The room was mostly dark, except for one little light shining directly above the couch where we sat with our bags. At the other end of the room, a staff leaned over the reception desk trying his best to look awake and waited patiently. I felt a pang of guilt at that, somewhere probably in a deep untouched corner of my heart. But apart from that, I mostly felt worried and frustrated. Time was ticking away, quite literally and louder than usual, and the car was running late.
This was a day of travel for us. A long undesirable journey. The main island of Andaman stretched for a little over 300 km and we were going to travel the whole distance in a day. Months ago while planning, this didn’t seem much. I had travelled more than that in a day and with quite an ease. But only when we started to research on rental cars few weeks before the trip, did we realize how much time that meant in the island. With couple of boat rides across rivers, driving in a convoy through a reserve forest area and long patches of extremely poor and narrow roads, it was expected to take us around 15 hours. Lucky for us though, they were all ready to start early. Way too early.complete article
My heart sank as I looked out of the flight window towards the land that we were descending at slowly. It was a gloomy day with a shade of grey across every other colour. The morning sky was full of darkened clouds and the ocean below reflected the same dull mood. Where was the deep blue sea and the bright green lands bordered with white sand? Where was the sunny day that inspired tinted glasses and airy summer dress? Where was the magical land that I had been looking forward to for so long? Four months of anticipation, rigorous planning and this is where we ended! Talk about bad luck!complete article
Kanha – even the name sounds so sweet in my ears. Before I ever visited Kanha, I always pictured it as the forest from The Jungle Book. So basically green landscapes, vast meadows, some scattered hills and shallow rivers. It’s something that is beautiful because of its simplicity. And when I finally arrived there I wasn’t disappointed. Kanha turned out to be more beautiful than I could imagine. It’s hard to describe Kanha because the forest changes with every season. During monsoon the greenery increases and thick green grasses covers the whole land, by winter the grasses turn golden brown and the trees start to blossom with colourful flowers, in the summer you see a dry forest with leaves shed from the trees and bare naked ground and by end of summer new leaves in shade of pink and red start to grow bringing a different colour to the forest. Except for the hardest part of summer, Kanha is always a pleasure to witness.complete article
The sun was bright in the sky and the rippling water reflected it beautifully. The old cottage stood behind me giving a bit of shade from the scorching day. The grass felt soft under my palms as my hands rested on the ground, and I looked out in the distance across the lake. On the other side the hill loomed with thick forest all over it. On top where it was a little less dense, I could spot a few animals standing and chewing on grass. I could barely make out their shapes from that distance. But I knew that they were bison, I had seen them through binocular earlier. A little diagonally from me, a patch of grassland cleared off of any trees sat next to the lake. A group of deer and wild boar roamed that land mingled into each other with a mix of harmony and indifference. There was also a lonely stork sitting at a little distance from the group. I couldn’t tell if it could fly, because it had barely moved from that spot in past one hour. But then again, so had I.complete article
So here we go again – 2019! Another year has come. Another 365 days, another set of same old festivals, one more cycle of going through the motion of life. Usually it’s a joyous time, for me, for everybody. A new year means new promises, hope for endless possibilities. And even though these hopes are broken more often than not, it’s only humane to resurrect them every year and let our heart fantasize for the best and the most exciting. And why not! What’s the point of life without hope!
But this year’s a bit different for me. It’s been hard to say goodbye to 2018. The year had been kind to me. It was year full of changes, excitements and exploration of so many unseen before. I think the best times are the ones that are fastest when it’s present and yet lingers on the longest afterwards. And I had plenty of those this year.complete article
Not all plans are meant to work out. Not all trips turn out the way you wished. Sometimes things work out for better and sometime it leads to some unknown disaster. But most of the time when your plans fail, you are left with disappointment, delight and confusion all at the same time. That is the summary of my seemingly well-planned Bhitarkanika trip. And here’s the full story…complete article
Once upon a time Shimla-Manali were the go to destinations for all hill lovers. It offered serenity of mountain, small town charm, wonderful weather and lot of souvenirs to take home. Today there are too many places we know of, some are more commercialized and some are so secluded that reaching there itself is a task. But if I have to pick a place that has replaced Shimla/Manali of olden times that would be Dharmshala/Mcleodganj. I don’t know many people who has been to Himalaya in recent times and hasn’t been to Dharamshala ever. And so for me it was more of a tick box item to go there and see what the fuss is.
I planned my trip in March, when it was still cold enough to chill and not too cold either, and decided to stay at McleodGanj, which is also referred to as upper Dharamshala. I reached McleodGanj on a Tuesday noon and settled there for next few days exploring nearby attractions and devouring food. If you love hills for its raw beauty, Mcleodganj might not be your choice of destination. The place is very touristy with its sightseeing list, souvenir shops and fancy restaurants. And it probably represent a Tibetan town more than a hill station. During my stay I tried doing the regular sightseeing as per my lazy mind would permit, which means I missed out a few… maybe I missed out more than a few. But I definitely tried a lot of restaurants and found many great options. I will talk about both in this blog.complete article