A Trip to Bangalore - March 2024

Last week took me on a journey to Bengaluru, all thanks to a meetup hosted by Bellatrix Aerospace. It was a spontaneous decision made on a Wednesday morning (March 20, 2024), one that I didn’t regret.

The Journey Begins: Pune to Bengaluru

I had to first choose a mode of travel. Air travel wasn’t on my radar this time. I pondered between road and rail, ultimately opting for the road due to the convenient frequency and availability of buses between Pune and Bengaluru. Setting off from Pune on a Saturday evening (March 23, 2024), I embarked on a Karnataka SRTC bus, Ambaari.

The journey was comfortable, with the bus arriving in Bengaluru right on schedule. However, the return trip had a small hiccup—the bus arrived in Pune a good two hours late. The bus itself offered cozy sleeping arrangements, but if you dared to sit up, it was a recipe for a sore back!

A Cozy Stay at goSTOPS

For solo travels, my friend Jatan Mehta had recommended goSTOPS hostel, and I’m glad I took his advice. Located conveniently close to the bus stand at Majestic, their check-in time of 1 pm made it easy for me to drop off my luggage upon arrival.

However, their 10 am check-out clashed with my evening bus schedule. The hostel staff graciously allowed me to use their luggage room, easing my worries.

One small surprise awaited me—a lack of toiletries! I received this piece of news while en route to Bengaluru, prompting a quick stop at a nearby store for essentials.

The hostel itself was cozy, with a comfortable bed and curtains that provided a sense of privacy. Most of my awake hours were spent in the inviting common room, where I found myself in good company with Jatan, who happened to be staying there as well.

The Meetup Experience

The meetup was a highlight, allowing me to meet individuals whose names I’d often come across in my online wanderings. Introducing myself turned out to be a bit of a challenge—I realized I need to work on my elevator pitch!

Engaging discussions about space ensued, and to my surprise, I was presented with opportunities that I wasn’t quite prepared for. Note to self: be ready for unexpected opportunities!

During the event, we had the pleasure of a talk by Gita Aravamudan, who shared insights from her book. I even managed to get my copy signed by her—a cherished treasure. Her husband, R Aravamudan (known as Dan) was the man alongside Kalam in that iconic photo, diligently working on a rocket nose cone.

Insights from Jatan

An enriching part of the trip was spending time with Jatan. He generously shared his insights and tools as a space writer”, discussing the decisions he made and the tools he uses. He has shared many of these in this blog post.

Exploring Church Street

Sunday and Monday mornings found me strolling along Church Street, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere. I made my way to the entrance of The Takshashila Institution’s offices, though they were closed.

Among the pop-up stores lining the street, I couldn’t resist picking up a few fridge magnets and a couple of notebooks. A visit to Blossom’s and Bookworms had me struggling to resist the temptation of adding more books to my ever-growing collection—a true test of willpower for me.

March 28, 2024