• India,  South India,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal

    A Zen Weekend at O’land Plantation, Coonoor

    Sketching At O’land Plantation Stay Beautiful landscapes, blue hills, forests, peace and quiet, and delicious home cooked food – these are essential elements of a weekend getaway from hectic city life. We had a perfect Zen weekend, at the O’land Plantation Stay in Coonoor. We were looking for something secluded and wild in the Nilgiris, and this estate fitted the bill. We took an Ola Outstation cab, a convenient way of traveling, to Coonoor. It took us approximately seven hours to reach our destination. We started out from Bangalore around 11 pm and it was 5.30 am when we reached Mettupalayam junction.  Here we took the left turn towards Coonoor, while the right lead to…

  • Poetry,  Uncategorized

    Khatti

    By a dusty city road stood a wooden cabin decorated with garlands of tobacco pouches and cut-outs of Jesus Christ and Lord Shiva. Steeped in the fragrance of sweet, milky tea, it glittered with peg-sized glass cups brimming with tea. Men flock to the chai stall, like animals escape to a summer lake, for their hourly coolant and smoke. The owner sits inside, a sweaty king of this bunch of motley no-gooders who measure time and temperature in bidi puffs and slurps, while an empty future awaits them, like the relentless Kutch desert.   Note: Khatti: Oriya word that means informal conversation between people that often lasts for hours and is considered to…

  • Poetry,  Uncategorized

    Of Minarets, Dreams, and Memories

    Perched on a latticed window of a century old haveli, the pigeons fluttered about as irreverently as the milling crowd. Steeped in history, stumbling through the 21st century, the city of brick-red buildings and stone-walled minarets stands aloof. Like a proud lioness, now grown old she jealously guards her secrets. However, stay still by the tomb of Humayun and the djinns will speak to you.

  • India,  Karnataka,  South India,  Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal

    A Tiny Tibet in Karnataka

    While driving to Coorg, many tourists stop at Kushal Nagar to see the beautiful Golden Temple, eat momos, and purchase souvenirs. Few venture into the Tibetan settlements. On a trip, many summers ago, I decided to halt in Kushalnagar. A stroll brought me to a small hotel, newly opened, with clean, sparse rooms.   I have a vivid memory of enjoying delicious momos and black lemon ginger tea with mellifluous Tibetan music playing in the background. A white house cat strolled the hallways, too snooty to make friends with a backpacker! I stayed at the hotel for a couple of days, absorbing the deep tranquility of the people. Long walks through corn fields,…