Coorg Au Naturalé

A long winding road that always leads somewhere interesting…

It’s a jungle out there…isn’t that fantastic!

Serpentine and yet completely harmless..

Star and moon gazing through a Dobsonian telescope.

Road Trip: Day One

Red loves to drive. The longer the distance, the better. TO luckily has his spring break starting today…and yes while it *is* a funny concept in Hyderabad where we have Hot, Wet and Cold as the primary seasons; it’s a good opportunity for us to plan getaways.

TO diving into the bag of snacks within minutes of starting from home.

Our destination this time around isn’t Goa. Not yet anyhow, although with us you never know. We just might get a hankering for the pristine beaches of Varca and end up driving there impromptu. Anyhoo…Coorg is where we’re headed in a few days with pitstops at Bangalore and Mysore. Or Bengaluru and Mysuru to be more precise.

We drove leisurely enough, packed to the gills with snacks, comfy clothes and just took in the scenery of hills and undulating plains which merged into flat ones within the blink of an eye.

With stops at good, clean places for breakfast and lunch and being pleasantly surprised at the quality of service, food and overall lack of rusticness, the first leg of the trip’s been just dandy so far. Stay tuned for more from the travel diaries. Ta!

World Tourism Day

Memories

I’ve always liked art but am not a connoisseur or someone who can talk about the depth in a painting, the feeling or half the things those cravat-wearing types do, standing around in an art gallery.

I just know if something appeals to it. Sometimes it does piecemeal, and other times holistically but I know that I really like art and can spend hours and days in a museum or a gallery just exploring.

Last year I was in Madrid and came across a small gallery nestled between a bunch of eateries and souvenir shops. I was on my way to Mercado San Miguel and quite looking forward to finally exploring the city after the Big Incident.

The gallery was empty or so I thought but it had such vibrant, vivid paintings all around it that I had to take a look and stay to see if anyone was there to tell me more.

Sadly, I lost the business card of the gallery owner- a Swedish lady who relocated to Madrid after meeting and falling in love with her Spanish husband, the original painter and founder of the gallery.

He had since passed on and the lady and her daughter, also an artist, ran the gallery and had exhibitions of their painting from time to time.

The place was charming and full of memories. Like the last palette of color the gentleman had taken out to work with before he passed. The colors were stiff and dry but were given a prominent place in the gallery where its importance would be felt by everyone who entered.

I didn’t have enough money to buy one of those paintings and have it shipped back to India but the story stayed with me. Art, even the ones which seem weird and outlandish to us, captures moments in time, feelings, expression and freezes them like a photograph.

I would love to go back there, grab a bag of churro and just take it all in. A new memory at a time.

Happiness Is A Hot Towel

Doesn’t make sense? Or oddly enough, it totally does? Whatever be the case this is the story behind it.

My sister from her own parents and I met in college 21 years ago and since then had made countless plans to go travelling together. Over the years, decades really, we have visited each other many times but never been able to get ‘our own trip’ off the ground. With a milestone birthday coming up for both of us, hers before mine, we decided that tomorrow never comes and today is what it’s all about….so a girls’ trip is taking place. One which isn’t falling through!

For the past 5 months we’ve bored the spouses thoroughly discussing places to visit and then what to do when we get there. And after 5 months of researches, plans and spending more time chatting and talking to each other than we have in all these years combined (time zones be damned!), the day is finally arrived…I’m enroute and she’s going to be starting off soon as well.

With Red happily pushing me out the door this morning and saying “Don’t calling me, you’re on vacation”, I’ve completed one leg of the journey and am about to start on the second leg shortly. The flight started with a surprise upgrade to better seats and deliciously-warm and eau-de-cologne scented towel to pushing all the seat buttons to see what each one did. Tt’s a gleeful time! I’m fairly sure I bounced once or twice.

Of course, me being me, I met my share of “interesting” people along the way as ever. Starting with the airport security guard who saw my ticket and got enthused because he’s a huge soccer fan and am off to a major soccer hub, to the elderly Arabic gent who kept tutting disapprovingly at the violent movie and booze that I consumed right in front of him, it’s been quite fun.

Stella’s a good companion

Grumpy Grandpa who couldn’t take his eyes off my movie screen but kept tutting at my choice the whole time.

They feed you well in Business class…right down to laying your napkin out with flourish!

P.S: Reached Barcelona and had one of my country people as my cab driver. Waiting for the other half to arrive so we can finally kick things off good and proper!

Packed roads are a must in all metros..

Barcelona from the skies

Cod fried and spicy beef empanadas with a glass of local white wine

Watch this spot for more updates!Ole!