August 23, 2018

August in the Midwest 🏜

I’m quite aware that I am probably one of the 12 people in the world who still use the Swarm (erstwhile Foursquare) app. But this morning it reminded me that it had been a year to the day that I hopped on a plane to begin what was going to be a slightly modified version of the great American road trip that I had always dreamed of. On the anniversary of this amazing trip, I thought it was finally time to chronicle. I was going to be joined by my friend and full-time savior Shuting, and we were going to travel through an expanse of the mid-West, starting from Nevada,…

August 20, 2015

South African Sojourn

For years I have been intrigued by the largest and oldest inhabited continent on the planet, the melting pot of culture and civilization from time immemorial, the home to the wildest and the gentlest – Africa. The only time I have stepped in it was as a teenager, when my parents took me to Egypt, and I distinctly remember being stunned by all what it had to offer, even at that young age. So, when my cousin mentioned he wanted to go someplace interesting for the Eid holidays this year, the idea of southern Africa sprung to mind immediately. Given my recent travels and affinity towards spending hours on message…

July 4, 2015

Paris of the East

They say that the friends you make at school and college are the ones who last a lifetime. I wasn’t so fortunate during school, but met the most wonderful people during my years in Pune and Gurgaon – and I am ever so grateful. When Ankita and I lived and worked together at Edelman, things were not always painless and tranquil, given our limited means, but I think of those days fondly as some of the best years of my life – yet. So, when she mentioned that Aditya and her were planning to see some more of Europe and asked me if I would like to join, I almost…

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…

November 2, 2013

Mughal Grandiose

I had lived in the national capital for almost three years, but had never visited the best known monument which lay only 200 kilometres from Delhi in a historic setting left behind by the illustrious Mughals. This Eid holiday, Milan and I paid a visit to Agra and tick the Taj Mahal off our bucket lists. The decision making process was not so simple, however J When we decided to take a holiday together, we settled on a beach destination because both of us needed to get away. From the monotony, the pressures and the voices. Our first choice was the Maldives and weeks of planning went into it, a…