• North America,  Travel

    Oh But This Summer of Fiery Sunsets and Fireflies

    Every evening as the sun sets in a riot of colours upon the mighty Hudson, and I saunter along the river, I find myself revelling in the wonder of nature. Adi comes with once in a while. Together we spot so many pinpricks of yellow and orange in the twilight hour. The park is swarming with fireflies and it is difficult not to feel as gleeful as a child. The chubby squirrels of winter have procreated in the last few months it seems. Their tiny summer offsprings have the run of the park, their thin tailed bodies priming up for the harsher months with nature’s nutty offerings. Meanwhile I have…

  • North America,  Travel

    The Strange Appeal of Disused Railroads

    What is it that draws us to old places that have been abandoned? It could be about the vastly different era they have been a part of, the stories they quietly harbour, or just plain old nostalgia for the past. Nostalgia is after all a sort of release into a utopian world for most of us. I suppose one cannot lay a finger upon the nub of the matter but I can tell you with conviction that railroads are lonely, lonely places. On this particular afternoon after a gander through the town of Phoenicia, and before we set out on the trail of covered bridges, we stopped at a tiny…

  • North America,  Travel

    Phoenicia in the Catskills

    The day we drove into the Catskills, the freshness of the foliage was a balm to the senses. It is the kind of lushness that you see as summer sets in, a vibrant shade of green that makes you hum with barely contained joy, when the sun might beat down upon you with all its strength, but humidity is still at bay, so you slap on some sunscreen and shades, and gaze upon the world with benevolence. A world that is ripe with possibilities because you are off to explore parts of it that you have not seen before. And you know the kind of thrill I am talking about,…

  • North America

    A Place Under the Sun for Everyone

    Would it not be utopia realised if we accepted each other just a little more? For the most part, scouring the newspapers every day has become an act of trampling through a swamp of wretchedness. But yesterday, June 24, there was hope on the roads of NYC. At some point in the afternoon, which was slowly turning oppressive with the forecast of a thunderstorm later on, we found ourselves in the middle of the LGBT parade in the city. We had stepped out for a bite at Wagamama. There were cops everywhere. Barricades transformed the avenues. People pranced down them, instead of cars. The mood was carnivalesque, an explosion of colour…

  • North America,  Travel

    The Bridges of Delaware County

    In Upstate New York, there is a town called Delhi. This we did not know about and this I can tell you with not enough emphasis that a Delhi we did not expect in the middle of Delaware County. But it is in the unfolding nature of a drive in the countryside that it shall throw your way places that are unforgettable, sometimes by virtue of their outlandish names. There is the congested city of Delhi in India with countless pockets of heritage left behind by the Rajputs, the Tughluks, the Mughals and the British, tucked in within its urban sprawl, and then there is this, its little doppelgänger in…

  • North America,  Travel

    Heavenly Bodies of The Met

    We finally ended up at The Met. It had been on my mind for some time and it being a bank holiday when the sky was swollen for the most part with clouds, Adi gave in. And will you get this, for not one, but two consecutive days. That is the power of love (or, a rainy weekend). A fine museum can be a salve to the soul that seeks more. Up the classic steps of The Metropolitan Museum and we were inside its august portals and soon the senses were buzzing with the wealth of art inside the maze of chambers. We were swept up by burial masks and…

  • Travel

    Of a Life Lived in the Limelight and its Loss

    I am hardly ever starstruck. I would have been as a child, but as I grew up and my career path veered into journalism, meeting actors, sportstars and politicians, interviewing them on a regular basis, I lost that thing about looking up to anybody. Do you know what I mean? You see the people behind the personalities. Well, sort of. You see through one’s carefully cultivated veneer at any rate. But there are a few exceptions and one of them has been lost to us today. Who knows if Anthony Bourdain was a tortured soul. The man was certainly an urban poet. I have never had the fortune of meeting…

  • North America,  Travel

    In Downtown Seattle

    Every time you see a feature on this city named after Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe, it is led with a shot of the famous Pike Place. It is as obligatory as say ladyfingers laced with coffee are to the noble tiramisu. So just to be obtuse, I decided on this giant man with his slow-mo release of a hammer, as mine. Perverse pleasures. But let me not get ambitious here, for Pike Place is the throbbing heart of Seattle. Did I just contradict myself? I often do. And I end up quoting Mr. Whitman: ‘Very well then I contradict myself; (I am large, I contain multitudes)’. The old public…

  • North America,  Travel

    Fowls and Antiques of Bothell’s Country Village

    The royal wedding’s done and dusted off, everybody’s had their fill of dissecting the fashion of the new duchess and her guests, and life is back again to the realm of the normal. After a weekend of harried baking and then socialising in the cosy piano bars of New York City, I am back to picking up the thread where I had left off. Seattle and around. Now there’s a medley of antique and home decor stores in the city of Bothell, about 22 miles and a half-an-hour drive from Seattle. The good thing about living with a local like your sister-in-law is that she will take you to places…

  • North America,  Travel

    Of Dandelions, But Mostly Tulips

    Just a few days ago, the greens were dotted with so many tiny yellow wildflowers, you know the ones that stick close to the ground and look relentlessly cheerful. Dandelions. Today as I ran by the Hudson on this decidedly cool Sunday, millions of minute grey ripples dissolving into the stones of the breakwater, I noted that the dandelions have transitioned into balls of white puff. So now there are carpets of white blooms waiting to be blown away by the wind. The joys of the season are unlimited, aren’t they? Just a few weeks ago, I was staring at rows of tulips which seemed to nod under the bright…