• North America,  Travel

    The River Town of Hope

    An old grist mill caught my eyes. I was standing at the edge of the green truss bridge in Lambertville that spans the gentle Delaware and opens up to a twin town which does not however lie in New Jersey. Cross a line on the bridge and you find out that you have left the state of New Jersey behind; that now, my darling, you have entered the state of Pennsylvania. With just the crossing of a bridge, we were in another town. New Hope of the Lenni Lenape Indians; of a thousand acres of land gifted by King Charles II to a certain William Penn; of a succession of men…

  • North America,  Travel

    The Lambertville Photo Roster

    An idyllic town filled with artists and antiques by the Delaware river, Lambertville carries promises of halcyon days beneath the bowers of trees that line its streets. The photographs you shall see soon have all been culled from Adi, but I do feel rather dissatisfied that I do not have enough to do justice to the air of Victoriana that hangs about the town’s able shoulders. A church spire glinting beneath the harsh glare of the noon sun, paint peeling off the red door on the street, carefully renovated old house fronts with period features still in place, transom windows, quaint lampshades lighting up interiors of cafes housed within aged properties,…

  • North America,  Travel

    Whoop Whoop, These Summer Days of Bobbsey Twins and Vintage Gold Glasses

    I woke up feeling chipper today. Was it because I was in a state of almost intoxicated sleep where I drifted in and out thinking, here I am getting out of bed now, but there I was, still in that beatific place? Or, was it because my husband appeared suddenly to lift me straight out of bed and deposit me in the bath? I could not tell, but the latter is rare commodity nowadays with Adi wading incessantly through a bottomless pit of work (on his part, the impetus would have been decidedly his morning dose of blended cold coffee). Strangely enough, it is also one of those mornings when…

  • Asia,  North America,  Travel

    The Sublime Winds of May

    The winds are in a hurry to get somewhere today. Their whooshing sounds permeate the insulation of these glass windows and there is this suggestion that they are feeling rather spunky. That’s all there is to it. Just the suggestion. No nannies and tots floating around. But there is this romantic feeling that sets in upon the senses when the wind whistles outside and the skies are smothered with clouds. Now, the last time I last wrote here, I was in Calcutta, on a spontaneous visit to my parents. My father had just had an angioplasty then and I thought it was imperative to have a look in on them,…

  • europe,  Travel

    Paris: The Last Edition

    As I sit in the American Airlines Flagship Lounge, bound for Calcutta, with my mug of cappuccino and book (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), I thought of my last update on Adi and mine few days in Paris. This seems a time as good as any to finally send this post going. Paris seems a world away even though it was just a few months ago. Another year seems to have brought a new home our way. We just finished moving apartments in the same building. Our bodies are sore, but our souls are satisfied. It comes with the territory I suppose. Where would the pleasure be…

  • europe,  Travel

    Upstairs, Downstairs in Paris

    Sheets of rain came pouring down the morning we stood in a queue to enter the network of tunnels, better known as the Catacombs, deep beneath the enchanted city of Paris. Down there, the enchantment wears off a smidge. There has to be balance after all, or you would be in danger of becoming inured to the beauty of that old city. The queue for the Catacombs was long and our patience short, e’en though we were armed with a sturdy umbrella from the boutique hotel we had just shifted into, from The Grand Hotel. I have always been curious about them, ossuaries. There are 40 such houses of bones scattered…

  • europe,  Travel

    The Hilltop Neighbourhood of Paris

    In Paris, I was part of Bresson’s world. Only here, I was the one behind the camera, a silent witness to the flow of people on the streets, making way for the natural synthesis of scenes to happen to the camera. Each corner I turned around, there was a frame lying in wait. On the streets of Paris, as you know, the frames are numerous. You are hard-pressed to let go of any. Such as on the noon before we walked to Montmartre – when we sat in a tiny, packed café to a meal of succulent roast chicken, fries and red wine. At the café’s counter, a man sat perched…

  • europe,  Travel

    Love, Loaf and Hugo

    If you asked a Parisian, what love is, he would thwack you with the golden loaf in his hand, and say, ‘Why, it is this, you numskull?!’ Here you would roll your eyes, and say, ‘Oh com’on, the baguette is such an overworked stereotype!’ Yet every time we stepped out on the streets of the city, there it was. A slender baton of crusty goodness staring back at us, tucked within the elbow of the old man in the long overcoat and beret, or sticking out of the tote of the young woman as she walked ahead of us. We even saw an old lady nibbling at the end of…

  • europe,  Holiday Stay Reviews,  Travel

    Mr. Basu’s at Le Grand Hotel, Paris

    The city was shrouded in mist that afternoon we landed in Paris. The cold was not blistering, but you know what happens after a 10-hour flight. Bleary-eyed and shivery, you are properly keyed up for a deep sleep. That’s all. All those plans of showering and taking the city by storm? A big, fat zero. The flight from JFK had taken us into Frankfurt for a three-hour layover. We discovered a private sleeping pod, but at the tail end of our wait. The irony of it: shattering. There you were desperate for some shut-eye and (huzzah!) you located a comfortable bed in the privacy of a cabin. Ding! went the…

  • Asia,  Travel

    Delhi to Calcutta

    It is bright outside. The sun has the personality of summer, its glare reflected off the veneer of ice that coats the road. I can see great slabs of ice on the Hudson beyond, but I am tempted to step out for a few minutes even though it feels like -20°C outside. My great temptation is the resident Great Bernese of our building who is swaying her beautiful, big body through the park. Plus I have not met her yet in person and that seems a shame. How different it seems to my time in India. For I felt a curious tug to Calcutta this time. Curious because here I…