Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Dear Melbourne, I got a lil crush on you.

I have been meaning to tell this to you for a long time now … And though, it’s taken me over an entire year – excuse this sluggish dud, but I needed this interval to reveal my true feelings for you – I thought, with a new prompt on IndiBlogger in association with your guardian Tourism Victoria, this was the perfect time to get my act together and finally let the secret out of my heart.

Dear Melbourne, I got a lil crush on you.

I wonder why, but I can’t stop thinking about you. Perhaps because you are so unique in your character. Flamboyant. Creative. Childlike. Weird. All at the same time. Such a big contrast to the first impressions I had about you: Imposing, daunting, sticking a larger-than-life picture in the ordinary eyes of this unknowing Indian girl.

City of Melbourne

Ah, how naïve I was!

Innocent and raw. Too trite to understand simple facts that true relationships are never about first-impression-affairs. But about growing your way in and getting won over with time.

I learnt that from you, Melbourne. Thank you!

You beguile at first and then, ever so slowly, charm your way in. Frankly, I am mesmerized by your dazzling persona and besotted with your unruffled attitude. You seem to carry this blithe vibe around you that echoes: I care-a-damn-of-what-you-think-about-me. Not trying to be anything else. Not trying to be anyone else. To just be effervescently happy and unabashedly confident with your quirky sense of attitude, divine coffee and peculiar arts - wow. How cool is that. You are different, Melbourne. You do know that, don’t you? You are not one of those superfluous chatterboxes who believe in blowing their own trumpet. And, why would you? That would belie your enigmatic individuality. An individuality you wholeheartedly embrace. An individuality that you are clearly in love with. An individuality that speaks for itself - a voice so real; the world sits up and listens.

Dear Melbourne, please; don’t mistake this for a love letter.

Because it’s not – I know only little of you. But yep, this is true… I am a bit love struck and I fear I might just be falling for you. And here are the reasons, why:

Abstract creativity in city laneways: Here, there … EVERYWHERE!

You hate to be pinned and mapped so you splatter your art and culture all around for the world to discover it for themselves. Your imagination runs wild and creativity is your skin – you wear your art on your sleeve and you are not afraid to show it. But, this you do, in your own way and style!

So that one day, you hold my hand and lead me to the most idiosyncratic aspect of your personality: Evocative street art in narrow hidden lanes and alleyways. And the other day, you bowl me over by your colorfully decorated trams, literally moving around the busy streets as moving art-boxes on wheels.

Melbourne Graffiti in lanes and alleyways
Melbourne Art Trams
Why, am I not surprised!

With your dreary skies one moment and brilliant sunshine the next, you come across as a bit moody but I like you anyhow. You know how to convey things in the most interesting manner and in the most unusual of places. You sweep me off with the things you say and the way you say them. (A rhino for a tram? Ah, I love your sense of humor!).

On your marks, get set, SHOP!

Your creativity reflects not just on the streets but in the way you dress up as well! With you, shopping is not just shopping but a way of adventure. Under soaring glass cnopies and mosaic floors (Royal Arcade and the Block Arcade) and in renovated heritage buildings (Melbourne GPO and Nicholas building), as pedestrian-only pathways (Bourke Street Mall and Degraves Street) and in subterranean subways (Campbell Arcade) – you delight every visiting traveler, shopaholic or not, with a twist that speaks for your eccentric and well reputed fashion and style.

Melbourne's shopping precinct - Royal Arcade

For all your boutique shops and luxurious malls, there is a corner of your heart that beats for the locals through the 1878 set Queen Victoria Market, it’s souvenirs may be a tad overpriced but its fruits and veggies fresh from the farm produce is something that tickles the taste buds of every visitor with glee.

Melbourne's local market - Queen Victoria Market

High your COFFEE and drink it too!

The Cup of Truth, in the underground subway just next to the luxurious Citigate hotel, is where I am squeezed to meet the ‘busy, important and truthful’ cup that is as fabulous and charming as the aroma wafting out from the freshly extracted coffee beans. I am an Indian - more of a tea person but you are right Melbourne - your coffee tastes divine.

Cup of Coffee - Melbourne

The best part is that you don’t need experts to taste and declare that for you – you are already high on quality and take nothing less than superb for an opinion. You just know what a weary traveler would want after a hard day’s exploration – from The Little Mule to Patricia and Brother Baba Budan - your coffee trail never ends.

As FOOD as it gets!

Melbourne, there was one thing I was skeptical about you but I am so glad – you proved me wrong. You seem to show no difficulties in embracing cuisines from others and seamlessly integrating them with your own. You promise to dish and serve pure veggie treats while I am there and then lead my nose to affordable restaurants where I can treat my taste buds without testing my credit limit (see Om's Vegetarian - unlimited full course meal for $ 6.50 and Gopals of the Hare Krishna Movement). I can’t name many other siblings of yours that take care of travelers like you do.

