• India,  Karnataka,  Travel

    Christmas Eve at Wonderful Western Hills, Sakleshpur

    In our last holiday trip of 2018, we were returning after a wonderful weekend stay at Attihalli, Sakleshpur. Our hearts still yearned for some more time in the hills. My husband happened to notice a rickety signboard, Western Hills, beside a dusty path that disappeared into the hills. It looked interesting, so we followed our instinct. It was 24th December. I didn’t expect to find rooms for six people. However, Hemanth, who manages the place offered us a spacious dorm-type of a room overlooking the coffee plantation. We got the room for 3000 rupees for six people, which fit our Christmas budget quite well. The small property makes for a…

  • 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

    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…