February 24, 2015

A Ceylon Odyssey

I’m usually known to procrastinate specific things in life like exercise, collecting on finances and making phone calls among others, but I feel most guilty when I delay writing travelogues. From personal experience, I feel that the memories and trivia are most fresh within the week of returning from a trip, making it the opportune moment to pen it down for memory’s sake. It has been over two months to my trip to the island nation of Ceylon, and I’ve only got down to penning it down today. Milan and I had been planning to travel together for almost over a year. The Calcutta monotony was getting to her and…

December 19, 2014

Polska!

When I first told people around me that I was going to Poland for the Eid holidays, there was more than one raised eyebrow. To start with, it made me a little sceptical, but my mind was made up, to visit. The country wears its charms lightly – so much that it doesn’t draw the attention of the average Euro-tripper. But step in, venture into its heart and you’ll find medieval cities, fairy-tale castles and untouched wilderness, served with an invigorating shot of vodka. We drove over the Polish border from Prague, headed to Kraków, the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. We had hired a…

November 13, 2014

Never Again.

“So, let us be alert in a twofold sense: Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.” ― Viktor E. Frankl Wars are never good. But there are worse things, and until the year 1940 – probably nobody knew of them. Even as we march proudly through the 21st century, making ungodly advancements almost every single day, some parts of this discomfiting past are being left behind. In school, we were taught about the World Wars, but I have no recollection of discussing the Holocaust. Most of my education was at home, through my father – who has passionately read…

November 6, 2014

A Bohemian Rhapsody

Since I moved to Muscat two years ago and found a lot more time (i.e. earned leave) and funds to my disposal, it was a part of the agenda to ensure that I take an annual trip with the folk to places we have always talked about. Jet. Set. Go! We got our Schengen visas a day before we were to travel – so yeah, a couple of very tense weeks.. In 2013, we covered a lot of Western Europe in a rather rushed manner and this time around, I wanted to do it differently. Also because the agenda here was different; the trip was woven around my father’s wish…

August 1, 2014

Hrvatska!

A couple of months ago, on weekend family movie night, the parents and I were watching this Satyajit Ray classic – ‘Agantuk’. Translated into English, it means ‘The Stranger’ and is about a family dealing with the sudden visit of a long lost uncle. In the film, this uncle, having travelled the world, educates us about wanderlust (Did you know that this term is an English loanword which was already extant in the German language – pronounced wander-loost). It’s a rush like no other. A bug that bit me early in my twenties, inspired by the company I kept and their love for just packing bags and stepping out. And I…

June 17, 2014

Terima Kasih, Bali

I hardly ever procrastinate when it comes to travelogues, but I guess this maddening summer and the backlog of television series have collectively contributed to the laziness. This year’s first step out was owed to a work trip to a part of the world that I haven’t been to since I was in my teens. The Indonesian archipelago has 18,307 islands and I was going to visit one of the most popular ones – Bali. Known as the child star of Indonesia who rose to a life of stardom and has been on the lips of every traveller dreaming of a tropical getaway – Bali is lush, culturally unique and…

April 24, 2014

Mobility

Some things come easily to people, others you have to fight for.  Fight. Fall. Cry. Get up and dust off the dirt. Fight again.  My battle was what is seemingly trivial to most people around the globe – mobility.  For as long as I can remember, I have hated to ask people to take me to places, absolutely despised not being able to do things because I needed to depend on others. And throughout those years, I have fought, but it wasn’t simple. When I spent almost a year attempting to get a driving license in Oman, I wasn’t surprised that this too had hurdles. I complained to friends who…

February 9, 2014

Calcutta, always.

The last time I saw my grandmother was a year and a half ago. I’ve been feeling the guilt for a while now. My baby nieces are growing by the day.  Mamata Banerjee has changed almost all the names of the metro stations to utter ridiculousness.  Winters are also the season for rasgullas made of jaggery.  The closest cousin is going through awful times and I feel terrible for not being able to be there for her.  So when I heard that a college mate was getting married in the home city, there was no way I was going to let it pass.  It was just over a week, and…

December 29, 2013

2013 | Resolution Rehash

This year was mostly a blur.  I know I say it almost every year, but this one was truly exceptional. Day after day, months ran past me – and it is already time to re-look at the goals-of-the-year and check things off the list (hopefully) and put down the highlights of the year! 2013 was satisfying. It had it lows, but the highs outweighed them in all regards. I set myself thirteen goals for the year and I don’t think I did too badly.  Language. The attempt to better my dismal Arabic skills. Not much progress on this front, the lack of mobility disallowed classes, but my colloquial spoken is much…