When work meddled with travel plan, what choice did you have except for prioritizing your work? I was working till 11.30a.m. on my departure date for a flight that would take off at 3.45p.m., with bag half-packed and a traffic on a rainy Sunday. Thank God, I didn’t miss my flight. I rushed to the airport like a mad woman participating in an amazing race at the brink of elimination. Phew, I managed to reach airport on time.

After I bid farewell to my mother and sister, I proceeded to the check-in, which reminded me that I didn’t purchase any check-in luggage storage when I booked my flight ticket. At that point of time, I didn’t mind to pay the required RM40.00 for check-in luggage as long as I could be on board the flight to Bangalore and kicked start my journey through India.

At the boarding gate, I contacted the couple with whom I exchanged emails for our coincidence trip to Hampi. Let’s just call them Joshua and SY. They have travelled a bit around the world; SY to some exotic countries of the world for example, her four visits to Bhutan! She had recently backpacked through South America for 28 days, alone. And guess what, she has my dream job – a travel writer.

Although I would later find some places in India where time had stood still, it is good to note that India is two and half hours behind Malaysian time.

Once we reached Hindustan Airport, Bangalore, we were subjected to a long queue for immigration check. Since Joshua and SY were on the front row, we were separated by at least fifty people. A Malaysian Indian man started a conversation asking the purpose of my trip, why I am standing there alone and why I choose to travel to India instead of any other place. I told them India is so colourful that I have to come here myself to see it with my own eyes. I further added a somewhat political answer that is to understand my Indian countrymen for I’ve never had the chance to get close with their culture and traditions. His daughter, who has a striking resemblance to actress Preity Zinta, told me that she was here with her family to do some wedding preparations.
Tips: Make sure you have your hotel’s address which you have to fill in the arrival card.

By 6.15p.m. we were looking for the right bus to go to the city centre. Due to horrible traffic and massive honking, we finally reached the bus station at the city centre of Bangalore. Almost immediately I caught the whiff of pungent urine smell by the street of Bangalore. There and then, we saw the railway station across the street. We used the sub-way and reached the train station ten times the size of our Kuala Lumpur Central.

With most of the population that do not speak English, we struggled to locate our train. I saw a crowd looking at a notice board that had the list of passengers for selected train. Ours were Hampi Express. Name spotted and train confirmed. Our seats were just nearby. Finding the train platform in a train station that had more than 10 lanes was not easy. But we sticked together and found the train. Josh and I grabbed egg biryani for dinner on board the train.

To be honest, it was my first time riding a train in India. I have heard much of the safety and caution about riding the train in India, so I had readily prepared the necessary in the form of light-weight chain and many padlocks. I tied up both my backpack and daypack with the chain linked to the brass steel of my bunk. Toilet wise, it was cleaner than those in the KTMs. I had a sound sleep.

Flight ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Bangalore – RM33
Luggage – RM40
Bus Ticket from Bangalore to Majestic – Rs 165/ RM11.20
Food: Rs65 /RM 4.40
TOTAL: RM 88.60