• europe,  Travel

    The Epicurean Pleasures of Lucca

    In the town of Lucca, a Tuscan secret of sorts, we cooked with a chef in his palazzo (as I already waffled on in my earlier post). It was an intimate gathering of eight. Each one of us different personalities. Strung together by a common thread of curiosity, and if I may add cheekily, a passion for Prosecco. The point of this informal conclave was to figure out the theorem of Italian cooking. How do simple ingredients come together and produce an intense play of flavours? Wherein every morsel creates mini explosions in the taste buds, makes you close your eyes, smack your lips in appreciation, and reach out for more.…

  • europe,  Travel

    To the New Season and the Past

    Autumn has stolen in this year even before we could feel the sting of summer here on the East Coast. Sure the heat was blistering for a couple of weeks, but then it rained like the heavens were brimming, and could not, would not indeed, hold it in. The skies would darken and thicken with mushrooming clouds and there was pure drama in the build-up. When it pelted down, it was even more joyous, except if you were caught outside in the perishing rain. The year has sped by in a string of house guests. Mid-August we travelled for 16 days straight, when we felt the sting of summer in Italy and…

  • North America,  Travel

    On the Trail of Bonny River Towns

    Summer has come in with a show of jazz hands. The days are hot, and the nights so lovely and soft, filled with breezes of pure delight and fireflies that twinkle and dim like their very lives depend upon it. The gentle warmth in the air has as if unlocked the ridiculously sweet fragrance of the Sweetgum trees in the park. Every night as I walk through the maze of tall trees, a strong scent cocoons the senses in the quiet of the night. A skunk skulks around in the dark and I look warily at its quivering fan of a tail. Would not do to spoil the peace of…

  • North America,  Travel

    Montauk

    Long Island lives up to its name. The peninsula that juts from New York City and takes off for the Atlantic Ocean is freakishly long and narrow, something that leaps at you when you decide to drive to ‘The End’ that is Montauk, at the easternmost tip of the island. The drive appears to spans several eras and that is not a piffling matter if you happen to take a few detours. Such as a Costco with a fuel station in the Long Island town of Amityville. And since your ears perked up at the sound of Amityville, like a dog at the patter of his human’s feet outside the…

  • 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…