Staying at home for months due to the lockdown was too overwhelming for me. All the office work was to be done from home, no socialization with colleagues, no getaways, and no scope of hogging the street food. All these factors were enough to drive me crazy and desperate. Therefore, last month I finally planned a trip to Agra for two weeks. But, I could not afford to get two weeks off totally. So I took the best trade off available – a workation!
Over the next few weeks, my workload would be very less, just some urgent projects to work on and finish off quickly. The direct flights from Kolkata to Agra were expensive. So I decided to break my journey at Delhi. From Delhi, I booked an outstation cab, as the Delhi to Agra taxi fare was reasonable and I could use a scenic road trip to start my workation!
My flight from Kolkata to Delhi reached its destination just in time; I was ecstatic to experience a change of environment. Within no time, I had reached Agra in my cab.
Week 1: Exploring the unknown
I had never been to Agra before. My environment of preference, per se, had changed, which increased my excitement to a great extent. One of my friends had helped me book a reasonable accommodation in a guest house. When I reached the place, the condition of my room was far better than I expected. I was told by the caretaker that guests hardly came due to the pandemic, hence they had more time to renovate the rooms and keep them clean.
Unfortunately, the workload was quite heavy in the first week. A major portion of the day went on finishing my work, after which I was left dead tired. However, I pushed myself out somehow and visited some mesmerizing places like Keetham Lake, Mehtab Bagh and Paliwal Park. Those places gave me a much-needed relaxation and self-introspection time. Before returning, I would eat some delicious jalebis and panipuris at the street food outlets. To be honest, those were some of the best I have ever tasted!
Week 2: Wah Taj!
On Sunday, I visited the famous Taj Mahal. It was nothing short of a dream come true for me. The white marble wonder was glamorous and the whole experience was quite unique. The green gardens around were beautiful too. Outside the gate, I ate the famous petha from a sweet shop. Finally I could click some awesome shots outside the Taj Mahal. The stunning pictures will remain cherished forever!
The second week was rather eventful in terms of sightseeing. On Friday, I visited the pious Mankameshwar Temple. The temple is one of the most ancient places dedicated to Lord Shiva. Luckily I did not have to stand in a long queue, the crowd was quite less that day. I took some prasad for my family too. Before boarding the flight back to Kolkata, I tasted some mouth-watering dishes. Those included kebabs, paratha and some delicious sweets.
The final take
The experience instilled in me a new vigour to work and fight with the uncertain situation these days. In short, I totally needed the workation. For my safe commute to the various attractions, I avoided the public transport and instead used a chauffeur driven cab service. In fact, my taxi booking app came in very handy during the journey.
I must mention here that I maintained the covid protocols everywhere. That included wearing a mask and sanitizing my hands frequently. So if someone is planning to take a workation soon, keep in mind the covid precautions.