• 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,  Karnataka,  Travel

    Hampi – Beauty is Truth, and Truth Beauty

                       Memory (Written by Agni Barathi  – Technologist, philosopher, poet, and wanderer.) Who would remember the sighs, the groans the cries, the howls, the laughs, the smiles? Who would remember, the great grand works of he who tilled these fallow lands of he who carved the unyielding rocks of she who sang a song of new spring of she who drew kolams at dawn? Who would remember them whose sighs, groans and cries, and howls, laughs and smiles still echo off these magnificent rocks on which the monkeys climb and play in oblivious abandon. Hampi My first glimpse of Hampi was of a granite…

  • 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…

  • Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal,  Uncategorized,  Vietnam

    Top Things to do in Vietnam

    “Vietnam. It grabs you and doesn’t let you go. Once you love it, you love it forever.” Anthony Bourdain Things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam The French Old Quarters is the heart of Hanoi. It feels straight out of Arabian Nights, with old buildings, temples, pagodas, and markets. Most travelers stay here. It is close by popular destinations, such as the Temple of Literature, Hanoi opera house, National Museum of Vietnamese History, and many temples and pagodas. The best way to see this area is on foot with frequent stops for iced coffee, banh mi1, and bun cha2. 1 The Vietnamese version of a sandwich made with baguette filled with a mix of meats,…

  • 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…