Of poets and pints: a literary pub crawl in Dublin

Let me start this story with a couple of “bet you didn’t know” bits of trivia: author and playwright Oscar Wilde played boxing for his alma mater, Trinity College. And Oliver Goldsmith, of The Vicar of Wakefield fame, also wrote the popular nursery rhymes Jack & Jill and Hickory Dickory Dock. I know these interesting…

Monumental Love

The sky is getting darker, as the storm clouds gather, plump and menacing, carrying with them the faint smell of wet earth. Shivering in the cold breeze, I hug my thin shawl closer around my body and look at the tableau on the terrace. Families are sitting together inside the domed alcoves that bookend this…

Silent forest, teeming life

It is a strange feeling, this: half hoping to spot some wildlife and half fearing that I may indeed come across some wildlife. I have never been on a walk inside a forest before and don’t know what to expect. On a misty winter morning, we have just crossed over the Denwa river into the…

The Chalukya kings and the cradle of temple architecture

The cradle of Indian temple architecture. Before I leave for the Chalukya temples of north Karnataka, I come across this phrase in all the guidebooks I read. And once there, I find that this phrase rolls off the tongues of tourist guides with a practiced smoothness. And not just cradle; other well-worn metaphors like abacus…

Antwerpian Extravagance

Temple to chocolates, diamonds and high fashion (Published in the July issue of Jet Wings International…) Antwerp has been positioned by Flanders Tourism as the “so cool it’s hot” city. And rightly so. Visitors to Belgium largely ignore this town, which is overshadowed by the more picturesque Bruges and Ghent. The next time though, be…