We decided to go live outside Almora for a week last diwali. Childhood stories had primed me to expect long walks along forested hills. Even though I knew that things would have changed since, the reality was like being hit on the nose by a fish. Almora sprawls across a horse-shoe shaped mountain wall: all… Continue reading Urban sprawl
Hyderabad is large and chaotic, so I can’t usually get to see anything of interest to a traveller when I go there for work. This time round, before leaving I looked at the map carefully and found a place which I could go to if I had a couple of hours to myself. This was… Continue reading Moula Ali Gutta
Somewhere between Gwalior and the Chambal River, off National Highway 3, in the middle of nowhere, is the serene temple of Mitawali. Why do I say in the middle of nowhere? Because even 10 kilometers away, villagers give you blank looks when you ask about this place. We learnt to ask for Morena and Thekari,… Continue reading Mysterious Mitawali
While in Ahmedabad on work, I find a gap of two hours between meetings. This is just long enough to make a quick trip to the closest step well. It is just past the middle of March, but the daytime temperature in Ahmedabad is already in the upper thirties. The sun is bright enough to… Continue reading The step well of Adalaj
“I’m coming as the president of a friend, and I’m coming as a sportsman.” –George W. Bush, on his trip to the Olympics in China, Washington, D.C., July 30, 2008 A few minutes with Google translate convinced me that I could speak Pǔtōnghuà (Mandarin), but others might not understand it. The world needs more than… Continue reading Reading or writing?
Lonavala is not “real nature”. It is bungalows with gardens, but that is enough of a change from Mumbai that you might want to dash there now and then during busy times. Locked up old bungalows with imposing gates and no fences were common some years back. They are slowly giving way to weekend fortresses… Continue reading A quick weekend dash
Email to one of my hosts: The hotels you suggest seem very nice. My wife will be with me for two weeks or so and during this time it would be nice if we had access to a little kitchen. If it not possible, then we will, of course, be very happy to choose one… Continue reading Isn’t China like India?
As part of my education on China I’m trying to read something other than history and travel books. There is a lot of modern literature, and there are movies. And there is also interesting journalism. Several years back I’d read a book Pallavi Aiyar about her time as China bureau chief for the Chennai newspaper… Continue reading A cat that catches the mouse
I spent the end of last year in Goa and returned home on the eve of the new year. Unlike my previous trips, I stayed entirely to the south of the Zuari. When most people visit Goa at the end of the year, they want to be shuffling in the madness of Sunburn or crowding… Continue reading Goa after christmas
Eventually it always comes down to this: you decide without sufficient knowledge. The Family and I have six days in China before my meetings start. What should we see? Since my work is in Beijing, we will have many days and weekends to explore the region around the capital, so we can leave it out… Continue reading Deciding without knowing