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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Trip to Cambodia

“Aai, it is your birthday. I want to gift you something. What do you want?”
I asked my Mom on her 60th birthday.
“Nothing son, God has given me everything.”
“Then too... I want to gift you something. How about a silk saree?’
“My cupboard is overflowing with sarees. I don’t even wear the ones which I already have. I am planning to donate some of them to the nearest Mahilashram.”
“Then how about a golden necklace?”
“These days murders of senior citizens are on a rife. I don’t want to lose my life for a piece of gold. As I said you I have got everything including a nice son like you.”
“How about a foreign tour?” I asked my mother. The twinkle in her eyes was quite noticeable.  My mother always wanted to go abroad. In fact my father had even promised her to take on a vacation once she retires. My mother retired in February 2013 and my father passed away as a result of massive heart attack in January 2013.  
“If you are insisting so much let us go. But what I will do in nightclubs of Bangkok and Singapore?”
“We will not go to Bangkok or Singapore. We will go to see temples.” I said and rushed to my room. I took out my bank account statement. I could easily spend Rs.100000 for the trip. I also could afford to have Rs.20000 as cash in hand.
So I had all the money. But planning for a trip started giving me goose bumps. I changed sides on my bed. I remembered and felt relaxed.
“We welcome you to Malaysia Airlines. This flight is bound for Siem Rep. The total journey time from Mumbai to Siem Rep is 11 hrs 50 min. There will be a halt at Kuala Luampur.  We wish you a happy journey.” Said the air hostess.  I saw my watch. It showed 23.55.
In no moments the plane took off and we were in the clouds. I had seen picture of Angkor Wat temples as a child. Since then I always hankered to visit it. Today my dream was just few hours away from me.
We landed at Siem Reap   Airport at  13.15. The taxi was waiting for us to take us to our hotel Le Mreidien Angkor.
The next morning we had breakfast at our hotel Taxi was waiting for us to take out.
“First take us to the Angkor Wat temple premises.” I told the driver.
“Sir everyone wants to go first to the Angor Wat.” Said the driver with a cherubic smile.
We were at the Angkor Wat complex. My dream was standing before my own eyes. Its splendor was indescribable. The temples seemed to be alive. The stone edifice was throbbing with poetry. Sculptures depicting scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana adorned the walls of the temple. Elephants, chariots, celestial dancers were intricately carved on the walls.  Lotus flowers smiling from ponds near the temples added to the serene beauty of the atmosphere.
I held my mother’s hand tightly and said “I want to stay here forever.”
“I doubt if you can do that. For the driver is waiting out for us. We have hired the cab for four days.”
“Aai. Your pragmatic approach brought me back to the earth from heaven.”
We again sat in our Taxi. Our next destination was Buddist temple at Wat bo village. “I am peace.” I mentally chanted and peace engulfed me from all the sides.
Next we headed for the market. We had fish pedicure. I could see my mother getting excited like a child.
“Enough for the day.” Our dirver declared.
The next day we headed to Phnom Pneh. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum made me cry.  I remembered my father. Tears swelled up in my eyes and my hands folded in prayer for all the departed souls at the Killing fields.
Our destination for the next day was former French colony Bokor Hill Station. We chilled out and I picked up few Khmer words.
In the last leg of our trip we went to the local market at Sien Reap. I purchased a metal Buddha statue after much haggling. We purchased gifts for friends and relatives.
We boarded the return flight for Mumbai. My mother held my hand tightly and said “Thank you very much. You made my dream come true.” She continued to shake my hand. I realized my whole body was shaking.
“Wake up Mahesh. Don’t dream. Thanks to you, blog adda and Skyscanner. I am  going on my first foreign trip today. Thank God! My son won the contest.”  
Return Air fare for 2     
Hotel 28/09/2014 to 02/10/2014
Le Meridien Angkor Rs. 25310
Car rental
This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at

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