• Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal,  Vietnam

    Awesome Two-Week Itinerary for Vietnam

    I have always wanted to visit South East Asia, and when we finally planned a 2-week trip this year my husband immediately said: “Let’s do Vietnam.” Anthony Bourdain’s enticing depiction of Vietnamese cuisine drew him to the country. For me, it was a book, called Saigon which had been on our bookshelves since I could read. When I grew up, and finally read the book, it took me to a place both familiar and exotic. The maps were pulled up on our laptops and we started planning our journey. Vietnam is a thin narrow strip of land, like Kerala – so it made sense to do a cross-country trip. We chose…

  • Comics

    Scallywags Summer

          _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Inspirations This short comic/illustrated story is inspired by my memories of reading Russian Fairy Tales as a child. The book Mridu picks up is The Lost Girl and the Scallywags by Galina Demykina. What I remember the most are the beautiful names and the dark enchantment of these books. Have you had similar experiences? It is also a part of my illustrations for introverts. Mridu is a shy and quiet girl like I was. And she likes to do things by herself. And, her very first friends are books – something most introverts would agree to. Let me know your thoughts.  This post is a part of Write Over…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Orissa,  Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal

    The INTACH Warrior of Orissa: Anil Dhir

    ‘Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.’ – Ibn Battuta Orissa is often in the news for all the wrong reasons – a cyclone, famine, political issues. Living outside Orissa for many years, I have often found friends and colleagues clueless about the cultural and historical significance of this ancient land. So, this year I was planning to travel to Bhubaneswar for a longer duration and was keen to explore its cultural footprint. I wanted something beyond the touristy articles listing Khandagiri, Udaygiri, Puri, and Konark. I asked friends, family, and searched online for authentic travel books on Orissa.  This search led me to Mr. Anil Dhir; a…

  • Events,  North India,  Orissa

    Glimpses of Odisha Through Craft Conversations

    A Different Kind of Raja & Eid Celebration Bhubaneswar is still waiting for a respite from the grueling heat. Monsoon has still not hit the city, this year. And the Raja festival fell during a hot and humid week. However, excited townsfolk beat the heat celebrating at restaurants, fairs, Ekamra Haat, and other event venues. three-day festival where young women take a break from household work to play games and enjoy some time off. A slightly different kind of celebration, coinciding with Raja and Eid, was the two days long Craft Conversation held on 16th and 17th June at Kala Bhumi – Odisha Crafts Museum. It introduced the city to…

  • Urban Sketching

    Urban Sketching – Karnataka High Court – Art is in Session

    Last night’s rainfall washed all the trees and buildings in and around Cubbon Park. The heart of my city was in vivid mode. We met at the Karnataka High Court for our weekend Bangalore Urban Sketching. The two-storeyed, red building with white highlights stood out amongst the greenery all around. This building was constructed in 1869 for the Mysore High Court. It housed the eighteen public offices of Mysore Government, earning it the name of Attara Katcheri.