• Nostalgia

    Dedicated to that special place.

    I got down from the noisy, diesel-powered auto-rickshaw and asked what the fare was. “350”. I don’t know why I paid him that much, normally the fare would not be greater than 220. Maybe it was to do with the fact that I remembered this same guy driving me to the doctor once – you see, too much partying can have an effect opposite to that of the proverbial apple’s, then driving me to the medical store parking precisely in front so that my teetering self wouldn’t have to walk too much and then drove me back to my hostel. Or maybe, he had just taken advantage of the short bursts…

  • Best of the Travel Bag Tales,  Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    A Tibetan settlement in Coorg

    What sort of an idiot plans a solo trip when all his batch mates are either going home for the term break or are compelled to spend the last term break with their close (really close) ones  ? Me. Where is the joy in that, you ask ? Well, you get to take a solo ride in a rickshaw at 0800 on a very chilly morning with a rickshaw driver named Munju, who, dressed in a jacket and monkey cap, takes one look at you because you are dressed just in a t-shirt and shorts and asks you very sincerely, “Sir, aren’t you feeling cold in that ?”, but proceeds…

  • Nostalgia

    Of trivial pursuits in childhood..

    One of my earliest exposure to acts of wanton violence was a game called ‘Ops-Bats’ that was popular among most kids in my town. The pernicious little game was played out something like this: every time you sat down, you had to shout ‘Bats’ to the person you were playing it with. Otherwise, he was entitled to punch you in the back with all the strength his closed fist could muster. And again, if you had a moment of epiphany and decided to stand up like a mushroom in the monsoons, you were obliged to shout ‘Ops’, failing which, Zeus would take his thunderbolt, use various scientific formulae to wield…

  • Kerala

    On to Varkala

    That night after the movie, we hurriedly got onto a Kerala state transport bus that goes to Trivandrum, hoping to reach Varkala by morning. “3 tickets to Varkala please” was met with an expression of uncertainty..this time, the conductor consulted other passengers (yes, not the other way round) to find out which would be the closest stop to Varkala. That  turned out to be a place called Kollam. So the whole night was spent travelling to Kollam on the ultimate when it comes to luxury transport – a Kerala state transport bus. In the morning, 2 buses and an auto rickshaw later, we found ourselves at Varkala, a beach that ranks right up there…

  • Kerala

    The backwaters of Alleppey

    I woke up the next morning to discover that the bathroom had a hot water faucet, manna dey from heaven for people like me, who are used to Siberian winters on the hill top in our campus (not really, but it had been ages since I had a bath with hot water). After the bath, I decided to adjust the settings on my DSLR so that it could be trusted to deliver when asked to perform. To my unmitigated horror filled with shrieks right out of a Ramsay brothers’ movie, I discovered that I had forgotten the batteries at campus. Since Don and Bhai were not exactly world class photographers…

  • India,  Kerala,  Travel Bag

    Adventure in Alleppey – Prologue

    Start of a long weekend, and I awoke to a lazy morning at around 1100, only to be caught up in a discussion about which place to travel to with Vishal (aka Don) and Vinay (aka Bhai, the species normally found in Dubai). Don wanted to go watch a snake boat race happening in Payipad which, according to my theory of non-Euclidian geometry, is about 1104 stones thrown away from Kozhikode. Google maps puts it at around 276 km from Kozhikode.  From there, we would go to Munnar, which every tourist in Kerala worth their body salt has to go to, it is the holy grail of hill stations. The plan…

  • Movies & Books,  Nostalgia

    Films,Music,Nostalgia

    Was having food in the mess today, Dabangg happened to be playing on a channel and all of a sudden, I realized, is it not common for us to create associations between films and their music with particular periods of our lives and later, on coming across them, be transported back in time ? Let me elucidate a bit.. Songs of DDLJ (vile comments and KJo jokes apart), remind me of my primary school days. The film had been a unanimous hit across India and the globe, its songs were all chartbusters and I have fond memories discussing scenes in the film (Anupam Kher and SRK’s ‘o pochi..o koka..o bobi..o lola’)…

  • Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    Trip to Gokarna – Last Day

    We woke up to another breakfast of toast and omelets, downed with a tall glass of chai. Ankit wanted to go to a temple in Gokarna, and after bidding adieu to Om beach, we took a rickshaw which got us to Gokarna town (pretty far from Om beach – be prepared to spend around 140 bucks) in around half an hour. The town is famous for its temples and has quite a few temples which you can visit. Outside the temple are small shops from which religious souvenirs can be bought at cheap rates. Also, two chariots can be seen which lead a procession during the Shivratri festival, a time…

  • Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    Trip to Gokarna – Day 2

    Gokarna consists of 4-5 beaches and we had planned to explore Om, Half-moon and Paradise beach on the second day. I woke up at about 8 to the sounds of the sea, washed and got ready. The others came around slowly too. After a leisurely breakfast of eggs and toast, it was time to bid Kudle beach goodbye. Om and Kudle beaches are separated by a hill and it is a 20-30 minute trek. It would be good to make this trek early, as it can get quite hot on the hill in the afternoon. Somewhere on top of it, is hidden a gem of a spot that offers a …

  • Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    Trip to Gokarna – Day 1

    A long weekend at the start of the third term, here at IIM Kozhikode, saw me set off with 3 friends for a trip to the beach side town of Gokarna in North Karnataka, India. Tickets were booked by Ankit for a train that departed from Kozhikode at 0220 (odd time, you say ?) on Friday – on the Ernakulam LTT Express. Once we found our births, it was time to hit the snooze button, but for some damn reason, I found (find, rather) it pretty difficult to doze off on a train. The railway line snakes its way through some very picturesque places on the western coast of India…