Welcome to this travel blog which is inspired by the wandering clouds effortlessly gliding through distant lands. Sometimes almost still as if watching the beauty of the earth below and at times rushing to some place far away – as if on an endless travel mission. This is where I share my observations, experiences and thoughts gathered during my travels

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mystical Himalayas

I have just returned from Kathmandu a couple of days ago and am still remembering the grand view of the mystical and magnificent Himalayas. As soon as the aircraft took off from Kathmandu, I changed my seat and got myself an empty window seat in the front row so that I could capture the view from the aircraft. The window pane was a bit dirty on the outside, but here is what I was able to click from the top. Needless to say that I was completely spell bound. I remembered the time when I had gone on a spiritual retreat to the Himalayas in my early twenties, when I was told by a nun to join their fold. Had I gone with the suggestion, I might have ended up being an enlightened soul by now and would have been staying in one of the monasteries in the Himalayas. Life indeed takes you in strange directions and the sight of the mighty Himalayas was absolutely humbling.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Nostalgic Food Trip

One Sunday evening, making my way through the thick crowd near Dadar railway station in Mumbai, I realized that I was almost racing towards the place I had been longing to visit for almost one year. Mumbai visits are incomplete without this ritual. I took the Chhabildas School lane, passed by the Ideal Book Depot, found the familiar crowd around the small roadside stall on the right and then with a deep breath took in the familiar aroma of hot Batata Vadas.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nongpoh Market

Nongpoh is a small village on NH 40 situated in Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya. While driving to Shillong from Guwahati, my colleague and I decided to stop at the weekly vegetable market at Nongpoh to buy some fruits that could be our breakfast. It was around 7.30 am and the local traders had already started coming in with their fresh produce. Most of them were carrying fruits and vegetables in tall conical bamboo baskets. Small vans were helping traders carry their wares from long distances. As we reached, some vendors had already set up their stalls while others were finding space.  I spent the first few minutes trying to identify the different local varieties of fruits and vegetables that were being sold. There were huge bunches of leafy vegetables, long and weird shaped roots, and big melons that I had never seen before. Some stalls were selling meat and there were others selling grain and spices. I was actually very tempted to buy some local stuff and try it after returning to Bangalore; but that would have been too much of an ordeal.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Devouring the jam

“Send me a truck” is what I should have said to the travel agent in Guwahati when he asked me what kind of vehicle I’d like to take to Shillong. Because the Tata Indica that I opted for (a non-AC one since I thought it would be an insult to the wonderful weather to keep window panes rolled up and an air-conditioner on) looked like a toy car amidst hundreds of trucks that dominated the National Highway 40 which connects Guwahati to Shillong. When I asked people around how much time it would take us to reach Shillong by road from Guwahati, not one person could give us a specific answer. All of them very obliquely told us ‘it depends, can’t say anything about the traffic’. I understood what this meant only when I experienced it first-hand and I can say without any hesitation that the Guwahati-Shillong traffic jams are of a different league altogether. They cannot be compared with city jams that one negotiates and curses everyday - where blaring horns, one-upmanship, indifference to traffic rules and ill-managed traffic lights create total chaos. Because the traffic jams on this NH 40 are as laid back as the daily life and there is often no urgency to literally find a way out. As I observed, it also offers a source of entertainment to those living around and I found groups of people in several places simply sitting around, analyzing and getting amused by the impossible jams.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Break ke baad...

A friend points out that it has been exactly two months since my last post. I am back after my longest break since I started blogging, and I don’t know where to begin. I already had a backlog of over 50 places to write about before I went ‘off-blog’ and this period in between (when I have been living out of my suitcase) has provided many more memories to re-live and stories to recount. There were times during my travels when I was so excited about what I had seen or done that I almost wrote my blog posts in my mind and saved it there. But there were also times when my mind was so pre-occupied that it failed to observe and enjoy. This made me realize that there must be a saturation point even for travelers.