• Notes

    Guess who’s in Travel and Leisure India and South Asia’s November 2018 issue!

    So this is the second time I’ve been published in a leading travel publication this year – Travel and Leisure India and South Asia! Although as a journalist I’ve had a few bylines in the past, I feel positively excited because this one is about something I really LOVE – you guessed it – travel! The article is about Dragør, the sweetest little fishing village on the coast of Denmark, just a few miles from Copenhagen. This Enid Blyton-ish village emanates Hyggelige vibes. The link should be out soon but for now here’s a peak of the three-page feature in the magazine! Look Ma I made it in this month’s…

  • Asia,  India,  Travel

    In Vasco da Gama’s footsteps – St. Mary’s Islands

    It was a dark stormy night on the high seas in A.D. 1498. The waves were strong, splashing hard against the sides of the ship, sending its inhabitants into a frenzy. To make things worse, torrential rains poured down upon them. Months and months had past sailing on the oceans and now these mariners desperately needed to find land. Hours later, the waves calmed down, the clouds cleared and it was dawn. The sun was at the horizon now, the sky a medley of dreamy colours. And then a scream from the heavens pierced the air. “Land ahoy!” Sure enough, after nights and nights on the stormy Arabian sea, Vasco…

  • Asia,  India,  Travel

    A Sunny Day at Karnataka’s Kaup Beach

    I had never stayed near the beach before this. I’ve been a frequent visitor, yes, an  enthusiastic splasher and sunset-photo-taker even. But living so close to one of my favourite things on earth, never until now. Manipal doesn’t exactly own a beach but it’s proximity to many is what matters, as my cousin Nikhita (also my roomie) likes to point out. Nikhita has been a beach babe for practically all her life so naturally she knows the best spots [outside] town. Kaup beach –  actually pronounced ‘Kapu’ in local Tulu – is about 15 kilometres or 30 minutes away from Manipal and the easiest way to get there is by…

  • Europe,  Travel

    Budapest’s Széchenyi Baths: Hungary’s Coolest

    If you are in Budapest, a day at the Széchenyi Baths is an absolute must. Built in 1913, the baths are the biggest of their kind in Europe with 21 indoor and outdoor pools of varying temperatures, along with various therapeutic saunas and steam baths. It is named after the Hungarian minister Count István Széchenyi de Sárvár-Felsővidék and housed in a very Wes Anderson-style old neo-baroque styled palace. Back in the early 20th century just before the World Wars had scarred this beautiful nation, Hungary was known (it still is) as the country of baths; the very first baths were built by – surprise surprise! – Roman settlers. Later Turkish settlers added to…

  • Asia,  India,  Travel

    A Morning in the City of Dawn – Auroville

    My first trip to Pondicherry was with my family when I was a teenager. I don’t remember as well as I probably should but I do remember being in awe with Auroville (pun intended). I remember driving past the sacred Matrimandir which was still being built at the time (back in 2007) and that I was proud of being able to take a clear picture of it through the fine mesh covering one of its gates. And I definitely remember making a mental note to come back again because I loved the peace and quiet in the green ‘jungle’ with its red sandy path. So one morning, 9 years later,…

  • Africa,  Travel

    Chaotic Cairo – Top Things to do in the Egyptian Capital

    The Umm ad-Dunya, the Mother of the World. Cairo. The title may seem like a misnomer in the 21st century but you really have to visit the Egyptian capital to see for yourself. Tension and chaos, world famous pyramids and protest squares, centuries-old mummies and vestiges of an old spice trade route all exist together in a beautiful mess in this enchanting North African city. And though Cairo is the present capital of Egypt, it wasn’t always so. While the pyramids of Giza were being constructed it was Memphis that was the capital of this ancient land. Cairo was formally found around AD 969 by the Fatimid dynasty during their…

  • Notes

    On Departure

    I will look at everything and everyone as if for the first time, especially the small things that I have grown used to, quite forgetting the magic surrounding them. – Paulo Coelho   It’s dark – 4.27 am to be precise. I can hear the clouds rumble, a soft pitter-patter of the rain fall outside my window. A peacock calls, happy to be alive in this north Indian monsoon. Outside on the road, a few trucks drive by, the sound of wheels ‘whooshing’ through the rain-washed asphalt. I am in bed, eyes shut, wrapped in a cocoon of warmth and denial, harsh reality poking me in the ribs: in just…

  • Africa,  Travel

    Top Five Things to do in Egypt’s Aswan

    The Nile was all silver, lazily shimmering in the summer sun. Around it the land was bare, golden sands and rocks stretching as far as the eyes could see. This was once the end of the world. Aswan. Aswan was once the southern frontier of the empire, considered the end of civilisation by the  Egyptians. Also known by its ancient name Swenet, literally translating into ‘trade’, Aswan used to be an important marketplace where goods from the Sahara and its edges were bartered including slaves. It was also a base for military campaigns against Nubia. Rich granite found here in abundance was mined and shipped off to different parts of…