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Showing posts from November, 2013

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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

Book Review: Aisle Be Damned by Rishi Piparaiya

Rishi Piparaiya, in his book, ‘Aisle Be Damned’, quotes Paul Theroux – “There is not much to say about most airplane journeys. Anything remarkable must be disastrous, so you define a good flight by negatives: you didn’t get hijacked, you didn’t crash, you didn’t throw up, you weren’t late, you weren’t nauseated by the food. So you’re grateful.”

Skywatch Friday: Abbey Falls

Located in the heart of Coorg, the Abbey falls are on every tourist's itinerary. In the monsoon and the months following, the water cascades 21 m in a rush, drenching the surroundings with its spray, and rendering the whole area slippery and dangerous. In the summer, however, we see a far tamer version....

A Photo Walk through Mysore Zoo

What can I say about the Mysore zoo that hasn’t already been said before? There is no doubt that it is among the best zoos in India – one that actually makes you want to visit again… and again. So inviting in fact, that on our summer trip to Mysore, we visited the zoo twice! And having done that, the least I can do, is give you a photo tour…

Exploring Madikeri Fort

A flash of white in the window captures my attention. From this distance, all I can make out is a figure standing. I don’t have binoculars, but my camera serves me just as well. The zoom lens shows me a figure, dressed in white, a red sash tied neatly across, a government official of some sort, talking to a policeman. It suddenly strikes me how apt the situation is. At one time, this was a palace, where the king and his ministers would have had conversations with his guards and officers. Today, it is the District Collector’s office, and it is a government official conversing with a police officer. Once again, how apt!

Crocodile at Mysore Zoo

Remembering our trip to Mysore in May, and trying to catch up with writing about it, I came across this photo I had clicked of one of the crocodiles. Both, Samhith and I agreed that this shouldn't have to go with the many, many photos in the zoo post coming up, but deserves a post to itself. Do you agree? The eye does look suitably intimidating, doesn't it? Especially with all those teeth!

Starfish in Goa

Partly buried in the sand, it wouldn't have attracted attention, but for the fact, that we were searching for shells. 

Sannimitam - Art for a noble cause

It isn’t often that I write about events on the blog, and even rarer that I announce events that are yet to take place. But this is a special one. Most of you who read my blog, have, at some time, heard me rave about my sister, Kanthi, who is an accomplished dancer. She is proficient in both, Bharatanatyam and Kathak, which speaks volumes of her talent, and those of you who follow my Facebook page would certainly have seen her photos at some point or the other. It is because so many of you have asked me about her forthcoming performances that I am writing this post. That, and the fact that this is a special performance.

Mysore Rail Museum

An old brake van doubles up as the ticket counter, and ancient iron seats are used as swings. Where else can you see such sights, but at a Rail Museum?

Skywatch Friday - Sunset at Varca Beach, Goa

Physically , I may be stuck in Mumbai, but mentally, I am in Goa, remembering the wonderful time we had there.

Book Review: Chokher Bali by Rabindranath Tagore, Translated by Radha Chakravarty

‘Choker Bali’ was written by Rabindranath Tagore as a serial in the periodical Bangadarshan from 1902 to 1903. In 1903, it was published as a book. In its preface, Tagore wrote “The literature of the new age seeks not to narrate a sequence of events, but to reveal the secrets of the heart. Such is the narrative mode of Choker Bali.” Reading these words today , a hundred and ten years after they were first written, I wondered if I am qualified to review a book by an author such as Tagore, and above all, such a path-breaking novel like this one, even if it is only a translation. However, having taken up this unenviable task, all I can do is put forth my thoughts on the book, and leave you to judge me, as well as the book for yourselves.

Indian Tiger Centipede

Over a foot long, it was longer than any centipede I had ever seen. Yet, it was certainly a centipede. That was the only thing I was sure of. 

The BEST Museum

A security guard at the gate signs us in, and points us to a building. “Third floor” he says, laconically. We walk the short distance, and are told we have to climb, for there is no elevator here. Three flights of stairs later, breathing heavily from the exertion, we finally arrive at our destination – the BEST Museum.

