• Poetry,  Writings

    A Shikara Ride

      Still are the waters, Tranquil, alive and poised Bouncing the sun off, From behind the hills high above The Shikara forms a silhouette, Quietly advancing at the horizon.   As we travel further, Colors emerge, then slowly fade away. Images blend into reflections. Holding a poignant past. Almost melancholic, almost sad.  

  • India,  Jammu and Kashmir,  Travel

    Srinagar, Shikara and Kehwa

    We started back from Pahalgam for Srinagar. Again beautiful views on the way, saw many houses with apple trees in their backyard, apart from the traditional larger orchards. Apple Orchard Stopover On the way, stopped over at Apple orchards again, where the owners sell fresh-cut fruits as well as freshly squeezed juices, cartons of apples of both varieties- Golden & regular red apples. The former can stay fresh for 3 months, but Red variety gets spoiled sooner. We tasted the apples and also had the freshly squeezed juice(made by hand-operated machine). It tasted heavenly, and unlike anything, I have had before. Naturally chilled in the fresh Winter air and seemed…

  • India,  Jammu and Kashmir,  Travel

    A Short Autumn Trip to Kashmir: Pahalgam and Apple Orchards

    Part 1 in a series of posts on Kashmir. The extraordinary, almost unearthly beauty of the Kashmir valley made it a strange conflict to cover. In the morning, the window of my houseboat on the Dal Lake would be open, and as I lay in bed I could see the reed cutters and fishermen. The shikara canoes would be in the foreground; behind were the bridges and waterways, the willows and poplars, and the orchards of apricots and almonds. There were children paddling in the shallows and girls carrying brush-wood bundles on their heads. Beyond stretched the old Mughal watergardens and, above them, the mulberry trees of the silk farmers. Crowning all…

  • India,  Pondicherry,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel,  Uncategorized

    Pondicherry- Conversations with the Sea

    I want the ocean breeze to wash over me and set me free… Waves splashing and rollicking, spraying their energy all over me. If only I could absorb it all… And these rocks, taking a hit every other second… Resigned to their fate, enjoying the bittersweet ritual. Are there waves inside of me, rising and ebbing? Am I the rock, am I the wave? There is a strange music to it all, a strange rhythm I mute the sounds for a moment, And pine to hear the traces of that rhythm inside me.   Feeling at peace in this sun-kissed moment, Seconds turn into minutes, minutes into hours The mighty…

  • Pondicherry,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel

    Guest Post: Pondicherry-The French Connection

    A Dream There should be somewhere on earth a place which no nation could claim as its own, where all human beings of goodwill who have a sincere aspiration could live freely as citizens of the world and obey one single authority, that of the supreme Truth; a place of peace, concord and harmony where all the fighting instincts of man would be used exclusively to conquer the causes of his sufferings and miseries, to surmount his weaknesses and ignorance, to triumph over his limitations and incapacities; a place where the needs of the spirit and the concern for progress would take precedence over the satisfaction of desires and passions,…