Home like Dal chawal at Gopal's ISKCON, Melbourne

… What next?

At the MCG, I am star struck, gaping in awe at the number of renowned personalities and media persons from world over coming over to meet you!

Melbourne, darling… aren't you a global rockstar?

You are chic. To the point of modern but what really laps my heart is how you proudly flaunt your diverse heritage and distinctive traditions for all to behold. Wandering down the carefully numbered streets and peeping through the rain glazed windows of the wiry city circle trams; I gaze up and marvel at your historical buildings you have so carefully preserved down the ages.

Flinders and City Circle tram, Melbourne

The dynamic Flinders street station still remains a living icon of your very existence, the diagonally opposite St. Pauls Cathedral never fails to peacefully conveys its message of humanity and empathy.

To the ordinary, you seem to be in some sort of chaotic hurry but to those who care to scratch a little, you are a lover of joy and peace. And, a keeper too. Wrapping myself up in your warm embrace of the meandering Fitzroy (a classic Victorian landscaped garden) is one of my favorite things to do because there is something very dreamy and quixotic I find in this combination...

...me, nothing-ness and you.

Wandering in the Fitzroy in Melbourne, Australia

This is a point where I am already impressed but what can I do? I am still a blogger by heart, rather unromantic, curious and crude. So I casually pop: What next? Subconsciously implying: Umm… guess it’s time to move on, looks like I have seen it all. Only to see my foot, tumbling in my mouth, rollicking soon after.

I find myself pushed to The Edge, where looking out over the edging, I realize how much I have missed while wandering my time in the center. ‘Living Life on the Edge’ is your mantra. And, you encourage me to do the same: to live on the edge of everything that bounds. All that is restricting. All that is ordinary. Which is why you bring me to one of your most happening places: Federation square. It could well have been a regular meeting adda but nah! That is boring for you. So, you throw in some amazing artists and live performances and allow them to feed their talent to the general public. You also put me atop the legendary Puffing Billy train for an exciting day down through the country side…

… and you do this and you do that ...

With you, there is never a full stop. There never was. There never will be. Because the surprises you hold never seem to end!

No wonder then, a bunch of awesome bloggers in India are going gaga over you and competing for a chance to meet you. Soon, someone will fly over to have a nice long rendezvous with you. Someone, who will remind me of all the wonderful times I had spent with youI wonder if that someone will remind you of me too?

Melbourne... I've got a crush on you

I am probably never going to see you again and I have grown to be as content with that fact as I can. However, no matter how far we are apart or whether we ever speak again, I won’t ever forget you. I can only hope that for all the times I remember you, you will think of me once in a while too…

Dear Melbourne, I 've got a lil crush on you…

--------------- * --------------- *  --------------- *  ---------------

#Contest! Show your love for Melbourne and get loved in return!

Comment on 'which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why?'
And, you could win yourself a Rs. 500 shopping voucher,
Courtesy IndiBlogger and Tourism Victoria!
Contest Ends 5th January! HURRY!

Would you like to share this article with your friends?


  1. Best of luck Arti! An adorable love letter:)

  2. I love the way they conduct responsible animal tourism. The Penguin Parade, for example, doesn't lock up penguins in small cages. Instead, people visit them in their natural habitats without disturbing them. That's the way to organize wildlife tourism, and I hope other cities/countries will follow suit. I also hope senseless zoos' will be closed across the world.

    Destination Infinity

    1. Thanks for the comment, DT ... indeed a wonderful reason to love the city!

  3. Great to read your post, Beautiful.Thanks for all awesome photos. Wish you all the best .
    ~ Happy New Year 2015 ~ ~ da

  4. Loved reading it Arti. Actually you are my inspiration to come up with an article for this competition. I read you 'its your time to visit Australia' one. Wow, what a creativity! It was a hell of good. I would have read it more than 20 time but still I cant resist myself reading it. Loved your sketches, and the way you described each and every places. Simply amazing.

    Completely inspired by you and only you, I wrote an article for Melbourne (http://creatikaa.blogspot.in/2014/12/melbourne-awe-inspiring-place-to-visit.html) Arti, please go through it and have your say. I really wanna hear from you.

    1. Thanks a lot for your kind appreciation, Gowthama :) I am very glad to hear my post could inspire, here's wishing you the very best in blogging!

  5. As usual a great post and equally supported by beautiful pics !

  6. Very well written Arti....hope you win the contest and get the chance to embrace your love....best wishes

  7. well written Arti and such lovely clicks as well ...Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year 2015 !!!

