• 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,…

  • North America,  Travel

    Cades Cove

    The hunting grounds of the Cherokee people once, Cades Cove is an isolated valley of supreme beauty within the Great Smoky Mountains. The Cherokees called it Tsiya’hi. Translated, it means Otter Place, hinting at the fact that otters did abound here before European settlers arrived in the 1800s to dispossess the tribes of their land. They say that Cades Cove was named for the wife of a Cherokee chief, but no one really knows how it came about. The road to the cove was straight out of my dreams. I have a weakness for those that curve through old forests, where the trees tower and look like they have a…

  • Travel

    Snippets From Wears Valley

    The road below the cabin dipped alarmingly. So sudden was this drop that it felt like rolling down a playground slide in tar. This road then led us on a serpentine drive up and down the mountains, past burnt-out trees, skeletal and stripped enough that it was a surprise they were standing at all. Half-built cabins too. A reminder that all it takes is a wildfire for every effort of man to be laid to waste (but here we are, creatures of toil and industry). The green was so very green, the hills with their stubbles of bluish-green startling, the sky thick with batches of clouds who could not make up their mind…

  • Holiday Stay Reviews,  Travel

    A Cliffhanger of a Cabin on Old Smokey (Beloved of a Mamma Bear)

    A band of cicadas serenaded us as we got off our Outback Subaru. Their singing seemed to intensify as we hopped off the car, me casting nervous glances at the cliffs and trees around us, the thought running through my mind that a welcome committee of bears might be awaiting us in the dark. The drive from North Carolina to this chalet in Tennessee, built into the hills of the Great Smoky Mountains, had been one of unimaginable beauty. The sky, riddled with billowing clouds earlier on in the afternoon in Winston-Salem, was suffused now with a crimson glow that continued to intensify till it dissipated in pastel hues. The hills…

  • North America

    Late November Goodness

    The Happy Holidays banner has been strung up across the streets of Bayonne. Mini snowflakes and golden balls, trees wreathed in fairy-lights are making the evenings a little festive on a certain stretch of Broadway where I pop down for my regular fix of coffee. I am suddenly reminded of the sight of Oxford Street, glittering with dozens of sparkly snowflakes dripping like ornaments upon the busy streets of London where people huddled in their long coats and boots would be clacking down the pavements past windows displaying the best of their Christmas booties. Then onwards to a bar, a gourmet pub to grab a few drinks and then a…

  • Travel

    Chasing Clouds

    Billows upon billows upon billows of clouds hung in the morning sky yesterday. We were in a Gainsborough painting. Driving through the Cotswolds and staring at the sky. Of course, I reminded Adi to keep his eyes on the road too or we would be looking down upon the countryside from the clouds. A bit too early for that. To keep his eyes in place was the yellow vista that comes up in April with timeliness. The rapeseed fields that spring up along the roads leading into the Cotswolds. They shall turn uniformly yellow in some time so much so that you cannot spy a speck of green amongst the sheets of…