The Savanna of India: Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar

The best things in life are often chanced upon. They make their way into your life serendipitously when you expect them the least. The same thing happened to me a few weeks back when we had planned to spend a day in Velavadar. It was supposed to be a halt on our return journey from…

Welcome to Sikkim

“Sabse bura log Dilli ka aata hai (The worst people we receive are from Delhi)”, my cabbie remarked. I couldn’t help but laugh at his candid and innocent ways. “Aap Dilli ka hai madam (Are you from Delhi?)” Well, you can say that I am from Delhi. Whether we go to Ladakh, Kanyakumari or Sikkim,…

Kehwa aur Kahaniyan!

Two days before our scheduled departure to Kashmir, there was news about stone-pelting & open firing in the valley. They were showing live footage on the news channels. It would scare the hell out of people like us who began watching TV in the 90s & have heard only one kind of news when they…

We are back & it’s awesome!

I want to begin by saying that you all are amazing people. The whole of last year, most of you kept hounding me about why I am not writing anymore. And I kept telling you that I would, as soon as I get some free time. To keep it off my mind and back, I…

Sign up for a visual treat at Pushkar fair, 2018

Somebody said that all good things in life are free. I couldn’t agree enough – a warm sunny afternoon in December, or dipping your feet in a gushing stream of water, or the colorful spread on an otherwise clean sky on evening – all are free, and the best of experiences. I thought I had seen…

Coffee tales straight from Chikmagalur, Karnataka

Once upon a time, there was a country that drank tea. The country and its countrymen were happy sipping this sugar-laden beverage until one Baba Budan Giri decided to give Coffee to his country, and thus began the coffee journey of India. It’s being said that Baba Budan Giri brought Coffee seeds to India and…

How to NOT be a spoilsport when travelling in groups

Remember School Picnics when the senior most kids would occupy the last seat and you would be left with the ‘unwanted’ ones – those next to the teachers. And while sitting on those hot seats, you would eye the back seaters who would play Antakshari and dance, while the only awesome company you had was…

A weekend trip to the British Summer Capital – Shimla

I remember the new year of 2018. One of my many resolutions were to grow my Instagram followership by posting daily. Did it grow? Yes, but not substantially. It just feels like yesterday- scrolling my Instagram feed & looking at my ever-stagnant Twitter followers on the 31st of 2017. And it’s September of ’18 already….

The touch of love: Allepey Backwaters, Kerala

Kerala – God’s own country is not called God’s for no reason. Dotted with coconut trees, situated by the coast, with sultry weather most of the year, balmy air in the evenings, full of tea plantations in shades of Green, with myriad beaches & backwaters, pioneer of Ayurveda treatments, skilled in Kuchipudi & their own…

God’s own country needs us. Show some love for Kerala

I have been going to Kerala for years now. Munnar was almost like home with its picturesque views and Green landscapes. We would often pick our car from Bangalore or Mysore and drive to Munnar enjoying the forest reserves and wildlife sanctuaries on the way. And it breaks my heart to see Kerala suffering this…

Happy 72nd, India! STAY INCREDIBLE.

कुछ बात है कि हस्ती मिटती नहीं हमारी सदियों रहा है दुश्मन दौर–ए–ज़माँ हमारा India – one of the oldest civilizations of the world, famous for its unity in diversity, blessed with changing landscapes from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, tolerant of religions and faiths where Hindu kids celebrate Christmas as much as they celebrate Diwali, Christian…

Are you thankful enough? You would be at Hall of Fame, Ladakh

Come Fridays and my mind lights up a like a bulb. I get all the 51 ideas to make my life awesome, and not only the Left or the Right, but unknown sides of my brain get activated because my mind is endlessly creating lists of ‘how to make your weekends awesome’. It doesn’t end…

Ditch your routine and chase the monsoons in Goa

Most of the days I wake up dreading what’s awaiting me during the day (not all, but parts of it). Some days I wake up with a smile on my face, because I got to sleep till late that day. No points in guessing that those days belong to weekends. Sleeping till late is not…

How you can take 12 trips in 12 months

‘How do you travel so much?’, I am often asked. The simple answer to this one is, ‘Well, I want to.’ Then, people ask me how do I manage to travel so much. Well, to that, there’s a bunch of things I do to manage travelling in a schedule as busy as it gets. So,…

Mehrangarh Fort: a photo story

My close friends tell me that I am an old soul. And they are right for I am an old soul. I love all ancient things & I see the beauty in them even if they are broken, ruined or chipping away. But some old things are as good as new. Ain’t they? Mehrangarh Fort,…

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…

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 finish this presentation, excuse myself from another meeting…

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…

Chasing Strawberries in Mapro Garden, Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar

