Friday, 14 September 2012

Whose time is it to visit Melbourne?

Interesting contest I must say. Not just because it promises an opportunity to the winner to visit a magnificent place but also because it tests imagination! We bloggers, I am assuming most of us, are blogging because we are creative. Whatever we write about- our travels, relationships, food or kids, at the end of the day we are doing so because we believe that we can express ourselves through our writing better than those lesser mortals who cannot. Some of us click- some do not! But we still write and write because.....well again- we have a unique ability to articulate thoughts, structure them into words/phrases/poems and have an urge to share it with a significant number of people- be it for publicity/acceptability or (I don't know what?)

Okay so why am I writing about this contest? And what is it that I am doing different? I (maybe like no one else would) admit that I read through some of the other submissions. I mean please tell me if they are published before the submission deadline then we ARE supposed to read them right? Ya so I was saying that I went through a couple of submissions and I saw one thing common in them. Lets say they are all under 2 categories:

  1. Those who have been there- so they are talking about how wonderful their visit was and how much they would love to go there again. Fair! If your talent (in this case your writing) can take you there again- why not? For that matter, if I can write and win tickets I would love to go to Shimla or Manali too. Wont I ?
  2. The next category are the people who have not been there and are imagining the experiences. So what are they doing? They are either googling or talking to friends who have seen the place. Then they are carefully listing out the "touristy things to do" and detailing how wonderful it will be to do all that.
In both the above cases what is common? The excitement! The exaggeration of how 'beautiful' and 'a must do' city Melbourne is and ofcourse how something would be amiss in their lives if they do not get this opportunity. But given this commonality and repetitive tone and thought- hats off to the judges who will HAVE to device new parameters to judge the best entries (trust me after reading a few only, I feel I have already been there!!)

The above observations have definitely thrown me out of the race of "Its your time to visit Melbourne" because I am not confirming to the popular way of approaching this contest but what to do! I owe these admissions to ......what is it called? Conscience? No lets call it- Observations (its less controversial and more believable!)

Because if I would approach it I would think about it this way- I have an Aunt living in the city of Agra. Agra, for the world , is on top of the list of the "must visit" places when one even thinks about India. It houses The TAJ MAHAL. Now I have obviously seen it but that was when I was very small. The aunt keeps inviting us to her place often making us emotional by saying :"Atleast come for the TAJ if not to see us!". We are ashamed that due to our busy schedules we disappoint her so much because technically its just 3 hours drive from where we live! But the only thing that doesn't take us there is the thought " Oh its so close. We can go there anytime". However when we hear in the news that whoever visits India from Princess Diana to Obama to Oprah to Clinton- All may or may not eat our food, but will definitely visit the TAJ- we do wonder why we should not visit it monthly. If I understand it correctly, the beauty of TAJ is what draws them to it. The stories they have heard about how it was built, the rich culture and heritage that it reflects is magnetic. Hence the curiosity to see it.

So as an Indian, if I want to visit someplace outside my culture and heritage, and think about what experiences I want to get back from there- its very simple. I am also like these hot shot celebrities in my take aways- I want to closely touch and feel and experience, the true essence that makes that place! Isn't it extremely simple and fair? Who am I to google and see what are the popular places to see and do at any city. I am supposed to be served that experience by the city itself- whatever it wants me to come back home and talk about with my peers, family and friends. 

Hence I am taking this risk. Instead of being diplomatic, I will be truthful. I will not visit the official Melbourne website ( have just typed it here and not clicked  it at all!

Bring on the experience to me which you feel will best showcase your culture, your spirit, your dreams and your ideas of a great and  best Melbourne experience. Post that I promise a blog which will also have pictures of all your famous landmarks- difference is- I will be in them too- Happy and contented :)