  8. :)
    I really hope you get to see your crush again, Arti.
    All the best.
    Hey, and happy 2015 to you. :)

  9. Hi Arti, you have been an inspiration for me in blogging. I have nominated you for "very Inspiring Blogger Award' - http://footlooseforever.com/2014/12/31/very-inspiring-blogger-award-my-inspiration/. Thank you and wish you all the best for contest. Happy New Year!

  10. Well penned dear... All the best for the contest
    After watching all the videos, I like to visit 'Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm'.
    I'm fond of strawberries and I have a special liking towards farms cause I love the silence and the fresh air. The green scenery is also breathtaking. So I fall for that place.

  11. very good post.......happy new year to all of you.........

  12. I would love to visit the Panny’s famous chocolate factory. That is because he is an Indian. Panny is actually Kodandpani Lakhmanan. He arrived in Melbourne via Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, where he had worked on cocoa and coconut plantations before immigrating Down Under. He is now legend in Australia. He has made we Indians proud. Besides his chocolates are mouthwatering.

    Participate and win. Last 5 days left


  13. @ALL: Thanks a lot for all your kind appreciation... means a lot to me. Thank you and a very happy 2015 to all of you!

  14. It looks so cozy!!!! Absolutely wonderful!!

  15. Great post! After reading your post & watching all the videos, I’d most like to visit the Dandenong Ranges for it’s scenic beauty, breathtaking view and cool breeze blowing through my hair. :P I’d give anything away for driving through the winding roads which are present throughout the ranges. I’d love to stay at one of the bed and breakfast cottages and go on frequent excursions in the forests with my camera which provides excellent views. And not to forget the famous ride in the Puffing Billy, a day reserved especially for that. To add to that, there are also several picnic spots for me and my friends to spend a fun-filled day and the ranges are a perfect spot for hiking and cycling.

    Wish you and your blog a happy new year! :D

  16. Such a wonderful post Arti. Sincerely wishing you a win again :-)

    If given a chance, I would like to visit the Philip Island, the penguins waddling all along in groups...must be a wonderful sight ! :-D

    Here's wishing you an awesome year ahead.... :-)

  17. Great post Arti! Very creative I must say.

  18. Wonderful post and interesting videos that make me feel that
    Melbourne invites the eternal romantic in me to hold hands with my beloved and go see the Twelve Apostles .Go on long drives on the great ocean road. In the middle of nowhere in a vineyard spread a table and enjoy a meal and a glass of wine with my dear one. Enjoy the sunsets holding hands and do lots of shopping at the Queen Victoria Market and see all the graffiti being created at the hosier lane.
    Great Post and interesting videos watching them I am sure to visit Sovereign Hill for spending some time in the era gone by. The lure of gold and panning for some nuggets is a temptation that is too much to resist. After I have found the gold I am bound to celebrate it with some wine so I will visit the vineyards and enjoy some great wine from the Yarra region .Visit the Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and have my fill with this yummy delight.

  19. Interesting Post
    After reading your post and watching all the videos
    I feel I have stepped into a kaleidoscope called Melbourne
    Where Vistas of experiences would unfold one after another
    The nature lover in me is enticed by the thought of watching the penguin parade.
    Traveling though the great ocean road, soaking up the freshness as the breeze ruffles my hair gets me in the mood to pack my bags for Melbourne.
    But before I can move ,Puffing Billy whistles and invites me for a ride. The kid in me jumps with joy at the thought of visiting Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
    Even before I can deside on the list of places that I would like to see in and around Melbourne.
    What’s that noise that I hear ?
    Oh its loud cheer from MCG as the cricket world cup 2015 is about to kick start.
    So many plces to see and so much to do.
    I am thetimetraveler ( http://goo.gl/wdXDzu ) and I have decided … Melbourne here I come ( http://goo.gl/RvUCQf ).

  20. Happy New Year, dear Arti! Much happiness, health, love and success for the year 2015! I just got back from Austria and try to come out of the golden haze of christmas and new years - into the world again .... it'll take me a few days i guess ;) Hope you had a fantastic end of your year and can't wait to share all the adventures of 2105 with YOU! xox

  21. I would like to visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which is located in Yarra Park. Cricket has fancied me since childhood. I still remember those days when the elders in my neighbourhood used to start shouting and hunting for us the moment the cricket ball hit by me broke one of their window panes. Running away from them was even more exciting than playing cricket itself.

    I used to follow every cricket match played by India religiously and used to analyse and discuss it with friends and siblings for days and months. Being such an enthusiastic fan of cricket, visiting one of the world’s largest cricket stadiums is one of my dreams.

    The thought of being seated amongst 95,000 other fans of cricket and cheering the players itself sounds exciting to me. Such large cricket stadiums are one of the ways to explore how much the passion for cricket has penetrated among the people of the world. MCG is located in Yarra Park, which also has many other sporting fields. This would allow me to explore not just cricket, but also many other games.

