Shangri La, A Wonder In Itself.
20 February 2013
As I rose above the Smokey bed of clouds, I sensed how mesmerizing the blue planet was. The view was breath-taking, soon the aircraft started to lower down crossing sphere after sphere. The back flaps stood up obstructing the wind, the tyre touched the ground & throttle of the engine began to slow down.
I DE-planed, and my feet felt numb due to gust of wind which entered the plane. I could hardly see anything but somehow following the crowd managed to reach the departures. YES, I landed in the seat of power for several rulers, empires for about a millennium & still the political hub of India, Magical DELHI. My chauffeur recognized and greeted me with an overwhelming gesture. Allowing me to sit inside the gorgeous black BMW, he started to drive, quickly pointing to some of the attractions on our way. Those 4 lane roads were something which I never witnessed in Mumbai.
The gates opened with that crackling sound, a tall sardar with a Khanjar wore around his waist & his moustache thick & black, greeted me with Namaste & welcomed me to Shangri La’s Eros Hotel – a wonder in itself. Too tired I checked into my room thinking of relaxing for some time, but my work was too hectic. Anyways I completed that within 2 days & managed to sneak out for a day to explore the city which I do it with ease.
As the crow quaked in the morning, I woke up and without wasting any time stepped out in the chilly climate of Delhi. Half & hour away from the hotel reached to the Lotus temple, my jaws just dropped seeing that marvellous piece of architecture. Entering the temple where one needs to maintain silence & to be said a place for doing meditation i closed my eyes. The peace & serenity inside the hall, I felt on the higher abode. Enlightenment was pretty far I said. I laughed!!! Hearing someone say let’s go Hare Krishna temple, without any hesitation followed him. I had always felt joy hearing of ISKON, and thus hungry for same “Food & Joy” I entered the mandir. The food was lips smacking & darshan even better. How can your day be awesome than this? I murmured! finished my day with some photo stop attractions like India gate, Akshar Dham, Humayun tomb & some others. In the evening back to the beautiful hotel, CHI, The Spa I heard was a life time experience and thought of doing it. The appointment was booked in minutes & everything was taken care of without hesitation. OMG!!! How can I define my experience of that Spa, it was far beyond my expectation. The feeling was ecstatic. I must say “Shangri La’s, Eros – the best hospitality witnessed” The day passed with ease.
On my business trip I had to accompany a delegate coming from the Ministry of Tourism – Oman, which later turned into friendship. Mr. Ebrahim, aah!!! What a gem of a person he was. Later, he even invited me to visit him in his country. Insha Allah, Maktub – it is all written, I said. The next day I had to push back to Mumbai, what about the work? Yes, it reaped fruits indeed. Ibrahim & I sat that night in the lounge at Shangri La enjoying a drink. I asked him a question, Ehrahim!!! You have almost travelled the globe why don’t you carry a camera and click pictures? He said, “Harsh, my Habibi, my friend!
“I don’t like to click pictures, but I like to keep them in my mind.”
I don’t like to share my memory, but I LOVE to express it.”
We shared thoughts, knowledge to cherish forever & promised to meet one day to the country where “Beauty has an address”.
Next morning the sun rose it actually put a smile on my face, I was happy by far. A jacket in my hand I check-out of the beautiful property & back to the airport. The engine of the aircraft roared, started to gain speed & here we fly back into the clouds hiding. Passed 2 hours I was back to AAMCHI MUMBAI with plan lined up to travel further. Cheers!!!