The locals of Hampi were surprised when a group of youngsters visiting the place turned out to be not from Bengaluru, but from Mumbai. The group consisting of four guys and three girls were visiting Hampi from 2nd October to 4th October. The group had arrived in a Zoomcar registered in Mumbai, which gave away the fact that they were not from Bengaluru.
Virupaksha, a local shop owner, was the first one who recognized that and was seen frantically running around the place telling other shop owners of his discovery. He was quoted as saying: ‘I chanced to glance at the registration plate of their car, as they parked right in front of my shop, and something seemed out of place. All the vehicles I have seen had KA registration, but this one was an MH registered one, and I thought I was seeing things. I went in, washed my face, drank some water and came out to make sure I had indeed seen it as MH.’
One of the group members said: ‘We felt like aliens who had landed on earth in a UFO. People were gathering around to see us. Some people were trying to peel off the MH in the registration plate to see if we were faking it. We had to show them our Mumbai local train passes to convince them that we were indeed from Mumbai.’
Divya, a consultant working at an MNC in Mumbai, was surprised by the treatment they got from the locals. ‘Hotel owners were approaching us and begging us to stay with them. When asked why, they said, they want some reviews on Tripadvisor from people other than from Bengaluru. Some were saying that they would be able to mention on their website that they have accommodated people from Mumbai, which would be a huge boost for their business.’
‘And one other guest house owner was ready to accommodate us for free just so that his children could meet people who do not work in IT companies.’, chipped in Rahul.
The group finally chose to stay in the free accommodation that they were offered. ‘As soon as they got the offer for free accommodation, they said okay, we will stay with you, like true Indians’, said Rangamma, an artifact seller.
Kishore, an editor for the local newspaper, ‘Hampi Evening Herald’ was quick to arrive on the spot to interview the group and take their photographs, with his Nokia 2730 Phone. ‘One of my friends runs a shop here, and he called me as soon as he heard there were people not from Bengaluru in Hampi. I quickly got my TVS XL and rode all the way just in time to catch the group. I managed to sell 50 extra copies of my newspaper thanks to their pic on the front (and only) page.’
Local kids were found following the group the next day on their sightseeing. Subramanian, a solo traveler, also from Bengaluru said, ‘I was finally relieved to meet people from other cities too. I had hoped to meet people from all over India, but when I reached here, people were either foreigners or from Bengaluru. When I met these guys, I didn’t know they were from Mumbai, so I started asking them whether they stayed in Koramangala, and to my surprise they said they were not from Bengaluru. I felt my trip had its purpose fulfilled, and I can go back in peace.’
‘It was an amazing experience coming here. We didn’t expect to be received so well. I think the credit must go to the innumerable youngsters from Bengaluru who come here in search of stuff and peace. Our next destination is Gokarna and we expect we will get a similar hospitality there too.’, said Abhishek, another member of the group.
The group visited the Kishkinda side of Hampi on Sunday morning and returned to Mumbai by Sunday afternoon to their hectic life.