A high school teacher who relied on statistics over story telling ensured I always lagged behind in history.
My geography teacher – a catholic nun, who seemed to be uncannily familiar with every squiggly indentation of every coastline on the globe – however, instilled in me a true awareness of the wonderful world I lived in. Even when none of my meticulously hand drawn maps ever seemed to stand up to her exacting scrutiny. Or perhaps it was because of it.
It was the revelatory power of literature that first ignited my passion for history. The sizeable collection of books that I inherited from R’s dad, and all the time in the world to immerse myself in gripping stories. Of giddying power and political intrigue. Of devastating destruction and undying romance. Of the successes and misfortunes of individuals and kingdoms long lost and long dead.
Then travel brought those stories alive in a way no school curriculum ever could even with the most inspired of teachers. And my choice of destinations reflected my passion.
Our road trip across the Northern Indian state of UP, including stops at Delhi*, Agra and Lucknow, rekindled my interest in the considerable external influences on Indian history. While most invading armies arrived here from central Asia, it is Persia that has left a fascinating and long lasting imprint.
The largest number of Zoroastrians (or Parsis), who trace their origins to ancient Persia, live in India today. Persian, was the official state language of the Mughul court and has influenced Urdu language and Sufi poetry enormously. And some of our iconic architectural gems are associated with two most influential Mughal empresses of Persian ancestry: Noor Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.
It was also a Persian – Nadir Shah – who dealt the crippling blow to the Mughal empire and carted away its most precious treasures. The Peacock Throne and the Kohinoor diamond among them. Get my fascination already?
Now club my abiding fascination with this country, with my long held desire to experience an iconic train journey before I die, and in comes the exclusive rail itinerary – ‘Heart of Persia‘ – from Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. A once in a lifetime exploration through the monumental remains of Persian empire, to its cultural evolution into Islamic Iran.
The stuff of dreams? YES!
But you, my dear readers, could help make that dream come true.
If every one of you were to vote for my entry for the ‘Journeys Of A Lifetime‘ contest over at Conde Nast Traveller before, April 10.
Would you? Please?
Much gratitude in advance 🙂
And while you are at it, why not write your own Journey Of A Lifetime story?
Thumbnail image courtesy the Golden Eagle Luxury Trains website
90 thoughts on “My Journey Of A Lifetime?”
just beautiful journey – feeling walking to paradise!
It is Mihrank! Your history is linked to Persia as well isn’t it?
That’s a precise information – Very impressive!
Reblogged this on Ta hendene til din kjære – se på dem og hold dem hardt Disse hendene skal du følge, leie og lede. Du skal få føle på varmen fra dem og kjenne en inderlig glede. De skal stryke deg og de skal holde rundt deg – de er ikke skapt for å såre i vrede For du skal ikke alene mer vandre. De skal klemme og kose og aldri klandre De skal skjerme deg for det du ikke selv ser. De skal elske og aldri forakte – bare hjelpe når du ber. Disse hendene skal jobbe for at dere skal få det godt De skal gi – og du skal takke for det du har fått. De skal tvinnes sammen i kjærlighet og være ømme og gode og et tegn på inderlighet Hendene du holder er sterke og unge De skal gjennom mye for din skyld når dagene er tunge De skal stryke og klemme og være gode og fromme De skal ruske i ditt hår og takke når dagen er omme Disse hendene skal følge deg gjennom livet. De skal holde fast ved deg og verne om samlivet De skal være hos deg når alle andre har gått De skal aldri slippe men holde fast og tørke tårer når du har grått. Hendene skal bære din ring med rette Den skal skinne og for alle berette Jeg elsker deg! – kan den bekjenne Det er bare en som har maken til denne En dag er hendene blitt ru og grå Hver fure og rynke forteller om livet som bak dere lå Dere kan minnes den dagen i dag – da et livslangt bånd Ble knyttet Og fra denne dag dere gikk Hånd i hånd..
Congratulations Madhu! It’s beautiful!
Thanks Ishita! I don’t expect to garner the numbers required for a win, but what’s the harm in dreaming? 🙂
of course! And you know social media numbers can be very tricky… i am also going to participate – thanks for giving the cue. so many places I would like to visit… difficult to choose one though!
Let me know when it goes live.
Voted for you.
Thank you. Knew you would 🙂
The other day, I was thinking of 5 bloggers who I have been interacting with since I started blogging – you quite obviously are one of them!
That does sound like the journey of a lifetime! And a love for history can inspire epic journeys… I’m reminded instantly of Dalrymple retracing Marco Polo’s sojourn from Jerusalem to Xanadu in one of my favourite travelogues. I hope you get a chance to embark on your own dream journey. I’ve voted for you; all the best!
Thank you very much Ami! Fingers and toes crossed 🙂
Madhu – I tried to vote but your name is not coming up
I think it was my mistake providing both links. Try this one: http://www.cntraveller.in/joal/author/twitter-theurgetowander/ Thanks heaps Ishita! 🙂
Happy to vote for you. Done. Good luck!
Thank you very much Alison! Kind of you to have made the time 🙂
Good luck to you–you’re images and story deserve attention.
Kind of you Sally. Thank you very much.
Happy to vote, best wishes in achieving your dream Madhu!