    - Ranjith (http://www.alightheartedtalk.com)

  22. As always a great post :-) It's almost like we are over there!
    As to answering the question, I would love to visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Being a cricket enthusiast, nothing would give me a better thrill than to watch a Boxing day test match live in the amazing stadium. The Australian cricket public is very hostile towards the opposition but are the first to appreciate a good opposition player. The thrill of sitting amongst 100,000 fans and cheering for the Indian team would really be an experience! Hope to get a seat next to Anushka Sharma so that when Virat Kohli blows a kiss at her after scoring a century, I too will be on TV :-D !

  23. Great post! After reading your post & watching all the videos, I would definitely want to visit all those amazing places when I get to visit Melbourne :) But of all, my top pick would be a visit to Yarra valley for a beautiful sunrise balloon flight. After seeing the video, I can't stop myself from dreaming a romantic magical flight above the scenic vineyards and watching the sunrise from up above! Throw in my favorite wine, I will doubly enjoy the ride sipping my glass and taking sensational selfies all the way :) Now I can't think of a better way of spending a vacation!!

    Next of course, cruising through the great ocean road in a open-top car to enjoy the coastal scenery and the iconic 12 apostles for the nature's amazing work at play. Then a ride around the city in the vintage trams to enjoy its urban splendor and the legendary puffing billy to enjoy its natural splendor. Finally a day at the hot springs to unwind and totally rejuvenate myself :)

  24. Aww how cool is that!!! Loved your post totally...Great place!

  25. Your last trip to Melbourne was epic and serves as an inspiration to me to participate and visit Melbourne. As any Indian I would love to visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground... :)

    All the best, keep traveling

  26. Hi!
    We know beauty never need words but without words it cannot be explained and when you get wordless after seeing it... your mouth still get open wide and WOW comes out. Dear! Your explanation about Melbourne is wonderful and picturesque description. I am a person who always attracted to nature first of any place so I would love to see the Melbourne Nature & Wildlife. The 12 Apostles rock formations is world famous rocks which changes its color in sunrise and sun set. And then I will see the Phillip Island Nature Park where I want to see the animals which I hardly see in India. I never saw Penguins, Koala and other animals.
    Driving on a smooth road with natural beauty around you, it always gives you a feeling of heaven on Earth. I would love to drive on Great Ocean Road which is also famous in world to give you a scenic experience and the pleasure of that driving is amazing.


  27. Melbourne again? :-)
    May you get closer to your crush. :P Here is wishing you a wonderful, and wanderful year. :-)

  28. What a great post, Arti! I can certainly understand how Melbourne got a hold of you. It's such a dynamic and diverse city. One of these days we'll both return. Since I'm such a shopper, I remember wonderful memories at Queen Victoria Market :) Wishing you safe travels and a happy 2015!

  29. Arti, you are the reason I want to visit Melbourne. I remember reading your posts on Melbourne and loved everything about the city :-) I'm definitely going there sometime.

    Happy New Year :-)

  30. Amazing Article.
    If I get a chance to visit Melbourne then
    I would like to spend my time in the Great Otway National Park, because I love watching animals. I would love to take a city tour by travelling on the Tram's of Melbourne. By travelling in tram's I want to explore every nook & corner of Melbourne. Besides this I would love to watch the amazing architectures of Melbourne like Eureka Tower, Royal Exhibition Building, etc. And without enjoying festivals, my journey would be incomplete so I will celebrate Australian Festivals.
    And how can I forget The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). As cricket is my favourite sport I would love to watch the Cricket world cup final which will take place at the largest stadium of Australia, that is, MCG.

    - Manu
    Harstuff Travel - http://goo.gl/6t4oZy

  31. Hi,Arti,
    Wish you and your family the best for 2015!

  32. Hi Arti, feel so good to meet you again through your wonderful posts. Missed my travel, writing posts etc. Was v.v. busy. Hope to get back to my routine soon.
    Happy New Year to you and your family

  33. I also checked your post n Govindji ka Mandir. Excellent pics.:)

  34. A great letter, your love shines through in your every word and picture.

  35. Like that Flinters St Station with that tram.

  36. Love the treatment on these photos. Makes me want to see for myself.

  37. Well, what can I say.. Story of my life!
    Reminds me of how I feel about Melbourne and posted about it few weeks ago.. http://meetsharmi.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/living-melbourne-life.html

  38. What a lovely write up. I hope someday I'll visit Australia too. It's my dream destination.
    I loved what you did with the photographs. And darn I wish to be a travel blogger.


Delighted u stopped by... Your suggestions, feedback are really appreciated. Thanks a lot! Hope you visit again!

If you have asked a question, please give me at least 2 days to reply back. Thank you :)

Blogger Widgets