Skip to main content

Featured Post

The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan

International Postcard Swap for Families 2011 - Update

Most of you would know by now that I had been travelling for the whole of last month. Just before I left, I signed up for the ‘International Postcard Swap’ organized by Zoe of ‘Playing by the book’. It was a heaven sent opportunity to get Samhith more interested in writing, and also get in touch with some like-minded parents and kids!

Amidst two hectic trips, I just managed to download the list of people I had to send postcards to, and with Samhith too busy with his scrapbook, ended up writing to the families myself. Looking for the post office at Udaipur was an interesting experience, with the auto driver wondering why on earth an Indian tourist would want to go to a post office! “Madam, if you want to send a letter, there are many couriers around” was what I heard again and again before I insisted that no, I did NOT want a courier, but only the post office, before one of them finally consented to take me to a small old building hidden very near a circle we had been passing at least a dozen times a day! I managed to get the postcards off, but a couple of days later than promised, so Maria, Courtney, Emma, Kathy and Elaine, please, please wait a few more days for my cards to reach you…… of course, that’s if that tiny little post office actually did the work it is supposed to be doing J

Anyway, we returned home last week with Samhith still not enthusiastic about the cards we had sent, until the day before yesterday, when the first postcard landed in our mailbox! His enthusiasm suddenly shot to the roof, and it was a pleasure to see him reading the message and seeing the photo on the postcard with such concentration. The stamps only furthered the delight, which simply multiplied with the arrival of two more postcards!

The idea had been to include a book recommendation in each postcard, and we received a variety, from Enid Blyton to the Monkey King, Captain Underpants and Tinkerbell. However, the most recommended books were the Geronimo Stilton Series! I had been wanting to buy them for him for a while now, but wasn’t too sure if he would read them, but now he wants to, and I am nothing short of thrilled!

However, I was even more thrilled by the fact that he actually sat down to reply to each one of them with his own postcard and his own book recommendation. As it turned out, his handwriting only made it possible for him to write a sentence or two on every postcard, but it’s at least a beginning…. Wouldn’t you agree?
We received two more cards today, which brings the number to five, and as I write this post, he has already got all the postcards ready to send.

These are the postcards we received…

1. Rose and Ullysse Martin – Samhith loved your postcard, especially the fact that it could be folded and stuck!
2. Joshua and India – we were fascinated by how much you managed to write on just a postcard!
3. Hana, yours was the first card we received, and the one which got most of the attention!
4. Sam – What a coincidence ….you share a nickname with Samhith!
5. Frankie and Annalise – Samhith loved the beautiful old buildings on your postcard.

Thanks so much everyone! Samhith’s reply postcards will reach you soon (hopefully!).
But most of all, thank you so much, Zoe for this wonderful idea to bring families together from across the globe!


  1. Oh Anu! I'm so delighted you received our postcard for Tasmania (#2) safely. We have moved house and my Dad has died since receiving all out postcards so I haven't posted about the ones we received yet. It's on my 'to do' list! J x 

  2. sorry to hear of your loss, Jane! under the circumstances, we all understand ...we loved ur postcard!

  3. Thanks, Anu. You have a huge heart. That reminds me - I have now found all the postcards we received after The Great Unpack. Will show them to the pixies this weekend! J x

  4. That sounds great, Jane!pls post them and send me a link please! would love to see them all!


Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

The Havelis of Bikaner - A Photo Post

The lanes are narrow , twisting and turning amidst buildings old and new. Crumbling old structures with intricate workmanship stand side by side with art deco buildings, and more modern constructions, which follow no particular style. Autos, bicycles, motorcycles and vans rush past, blowing their horns as loudly as possible, while cows saunter past peacefully, completely unaffected by the noise. In the midst of all this chaos, children play by the side, and women go about their chores, as we explore these by-lanes of Bikaner, and its beautiful Havelis. Facade of one of the Rampuria Havelis

Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Bhedaghat - Home of the 81 Yoginis

The Narmada flows down the mountains , carving out a path for herself as she makes her way down to the plains of Central India. She cascades from the rocks, her fine spray making it appear as if billows of smoke (dhuan) arise from the flowing streams of water (dhaar), giving it the name Dhuandhar. Dhuandhar Falls The force of her flow creates a gorge , smoothening and carving out the rocks into fantastic shapes, the pure white of the rocks standing starkly against the shades of the water. It is a joy to cruise down the river in a boat, seeing the natural contours created by the river, now famous as the Marble Rocks. We are at Bhedaghat, located on the banks of the Narmada near Jabalpur, where thousands of visitors turn up to see these natural landscapes, creations of the sacred Narmada, and pay obeisance to her. However, to me, the most interesting thing about Bhedaghat, isn’t the falls or the rocks, or even the river. What makes Bhedaghat special is t