Built Four, Shown Two; Char Minar from the city of Nizams

“Banaunga Chaar, dikhaunga do” said my Guide pointing towards the three, visible minarets of the Char Minar and moved forward with a stride that was increasingly difficult for me to match. We were in the acoustic marvels of India where you could clap at one end and the echo of it would be heard at…

The place of epiphany: the great Ashoka & Kalinga War

After having won the never-before Kalinga, the great emperor achieved what no one had done before him. But at what cost? This question would haunt him day and night & soon the great Mauryan emperor renounced everything and turned a monk. Over the years, he would play an instrumental role in heralding Buddhism in Indian…

The Scotland of India: Coorg, Karnataka

“Why don’t you go to Europe? It’s gorgeous.” “If you can’t afford Europe, explore Asia. That’s equally beautiful too.” “What’s so great about India that you take every other trip domestic only.” And if you think that, you clearly haven’t explored India because you can draw parallels between every other foreign exotic location and an…

The Jewel of India: Kashmir

Imagine yourself opening a box that’s been lying in the storage of your house. You don’t want to go, open the box because you dread the dust, the allergies & the dark. You know the box houses precious items but you put it off because – “who would enter the moist, damp & dark storage?”….

Paradise on Earth – of Tulip Gardens, Kashmir

गर फिरदौस रूहे ज़मीं अस्त  हमीनस्तो, हमीनस्तो हमीनस्तो!  If there is a paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this! I never knew that Kashmir was so beautiful until I saw it. I often heard about the place as a child & I grew up reading about Kashmir & its beauty…

The eternal sunshine of a snow-clouded mind!

Tons of ice-creams, volumes of ice & electricity bills running to pages – is how we beat heat here in North India. For all the love we have shown to the moon in our poetry and novels, we ended up offending the big daddy & he has decided to teach us a lesson with soaring…

Shhhh! The pursuit of Erotica in Khajuraho

An overnight train journey in a second AC compartment with a bunch of young people, my book & a good looking husband who knows a lot of random stuff is how my pursuit for erotica began. As I busied myself with the days of Malgudi, a chemistry was building up between the guy I married…

India beyond mountains & monuments: the incredible life

When Yann Martel won the Man Booker Prize in 2001 for his book, ‘Life of Pi’, many applauded his writing style, his imagination & the ability to build characters. Look at the protagonist – Piscine Patel, who was teased as Pissing patel, and his ingeniousness to rechristen himself as ‘Pi’. Tremendous & Terrific! I, however,…

The incredible Karnataka: of beaches, lighthouses & hills!

I have never been a party person. Those have always bored me with their obsession with absence of Vitamin D, music that threatens your eardrums & rules about how to dress up, who to speak with & how much to speak. I don’t like that. I like places that let me be where I can…

The Surviving Wheels of Time of Konark Sun Temple, Odisha!

What do you think when you think of time? Plenty at hand? Never enough? Fast slipping through fingers? Or Who cares? Or do you wonder where did it all go? I regularly look at my wrist watch & back calculate – how much is left till I do this, leave office, reach home, or have…

Jai Jagannath – echoes of enigma that remain a mystery!

“Jai Jagannath! Jai Jagannath! Jai Jagannath!” The small compound was echoing with these loud shouts. And with that went many hands in the air, of devotees! I was tempted to join them in chanting when another sound came from the background. It was a familiar sound; I had often heard it in movies – typical…

What they don’t tell you about Travelling – that goes wrong!

It all sounds state-of-the-art: weekend getaways, candid shots, losing oneself in the middle of nowhere & leading a life that’s a little better, a tad bit more fulfilling & slightly enriched than others. But travelling is not always as glorious as the listicles or podcasts make it sound. It’s uncomfortably sometimes, can be dangerous if…

Five ideas of perfect Valentine holiday destinations!

Come February & people begin talking about Valentine’s Day. From the time I can remember, there used to be such energy in school that we no longer needed Physics Classes to understand Laws of Conservation of Energy. We just knew. Exams would be round the corner. Revisions would be on. But the second week of…

Where they worship a Royal Enfield: Incredible India

India is an incredible country. We got all sorts here – admiring cows, paying respects to Banana & Banyan trees, marrying little girls to the idols in temples, worshipping in a place riddled with mice or bats & planning excursions to places with large ice bodies. And we do all that in style, in faith…