• Goa,  India,  Travel

    The Loja by the Water: A Genuine Goan Getaway

    Our first brush with Goan beaches was at Arambol back in 2012, which was a typical Goa holiday of beaches, beer, and buzzing party atmosphere. This year we returned to the sunshine state in search of a different experience – a quieter one – which we found at the beautiful Loja by the Water. What the Loja felt like The Loja is an intimate cabin just right for a couple or a single traveler. Slanting red tiled roof, a wall painting on one corner, and cool red-peroxide floor as you step in – I loved the earthy feel. The cabin is divided into a living area and a kitchenette with a dining…

  • Comics

    It is OK to Hibernate!

    A loop of anxious and depressing thoughts Sometimes I am caught in a loop of what-ifs and whys. A cocktail of worries, doubts, and fear that seem to overwhelm me. And the intensity of these feelings is uncomfortable, to say the least. And I just want to escape into my corner and numb myself to the world around me. These are bad days. And then I pick myself up, do something I like – take a walk, clean my home, brew a cup of tea, or doodle something – and slowly the cloud of thoughts lifts. Over time, I’ve learned to stop beating myself up for going through these bouts.…

  • Coffee Connections,  Point of View,  Uncategorized,  Visual Journal,  Watercolors

    International Coffee Day 2018

    Iced coffee is generally brewed hot and poured over ice and milk. Sometimes it is served with a scoop of ice cream. Cold coffee was a childhood staple – that version was more of a sweet shake. It was prepared with instant coffee and had a lot of milk and sugar. My family believed that children should not drink tea or coffee. It was when I came to Bangalore, to study, that my love affair with coffee started. And we have been going strong for the past 15 years. Recently, my husband introduced me to a new brewing method, cold brew coffee. I took to it from the first sip.…

  • India,  Karnataka,  South India,  Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal,  Urban Sketching,  Visual Journal

    Cantonment Railway Station – An Illustrated Travel Story

    Urban Sketching At Cantonment Railway Station Last weekend, our Urban Sketchers meet was at the Cantonment Railway Station, Bangalore (BNC). While most of us were geared up to sketch amidst the bustle and chaos of a typical Indian railway station, what we found was a place of astonishing stillness. The arched walls and green rooftops look as though they simply stood still and refused to move to make way for Bengaluru! A group of Railways employees was conducting a Swachh Bharat survey. They asked us a few questions and moved on to complete their round of the station. A train with a vivid red engine stood by the platform the entire time…

  • Books,  Reviews

    Book review: The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy

    About Nilanjana Roy Nilanjana Roy is a popular journalist and writer. She is a regular columnist at Business Standard. The Wildings is her first novel. Not since reading T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cat” have I enjoyed a book about the feline species so much. Nilanjana Roy has woven a magical tale describing the lives of the wildings (stray cats for uninitiated) and other assorted city animals. This lovely book is written without a shade of condescension. Spoiler Alert: Please skip the following two paragraphs if you don’t want to know the plot. Book review: The Wildings The story revolves around the wildings of Nizamuddin, which includes several clans that live by…

  • Travel,  Urban Sketching,  Vietnam,  Watercolors

    Food Trails in Hanoi Old Quarter

    As we hit the streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, it was like entering a magical world. Being Indian, we found the noise and chaos quite familiar and non-threatening. Tiny food vendors on the pavements, the fragrance from each corner, the array of small seats with locals munching on sunflower seeds and sipping never-ending cups of ice tea created an atmosphere quite unique. Some of the roads were packed with backpacker abodes. Millions of things and lives coexist on these tiny lanes, enjoying the coexistence, enjoying the cacophony.   Food is an integral part of Vietnam travel. In Hanoi, like all other Vietnam cities, there are very few billboards.  What catches…

  • Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal,  Vietnam

    See You At Lily’s – Artsy Hostel in Hanoi, Old Quarter

    There is something about places with quirky names. While planning our Vietnam travel, we were looking for cheaper hostels and came across Lily’s. We instantly liked it. The high ratings helped us to go for it too. Since it was our first stop, we had a lot of questions on Hanoi, food, tours, our itinerary in general. We wrote to them and got an instant reply from Snowy, one of the staff at the hostel. She was super helpful and addressed our long queries on WhatsApp. We were reassured that Vietnam is a friendly place and a right choice. See You At Lily’s Hostel When we reached Hanoi, the driver…

  • India,  Karnataka,  Travel,  Urban Sketching

    Urban Sketching: Siddhaih Road, Bangalore

    The Urban Sketchers Bengaluru meet in the first week of August was all about automobile repair shops. We met across  Urvashi Theater. A relic from the single screen theater era, this theater was famous for its great sound system. K. C. Nanjunde Gowda, a film producer and prominent businessman of Karnataka, constructed it during the 1970s. Before multiplexes became popular, this was a hep place where college students would hang-out. We walked along the Siddhaih Road and found a nook where we could gather and sketch. The turnout was very good with some newcomers and a guest from Portugal. We also had a few goats who ambled around quite comfortable being sketched! I…