On your plate, from the streets of India!

With many fine dining restaurants & bars mushrooming here and there, burning a hole in the pocket has become easier than ever. These restaurants will ‘Sir and Ma’am’ you, serve exotic-sounding dishes in small bowls and plates (quantity enough for a bite or two) & take away all your money. In fact, the more I…

Where all that shines is Gold: Jaisalmer

The land is barren and the farms are dry. The weather is harsh and the temperature is very high. You would think that this can mar the spirits of the locals. But no ma’am, no. You are wrong. The place beams, the buildings shine & the locals,the locals sparkle under the hot Sun with a…

A little place of books: Waari Book Cafe, Pune

“Reading gives us a place to go when we have to stay where we are.”  A book comes with no reservations. You can safekeep a book, begin it at your own pace, go back, flip forward or close it and take a nap. The book doesn’t mind & the book never moves. You will always…

Republic India; Incredible India!

India will celebrate its 68th republic day tomorrow on 26th January, 2017. The pride of the country will be seen in march pasts, rallies and other cultural programs as part of the republic day parade at Rajpath. Many television shows will lose their audience to the live telecast of republic day parades tomorrow because India…

Orchha: the erstwhile capital of Bundelkhand

India is a country of colors. No matter where you go, you are bound to discover a new color – a sketch of the forgotten past with strokes of victories coupled with dabs of eloquent art and architecture. At a distance of 485 kms. from Delhi, between the heroic Jhansi & monumental Khajuraho, lies a…

A wondrous morning & ‘Waah Taj’!

“Let the splendor of diamond, pearl, and ruby vanish like the magic shimmer of the rainbow.  Only let this one tear-drop, this Tajmahal, glisten spotlessly bright on the cheek of time, forever and ever .” -Rabindranath Tagore  More than three centuries ago, a muslim emperor built an ivory-white monument in the memory of his Persian…

The highest Gateway in the world: Buland Darwaza

“The world is a bridge, pass over it, but build no houses upon it”, reads the Persian inscription on the main gateway, Buland Darwaza.  Akbar wanted to commemorate his conquest over Gujarat. He decided to do something extraordinary. Feasts were organized regularly & competitions were a regular affair, he wished to do something magnificent &…

The aloof tiger and the lazy Python of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

15 years ago when I visited Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary for the first time, our guide told us about a tiger that lived in the sanctuary and came by the lake in the evening to drink water. It was an excursion trip organized from KVS (Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan). I was in 9th standard and for the…

A walk down the ancient India: Pattadakal

At a mere distance of 22 kms. from the famous Badami caves, exists the rustic village of Pattadakal. Located on the left side of the Malaprabha river, Pattadakal lives graciously, away from the madness of the contemporary world. Evidence suggests that Pattadakal came into being around 6th or 7th century when the Chalukyas decided on…

Incredible India: 12 places for 12 months!

It was a Friday evening of humid April this year. Around 4 pm of that fateful evening, I found myself battling for breath. My life jacket was intact, but I could not come above the surface. Water started to get better of me. I was telling myself that nothing would happen. At best, I would…

Sunburn or not, new year means Goa!

Some places evoke a feeling of belonging. You long for them. All the unsettling thoughts and turmoil inside you begin to smooth over, in such places. You come here again and again & do the same things over and over. With the passage of time, you develop rituals. And these rituals only become meaningful when you are…

The pursuit of tea & the road to Munnar!

I am never alone. Because I always have a cup of tea to keep me company. I was 8 when I had my first cup of tea. It was a monsoon evening with a clear but clouded day. I played ‘nine tiles’ that evening. After an hour, I came back home a winner but drenched. …

Gwalior: Where she fought gallantly, the queen of Jhansi!

“No, impossible! I shall not surrender my Jhansi!” On June 18th, 1858, a 29 year old widowed queen of Jhansi, with courage in her veins and valor in her blood, fought against the British and lay her life in the battle of Gwalior, trying to save her state from the British. The British (greatly outnumbering…

A box of chocolates – Kodai Kanal.

My mother never told me that life was a box of chocolates. She had a list of adjectives that Life was – demanding, whimsical, eccentric, and mischievous –  but it was never a box of chocolates in her dictionary. Chocolates were instead a treat for us reserved to be enjoyed only on special occasions like…