Category: Travel Writing

Final morn­ing in Varanasi. With sor­row, I bid farewell to my new friends in the guest­house, and to that view from the leg­endary Room Twelve. Soon I take a final walk along the ghats, and dis­ap­pear into the smoke-wreathed city. …

Alla­habad Read More »

Tagged with: , ,

This train feels less hos­pitable than the last, and some­one warns me to watch my bags. There seem a lot more twitch­ing stares than smiles, and I start to see thieves every­where. In fact, there are almost cer­tain­ly noth­ing of …

Varanasi Read More »

Tagged with: , , ,

In Cal­cut­ta, I wake to the news that my teacher and friend Rod­er­ick West has died, tear­ing a hole in my heart. Yet such was the man’s intel­lect and spir­it that he always seemed eter­nal, so it is not so …

From Cal­cut­ta to Bodh Gaya Read More »

Tagged with: , , ,

The promise of a rail jour­ney fills the heart with the true spir­it of trav­el. Fly­ing always feels like cheat­ing. And so it was that full of the trav­el­ling spir­it I depart­ed on a sleep­er train from Hanoi to Lao …

Sa Pa Read More »

Tagged with: , ,

After a late depar­ture fol­low­ing fero­cious storms, I depart for a sky trem­bling with tur­bu­lence in an almost emp­ty Chi­nese plane. The Viet­namese sci­en­tist I befriend­ed in the long wait in Bei­jing keeps me com­pa­ny, and wor­ries as I become …

Hanoi Read More »

Tagged with: , ,

The back­wa­ters of Ker­ala are beau­ti­ful, a deluxe labyrinth of canals — some cool, coconut lined and qui­et, oth­ers as packed and pol­lut­ed as a Bom­bay fly­over. Depend­ing on your ten­den­cy to wor­ry, it is either Venice among the palms, …

The Hug­ging Moth­er of Ker­ala Read More »

Tagged with: , , ,

Indi­ans love to make noise, and at times it feels as though the sub­con­ti­nent is one great ulu­lat­ing street par­ty – shout­ing, toot­ing, bang­ing, and play­ing loud music with an aban­don bor­der­ing on the gay. At times, India is just …

Madu­rai Read More »

Tagged with: , ,

It did­n’t take much con­vinc­ing for me to head straight to Goa to chill out after the shock and awe of Bom­bay, so after the oblig­a­tory sight­see­ing expe­ri­ences of that city, I was off to Anju­na Beach, where gold­en sands …

Goa Read More »

Tagged with: , ,

After the sexy excess­es of Milan, where could I go but up? Lake Como is the shim­mer­ing jew­el of the Ital­ian lakes dis­trict, and the Swiss Alps rise majes­ti­cal­ly on the hori­zon, like Clau­dia Car­di­nale reclin­ing in a blue satin …

Lake Como Read More »

Tagged with: , ,

Strad­dling the north of Italy like a ruby-lipped suc­cubus, Milano is a city of dreams. More specif­i­cal­ly, the dreams of a strange cabal of art­sy mono­ma­ni­acs whose mil­lion­aire mis­sion in life is to dic­tate what you and I should wear, find …

Milan Read More »

Tagged with: , ,