The Art of the Phallus in PhraNang Beach

Stumbling on a strange 'Phallus Shrine' at the Phranang Beach in Thailand.   Did I tell you about the time I walked on to a beach in Thailand and discovered a shrine full of phalluses? Not one, but two shrines! Thailand never stops titillating your senses. Being from India, I did not find the shrine... Continue Reading →

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ROAD TRIP to Mae Rim and Mae Taman

Wild elephants in the mountains and a serendipitous journey to a bridge in Mae Taeng river. A little research into Thailand and you would see that the best voted activities for families, and people who love wildlife are elephant camps and tiger kingdoms in Chiang Mai. After our first day riding up to the hills of... Continue Reading →

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Ladyboys are just like us

My first experience in a Ladyboy cabaret show in Chiang Mai, Thailand. An experience you must not miss. An honest confession — I have always been fascinated by ladyboys, beautiful feminine creatures who dance like butterflies on delicate high heels and elaborate headgear. They look nothing less than a peacock in the rain. But, I never thought... Continue Reading →

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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Book review of the second novel by Arundhati Roy in 20 years.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Or The Dungeon of Utmost Unhappiness? This heavy tome of a book ain’t gonna make you happy. But does that mean you should not read it? No, that means you should jump headlong into it. Get sucked by this dementor of a novel, And arise with a mind that knows... Continue Reading →

“The Vegetarian” by Han Kang- A Book review of the International Man Booker Prize Winner of 2016

A woman has a grotesque dream and turns into a vegetarian when she wakes up. In South Korea where they love their meat, this decision turns her own husband and family against her. But things turn weirder when she does not stop at abstention from meat. She starts fantasizing herself as a plant and stops... Continue Reading →

Life of Pi – Why I loved the book more than the movie.

Book Review of Life of Pi, by Yann Martel When a story claims to make you believe in God, can a mere mortal not be intrigued? I saw “Life of Pi,” the movie, directed by Ang Lee years ago, and found the movie along with its 3D effects entertaining enough. Only when I began reading... Continue Reading →

A kind Thai lady who sang “Chale Chalo” in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Our host who turned out to be my most favorite person in Thailand. That’s Chaibutr in the extreme right. I took this photo when we were leaving Chiang Mai. When we were searching for a stay in Chiang Mai on Airbnb, I zeroed in on her “Ban Come in” stay because of the extremely good... Continue Reading →

“The Inheritance of Loss” by Kiran Desai.

Could fulfillment ever be felt as deeply as loss? Book review of “The Inheritance of Loss” by Kiran Desai. When I first started reading “The Inheritance of Loss”, I was excited because I was holding a Booker baby here, but 20 pages into the book, and I was not so excited anymore. I went into a slump, I... Continue Reading →

Chiang Mai, the most beautiful city in Thailand.

Have you ever experienced the sadness of leaving a place that you knew had etched a permanent beauty in your soul. Tha Phae Gate of the Chiang Mai old city. I felt that immense sadness as I bid adieu to my host Chaibutr in Chiang Mai and left for the airport. When I was researching extensively... Continue Reading →

Banned Book on the fate of a childless couple

Book review of Perumal Murugan’s “One Part Woman” This book was banned in Tamil Nadu until the Hight Court ruled in favour of the author and prohibited the ban demanded by self-appointed gatekeepers of culture in the society. I found the entire ban thing ridiculous. Perumal Murugan has written a simple novel in a non-linear... Continue Reading →

Why bucket lists are pointless. Swimming with a million stars underwater, on my birthday eve.

That’s me, ready for the first snorkeling around in the Marine park waters We make bucket lists as we grow, and like a machine, we work towards fulfilling those predestined fantasies that we have made for ourselves. Where is the unknown in a bucket list? Shouldn’t the process be reversed? That we go out in the... Continue Reading →

Why I cut my hair myself, WITH MY OWN HANDS.

 Before the haircut After the haircut. HAPPY BOTH WAYS. I walked out the door, reached my room and did the weirdest thing I have done this year. I reached for my scissors and a comb, went to the bathroom sink, wet my hair sufficiently and cut my hair. It was not a crazy process like they would... Continue Reading →

BANGKOK- What is a Wat? Day 1 of my Thailand trip.

What I learnt, ate and experienced. A Wat in South-East Asia is a Buddhist monastery or temple. Thailand has some of the most inspiring and grand Wats of them all. I began my Wat hopping in Bangkok. Bangkok is a crowded, intense city. I was overwhelmed by it. We reached Bangkok early morning at 5... Continue Reading →

Travel anxieties before you travel to a new country. And how to overcome them.

Tonight, I would be sitting on a plane to Bangkok. This is my maiden trip to Thailand. I would be cruising on the busy waters of Chao Phraya, bowing my head in supplication before the ancient Thai Wats, and eating street food delicacies. I would visit the ancient ruins of Ayuthhaya, photograph the iconic Buddha... Continue Reading →

The magic of Myths and Oral traditions

Remember when you were a child, and you pestered your grandmother or aunt to tell you stories at night? And they would tell you stories that had been passed down from generations in the family, stories that would vary from mouth to mouth and end up as a fable customised by the storyteller. Oral stories... Continue Reading →

A lament for the Sahitya Akademi Award of India.

And a review on the brilliant “Laburnum for my head” by Temsula Ao The home page of sahitya-akademi.gov.in Sahitya Akademi Award, who? Indian youth today rants on Oscar winners, and Booker prizes. But ask them about their own country’s highest academic honor, and they fail miserably. Ask them about Indian Filmfare award, and the reaction would... Continue Reading →

Stumbling on “Anthem for Doomed Youth“

How beautiful it is when you stumble upon a beautiful thing by serendipity? For me, it was a piece of poetry by Wilfred Owen, called Anthem for Doomed Youth. I found it when I picked up this book, Regeneration. Pat Barker won the Booker Prize for the third instalment in this trilogy, “The Ghost Road,”... Continue Reading →

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