Rann Utsav – Chapter One

The finale of the Fifa World Cup
Have you heard about a person who is always so excited to travel? Going somewhere makes him so happy that he will literally force all the other family members to go on a trip. Yes, we all have at least one friend or a family member who is exactly like this. For my family, I am the one.  This all started back in May 2018 when my parents were enjoying their vacation and me and my brother are still struggling to make it to the office. Oh, btw, my parents are teachers and me and my brother works for the IT industry. So, now you know what’s the real struggle with us.  Tired and exhausted from my everyday hustle-bustle, I so wanted a break. So, I started pushing my family to go on a trip. We all agreed on the same location, Kerala. Yes, this was the third time it was on our list. We planned and booked for it earlier but could not make it. So, here it is again on the list.  We were all excited for it. I started planning without realizing that girl, you work for a company and you need to apply for the leaves.  My parents were already having their vacation, so, it was me and my brother who had to take leaves. We almost forgot that there was a family wedding too. It was impossible to get these many leaves at the same time.  But the traveller inside me was dying to go out because it was almost 6 months we had a trip. So, I declared that I will manage my leaves. Now it was all up to my brother to convince his manager to approve his leaves.  Excited me, started exploring for the options. After spending a good time on research, calling out people and checking their estimates, I was all ready with a plan. The only thing left was to book the tickets and leave.  One week down and I was waiting. Then the second goes. Optimistic me still didn’t lose hope until I heard this which was going to destroy all my hard work and excitement.  My brother said, they are going to have a new product release and it is not possible to get a single leave. I was all devastated.  What immediately came to my mind was this song of a famous Bollywood movie Om Shanti Om.. छन से जो टूटे कोई सपना, जग सुना सुना लागे..   But I had to accept the harsh truth that we are not going to Kerala. We all lost in our daily chores again. I was still restless. Fast forward to August when I went home for my brother’s birthday. I started it again. Let’s go somewhere. And this time it was the “Rann Utsav”. I convinced everyone from my family. But we always travel with one more family who is our family friends. They denied and so there was another family added to the team. 
We decided to have our holidays on Diwali which is quite a big festival in India. We celebrate it with full of joy. The preparations start a month earlier. We all clean our entire houses, buy new clothes, prepare lots of sweets and namkeens(snacks) to eat. So, we all take leaves during that time. But there was one guy from us who was having his final exams right after the Diwali. So he had to be home and prepare. I was looking at this situation like “history is repeating itself”. But I decided no matter what, I am not letting this plan to get canceled this time. So, I added my full energy and convinced him to come with us.  I am so thankful, to all my lucky stars, I convinced everyone and to my surprise, we were 9 going on this trip.  And finally, the day came when we actually booked our tents on  https://rannutsav.net. We paid 1 and a half lac for this so I was very sure that this time we are not going to cancel this.  Let me tell you what Rann Utsav is. Rann Utsav is a Gujarati word. “Rann” means a desert and “Utsav” means a celebration. We have a magnificent landscape called “The Great Rann of Kutch” which basically is a white desert formed of salt. The government celebrates its grandeur in the form of Rann Utsav to promote tourism in Gujarat.  So, what we have to do is, book our tents and reach to “Bhuj” from where their bus will pick us up to the tent city. We just have to take our clothes and a camera to capture the beautiful moments. The rest is very well taken cared by the Rann Utsav team.  So, now you know the plot. We booked our tents and we were yet to book our tickets to Bhuj.  From my hometown, there are only 2 trains to Bhuj. And no direct buses(btw, I am talking about the private buses here).  We booked our trains. We got the confirmed tickets for return from Bhuj but the tickets from my hometown to Bhuj were all in waiting. And I am sure you know how difficult it is to get them confirmed that too in Diwali time. So much of stress, isn’t it?  We all were keen to go and so we decided to book the tickets in tatkal. Tatkal is a service where we can book our train tickets prior to 24 hours of its departure from the source. We were to leave on 3rd November so we have to book our tickets on 2nd November as per the train schedule. I, my brother and a friend have an account to IRCTC and it only allows to book 4 tickets at a time in tatkal from a single account. 
The stadium is full, there are a million fans, everyone is tensed. It’s a Fifa World Cup Match, your favorite team needs one goal. 30 seconds to go and your favorite player is about to create a history. Did you feel that stress? Yes, we feel exactly the same while booking our tatkal AC tickets. In our case, I, my brother and a friend were supposed to create a history. By booking 9 tickets in 3rd AC coach of an Indian train.  Did we manage to book all the confirm tickets? Or did we change the plan? Do let me know your guess in the comments. And I promise to reveal the truth in the coming chapter. Stay tuned! 🙂


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