Appreciate your kindness Mary. Many thanks 🙂
done, shared & I’ll be cheering you on
Aww, sweet of you Dallas! 🙂
Oh, of COURSE we will vote for you, Madhu. What a thing! I loved hearing these great details about your teachers, too.
Big good wishes. May the Persian deities (?) bless you with a win! 😉
And I wish this for you for your own joy and dream come true. But the fact remains we will all benefit if you win. So maybe we can even claim this is for the greater good??!!? May the best right thing come to be. 🙂
Ha, a nudge in the right direction by one of those deities would be good! But I am happy with the ‘best right thing’ Riba! 🙂 Appreciate your taking the time to vote.
Yes, it’s worth the vote to read what you write about the journey, good luck Madhu!
Thank you dear Gilly 🙂
That would be awesome journey to have. Good luck!
Mine would be through the streets of Europe, mostly Greece, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Netherlands.
It would! You should write your own story Alok 🙂
Actually, I have written many stories on myself. You can check one ‘Wings to my Dreams’ under Personal Category.
You have my vote – after all I have a vested interest. I get to go too.
Many thanks Meg! Your company would make the journey all the more special 🙂
Great post!! You ought to win! India as whole fascinated me. Lived in Pune for three years… Loved the place!
Thank you for the thumbs up! 🙂 I don’t usually take part in voting contests, but it was fun to put together a dream journey 🙂
Just enjoying the fun already makes you a winner! That’s my belief! And taking us with you in your journey is sharing the fun you experience out of that journeying… I thank you for that! Namaste!
You would have had my vote, but I’m not on Facebook, Twitter etc, so couldn’t sign in…. Anyway, great post and what a wonderful journey it would be!
Appreciate your trying Sue 🙂
You have my vote! Good luck! 🙂
Thanks Kat. Who knows, we might be destined to bump into each other there! 😀
Yes who knows! 😆
Cheers to your love for travel, for sharing it with us, and for the nomination …. voting is done!
Thank you very much Frank 🙂
I voted. Good luck! That sounds like a nice journey.
It would David! Thank you very much.
Voted ! What an amazing journey this would be. Hope you get to do it soon.
Thank you Emily! I hope so too 🙂
Beautifully descriptive post, Madhu. I’m heading over to vote now. 🙂
Appreciate your taking the time Debbie. Many thanks 🙂
“travel brought those stories alive in a way no school curriculum ever could.” So true! I feel sorry for people who are content to spend their lives in their own little community. Some can’t afford to do otherwise but for those who can and don’t? They lead a shallow life experience. Of course we will vote for you, and that’s for two reasons. Firstly, we like you, secondly you will take us with you through pictures later.
Aww, appreciate your support and kindness Ian 🙂
Sounds wonderful, Madhu! Heading over to vote now.
Thank you! Hope all is well with you.
Done! Good luck 😉
I appreciate your taking the time. Thank you very much 🙂
Madhu – I can’t seem to log in now but shall certainly return and vote for you. And now, I know your full name 🙂
🙂 Thank you dear Eric.
Well, Madhu dear – that website is one of the most user unfriendly sites I’ve visited recently – but I persevered and VOTED for you. All the very best and I dearly hope you win the trip 🙂
I appreciate your persistence Eric. That site is indeed frustrating.
Wonderful journey Madhu! Will check it out and wishing you the best!
Thank you Indah. Kind of you 🙂
Beautiful post, as I am gathering information’s about India, to plan my trip to India next year. My travel friend is Persian , so she would love to se this.
Hope your India plans are coming along well Cornelia. Happy to help in any way I can.
Thank you Madhu.
Thank you Debra. Have a great day! 🙂
You have my vote, Madhu. Good luck. What a journey that would be! 🙂
He he, I wondered whether it was a bit over the top, but theyt did say ‘dream journey’ 🙂 Thanks Sylvia.
I’m heading over there now…fingers crossed for your, Madhu. Everyone deserves a trip of a lifetime!
Yes, and if it doesn’t work out, there is always Paris 🙂 Thanks Elisa. Happy Sunday!
Done! Wishing you the very best Madhu 🙂
Thank you Uday 🙂
I’m on it! And already anticipating the posts 🙂
You are a dear Jo! Thank you very much 🙂
What a fascinating journey Madhu – best of luck to you. So difficult to win these things but you’ve got a good start on it!!
I’ll be the most surprised if I win Tina! 🙂
Books off the history teacher. 🙂 Madhu, your words tugged my travel urges. You are one of a kind writer, and historian. You deserve the top spot in any travel competitions. Hihi Big fan, much. 😀
Thanks muchly dear Rommel!! The chances of my winning are very, very slim….I am happy to settle for your compliments 🙂
very cool, I want to be in your luggage. Done, voted
Much appreciated Valentine. I would gladly take you along if I could 🙂
That would be a wonderful journey. Persia and Middle East is always fascinating. 🙂 Voted for you. All the best for the contest.
Thank you very much Moon. Appreciate your taking the time.
Voted 🙂 good luck
Thank you! Very nice of you Mr.P 🙂
You’re most deserving to win, Madhu. Happy to vote. What a journey. Incredible. 🙂
I so want to go on that journey Madhu but if I can’t you just have to. Toddling over to cast a vote!
Too late to vote now, would have if I’d found out about you earlier. Beautiful journey!
Ah no. The deadline has been extended to the 15th. Thanks in advance 🙂
Thank you very much!