers, I briefly adjusted myself to the surroundings – looked around, socialized a bit and got invited to recite one of my poems.
This is something that I adore about poetry events, you are always encouraged to speak or recite, you are allowed space for yourself. After the event had ended, we and a couple of attendees from the event went out for some Chole Bhature.
We were taken to Sai Sweets which quintessentially had Punjabi khana. From Gulab Jamoons to Samosas, the store stocked it all.
In pursuit of poetry: Day 2
The next day, we decided to prance around the town with a touristy itinerary on hand. We had a lot of time to kill before our next event and my friend insisted that we go about it. But I would like to believe that he needed some filler footage for which he insisted, knowing him – that touristy bit is not his game.
Chole Bhature is something I like and since I was in Chandigarh, I thought of having some more. We went to Katani Dhaba. After that, we walked towards Sector 17. It was the staple marketplace of that city – which soon turned out to be my friend’s favourite spot to shoot his filler videos. Even after that, we had time which we needed to utilize.
So, we decided to visit The Rock Garden. The rock garden is famous for Nek Chand’s creation which is spread across the place. The sculptures here were made from waste.
After the rock garden, we managed to reach the poetry event in time. My friend got all the footage he needed and me my break. The next day, I returned home with inspiration to work on. It was truly poetic in every sense of the word.