All posts filed under: Most Viewed

Weak Indian Passport: Making Our Travel Life Tougher Everyday!

Indian Passport: You Weak, Useless Thing! After living in the United Kingdoms for a few years, travelling a bit of the world, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is: being an Indian is a proud thing. People around the world like Indians, respect Indians and are always eager to know more about Indians. While I was travelling in Southeast Asia last year, there were so many instances which made it so much easier for me to connect with others – locals and travellers alike – as I told them I’m from India. Bollywood and Yoga made my identity even more interesting. But feeling cooler and wanted is one thing, and feeling empowered is the other. Sure my identity, as an Indian made me feel good, perhaps even respectful, but it did not make me feel empowered – not as long as I held a Navy Blue coloured passport saying ‘Republic of India’. Indian Passport Makes Me Feel Weak, Forget About Being Empowered There’s no denying the fact that Indian passport is embarrassingly weak – given …

Solo Bike Expedition To Spiti Valley – An Ideal Itinerary

There’re some journeys that leave an imprint on your soul. And my solo bike expedition to Spiti Valley was one among them! Many years ago, my father happened to stay in Lahaul-&-Spiti. He told me stories about Spiti Valley’s raw and uninviting nature. It was from him, I knew how disconnected Spiti Valley can feel, from the real world. Time has changed though. Regular morning buses, which run daily, in different parts, now connect Spiti to its neighbours. Private cars and taxis also, at times, are quite visible. “Surely the Gods must live here, this is no place for men.” Rudyard Kipling But if compared to Ladakh, Spiti valley is still very harsh and desolate. It takes a certain amount of madness to drive on these uninviting, mesmerizing landscapes. And to do it solo – you need to be more than just mad. When I decided to drive solo, through this unfamiliar terrain of East Himachal – home to one of the ‘world’s deadliest roads’ – my sole intention was to see its natural vistas and being …

Bylakuppe: A Visit To The Tibet Of South

If you catch it at the right angle, where I found myself sitting, inside the premises of Namdroling monastery, in Bylakuppe, surrounded by the bright and cheerful company of Buddhists, among which many were the first generation Tibetan immigrants, it can give off something of the light of a fairy-tale. Speaking of the fairy-tale, one of the greatest miseries of the human condition is that we are not always keen to give up on our fairy tales. We expect our lives to turn into something magical, something extraordinary from the moment we are currently living in. “We are like dogs barking at the injustice of the universe when our keeper goes out, to buy us some more food” William James Most of the people of the 21st century are found either making such false promises to their future. But the people here, as it seemed, were all dedicated to their present. They appeared to have no more interest in the projections of romanticism than in the delusions of cynicism. A Buddhist, if you speak to one, …

Why Are We Always So Uninterested To See Our Own Country?

If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with” Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz Their names have escaped me now but I vividly remember that interesting and equally memorable conversation I had with a young Indian couple from the south of India. I was waiting for my appointment with an immigration officer in Thimpu — to extend my tourist permit in Bhutan when all of a sudden this distinguishably affable couple appeared in front of me. It (the conversation) started with one of those moments when you meet another traveller from your home country and you find yourself forced to exchange the usual banalities about how amazing this place is, followed by the ubiquitous gamut of ‘where are you from in India’ and ‘where you’re going next’. As we finished the small talk, I enquired them about their favorite places in south India. I had a long desired to travel south of India. [Update Oct’16: But …