• Nostalgia

    The lost romance of train travel

    “The trains [in a country] contain the essential paraphernalia of the culture: Thai trains have the shower jar with the glazed dragon on its side, Ceylonese ones the car reserved for Buddhist monks, Indian ones a vegetarian kitchen and six classes, Iranian ones prayer mats, Malaysian ones a noodle stall, Vietnamese ones bulletproof glass on the locomotive, and on every carriage of a Russian train there is a samovar. The railway bazaar with its gadgets and passengers represented the society so completely that to board it was to be challenged by the national character. At times it was like a leisurely seminar, but I also felt on some occasions that…

  • Side Pockets,  Tamil Nadu

    RE-BLOG: A Higher Place, A Divine Treat | OPEN Magazine

    Cannot help but re-blog a few scintillating pieces of writing that I read recently. The first one begins with an introduction to the quaint British concept of hill stations and then delves into details of the writer’s experiences in the charming town of Kodaikanal. Rajni George paints a most endearing picture, one filled with fond memories, insights about the places that only somebody who actually grew up there can reveal, and most importantly, wonderful anecdotes about the people who live in Kodaikanal. Read on to find out more.. A Higher Place | OPEN Magazine. The next one is a lip-smacking, culinary journey through the temple towns of Tamil Nadu. V. Shoba guides us through a labyrinthine path across some esoteric and some famous…

  • Side Pockets

    2014 in review

    The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people. Click here to see the complete report.

  • Movies & Books

    A look at films from Bollywood that fly under the radar

    A look at films from Bollywood that fly under the radar     You think Bollywood and you think truckloads of money, mega stars, media hype, outlandish plot lines, lavish shooting locales and mass frenzy; all whipped up into a heady cocktail. Right ? Wrong. Was passed on this list of 50 films that will make you respect Bollywood and I couldn’t agree more. This list is not an all-time list, and consists mostly of contemporary titles. A cursory glance reveals that the earliest one dates back to the early 2000s. Not bad, considering that that makes it an average of 3 to 4 good films every year. A lot…

  • Technology

    Technology for the armchair traveller

    “Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” -Oscar Wilde The above quote rings true for me, every time I think about how much of our present has been dictated not purely by advancements in technology, but also by the dreams of those who could paint the future and make it appear so plausible that their dreams did eventually come true. If we were to go back in time, say just 30 years ago, and show some people, videos on how drastically our current lives…

  • Side Pockets

    It’s raining..it’s raining…

    It’s been raining here since the past 3 days. Another reminder of how good it feels to have a roof above your head when the rains wash down everything. Also a reminder on how a cup of hot tea in such rains – the joy derived from the smallest of things becomes an answer to the bigger worries of life. Refreshing. And a moment to cherish. Even better if you have a good book in your hand or have your favorite music on.

  • Nostalgia,  Side Pockets

    That sweet game called Cricket

    An earlier rant that I had written on the deplorable state of cricket in its 20 over format. Now with allegations of corruption and spot-fixing, it might have been the proverbial last nail, but I still don’t see T20 dying out so soon. The audiences like it, the cricketers make a neat sum – what more is needed. Whatever happened to that sweet little game called Cricket ? What I see now seems nothing more than a trash can of cricketing shots promoted as sports entertainment, masquerading in the name of a great game. It is too early to write off the twenty 20 version of the game in its…