Tata Lit Live 2013 .... and Children's Day

Its Children's Day and kiddo is off to school, excitedly looking forward to all the events planned. Meanwhile, I am stuck at home, loads of work to do. This is where I would love to be, though... Tata Literature Live , or Lit Live as we know it, is back, and it starts today, with some interesting events for kids. If you can, do take your kids, and go, check it out. Here is the schedule for the kids' events. I will be attending some of the events either on Saturday or Sunday, so if you are planning to join, drop me a line and we can meet! For more details, visit the Lit Live website . You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter .  You can see the complete schedule here . 

Indian Bullfrog

Frogs blend in so beautifully with their environment, that we would have completely missed seeing this one if I hadn't been trying to get photographs of a bunch of weeds this one was hiding in.  Trying to identify this one, I realized that what we studied in school about them was just the tip of the iceberg. I had no idea that there were so many different species in India alone. A quick course in frog species being out of the question, the closest I could come to an identification, based on size and photos on the net, was that this was an Indian Bull frog - apparently quite a common species - the one we hear with the arrival of the rains. But apparently, even these plentiful amphibians are under threat, because they are poached for their legs!! What a sad state of affairs! The most interesting article I came across while researching for this post is this one . Do read it, and post your comments on what you think.  And, if you happen to be a frog expert, and know the

Game Time at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum!

Have you ever seen this? In Tamil, we called it ' Pinnal Kolattam '. 

Fishermen at Gokarna

I walked to Om Beach, early in the morning, hoping to commune in solitude with the sea and the sun. Instead, I found that I was the late riser.... the place was filled with activity.... with those who belonged there a lot more than I did. 

Rama Temple, Gokarna

To my right , the waves rush to the shore, eager to merge with the sand. To my left, the same waves crash against the rocks, their spray diverting my reverie as I ponder over the beauty of nature, and wonder what first brought people here. Was it this beauty that encouraged them to build a temple here, or was it the fresh, sweet spring water flowing from the hill here that made this place special? No matter what the reason, I am glad my auto driver brought me here. We are at the Rama temple in Gokarna, just a few minutes away from the Mahabaleshwara Temple, yet offering so different a perspective.

Book Review: Beyond Pipes and Dreams, The life of Vitthal Balkrishna Gandhi, by Leena Gandhi Tewari

Beyond pipes and dreams is the story of Vitthal Balkrishna Gandhi, authored by his granddaughter, Leena Gandhi Tewari. Image courtesy: Flipkart.com

Water Birds at Gokarna

Driving through Gokarna i n the monsoon, the last thing we expected to see were birds. Therefore, when, in the middle of nowhere, when Samhith excitedly shouted,  "Amma!! Flamingo!!" I didnt really believe him. I didn't believe my eyes either, when, a little way off, there was indeed a bird, which, from a distance, did look like a flamingo. We requested our auto driver to take us closer, without disturbing the birds, which, to our relief. he did, with a smile, here is what we saw....

Om Beach, Gokarna - A Photoblog and some thoughts

I sit by the shore, enjoying the solitude it offers me, only the mountains, the rocks and the water, for company....

Faces in the Crowd - Some unusual sellers of wares for Diwali

Happy Diwali everyone!!!! The roads are filled with people selling earthen lamps, kandeels, and firecrackers. But here are some traders selling some unusual wares for Diwali.... Brooms are considered to be a part of Lakshmi, since she only enters clean homes. There are some who pray to brooms at this time of the year, a sort of prelude to cleaning their homes! Gives a different thought to the festival, doesnt it?

Happy Deepavali! Remembering the celebration at Shegaon

As I sit at home , typing this, the night resounds with the bursting of firecrackers. All around me are brightly lit windows, gaily decorated with string lights. In the midst of this Diwali Celebration, my thoughts go back to last year, when, on this very festival, I was surrounded not by bright lights and sound, but by the soft glow of oil lamps galore....

A Weekend with Lego

Imagine … huge boxes of Lego bricks, all separated by colour, ready for building, to be scooped to the floor, to build what you have in mind. Wouldn’t you call that a Lego enthusiast’s idea of heaven? For us, this vision of heaven becomes a reality, every time a Lego event arrives at a Mall near us! Our first experience was two years ago, when we attended the Lego Fire Truck building event, and we had another fantastic time last week at the Lego Train building event, both at HighStreet Phoenix Mall at Parel, Mumbai , held in association with Hamleys and Funskool . The  small scale model of the train