Some of the best memories of my life somehow have food in it. These memories – of a great conversation over holidays, gorging ourselves with rum & raisin cakes, a late night party with pizzas and drinks, a trip to some place remote with nothing in tummy but Maggi & Chai & the best –…

The poetic Chittaur of Meerabai

मेरे तो गिरधर गोपाल दूसरो न कोई॥ जाके सिर सोई। तात मात भ्रात छांड़ि दई कुलकी कहा संतन ढिग बैठि बैठि लोक ई॥ किये टूक लीन्हीं लोई। After many battles & political tug-of-war, Chittaur was rising again but this time with the melody, like never before. Chittaur by then had witnessed many episodes of pride, valor…

Hungry for travel? Here’s your 2018 bucket list!

2018 is here and with that comes 16 long weekends and at least 20 days of paid leave for us – lesser beings – who have to work (supposedly) 9 am to 6 pm, five days a week to earn a living & thus the means to – travel, travel & travel. No matter how…

Game for some bird watching in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary?

Freedom is a funny thing. You only get to appreciate it once you don’t have it. The more you fight for it, the more you crave it. How does freedom feel like? To me, it is – spreading my wings & flying high with nothing to control me or pull me back. The sky is…

The mighty warrior of Mewar: Rana Sangha

Chittaur hadn’t celebrated to its full yet, and destiny played its cards.  After the untimely demise of Rana Kumbha, Chittaurgarh came under dark once again and silently watched itself getting broken into parts. Now, all Chittaur had to do was wait – wait for its redemption & resurgence. Luckily, Chittaur didn’t have to wait for long….

A life dedicated to travel

Till three years back, I used to take vacations – twice or thrice a year. Sometimes, I would go on picnics too to nearby weekend destinations such as Agra & Jaipur. I would pack a heavy bag & fill it with all kinds of vanity, countless clothes and shoes. Each vacation will precede with a…

My Sully Moment: Flight no. #i5799

My first instinct was to check online – while I was up in the air – as to how to get out of a plane crash. Two seconds later I realised that Google won’t work so high. I frantically take out the card in the back pocket of every seat & read instructions on how to life jacket myself. I started groping for one under my seat, but couldn’t locate one. I got jolted & almost lost a tooth. 

What a Fish: Shivsamundram, Karnataka

“Meen, meen”, cried the young lady with the biggest smile I had seen the entire day. When we looked in that direction, a wave of spices wafted through the air – spices just been fried in oil. Oh, it made me drool. Before I could say anything, someone had hit the brakes. It was the…

Nosh Farmaiye ki aap Lucknow me Hain!

Nosh Farmaiye ki aap Lucknow me Hain! (meaning – Have a taste for you are in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh). आस्मान की क्या है ताकत जो चुराये लखनऊ| लखनऊ मुज पर फिदा है, मा फिदा-ए-लखनऊ|| Not only for its heritage, culture, legacy and art, Lucknow is also popular for its food. Tunday Kabab,…

953 Jharokhas and one big Hawa Mahal

A king admires a palace & secretly wishes to build a similar/ better one in his own country and thus ends up building a beautiful, huge palace with many outlets to the outer world. The search for a ‘home’ never ends. A home – that’s yours, where you find peace, where you can be yourself….

A walk through the bakeries of Pune

I started off as a traveller who would shop a lot before any trip and focus on getting clicked as much as the photographer can whenever I went to any place. 😉 After 15+ states in India, I feel I have matured and like to breathe in the place before infinite selfies and checking off…

The Taj of Delhi: Humayun’s Tomb

A king fell madly in love with his queen and created magic in marble that attracts crowd from all over the world today. Go back a few years, and you would find the inspiration behind the glorious Taj Mahal, sitting quietly, counting its days, and rejoicing in the popularity of what came after itself. The…

A place for monkeys: Jakhu Temple, Shimla

After a horrendous experience in Vrindavan last year when a monkey attacked me in open & snatched my spectacles, I have had my differences with this breed. I don’t go near them, avoid eye contact at all costs & maintain my distance. Any place where I might find a monkey is usually not on my…

Palampur: of Bollywood and Dauladhar range

The best stories are always chanced upon: the unknown restaurant that served the yummiest food, the stranger who helped when least expected, catching the train at the last moment, waiting for the delayed flight at the airport & finishing that pending book on Kindle or the road that led to a beautiful place that wasn’t…

Have you found your travel story yet?

“When one door closes, another opens. Or you can open the closed door. That’s how doors work.” – Douglas Adams No Rocket Science! Life isn’t much complicated either. Figure out something that gives you happiness and do more of it. That’s it. Simple! Our generation is quite blessed in those terms. We somehow were born…