Cities of two tales

Watching locals on the streets of Macau and Hong Kong, I get an insight into extent of ascendancy of the selfie stick in this part of the world. On the streets, inside shopping malls, at restaurants, in front of tourist attractions, and everywhere else, I see amateur photographers armed with only their phones. Once I…

Gokarna: Sun, sand and spirituality

Gokarna has not woken up completely when we drive into the town early on a Sunday morning. We are on the single main road, a narrow stretch known as ‘Car Street’ after the temple juggernaut, which sits heavy and drowsy as the rest of the village. Its huge wooden wheels are stuck in the mud,…

The hidden heart of Hyderabad

Novelist Doris Lessing felt pearls mean tears. In Hyderabad, it meant the laughter and glory of the Nizams. From the time they welcomed pearl merchants from the Arabian markets, Hyderabad has been the Pearl City. However, more interesting and lesser known is the story of the diamonds that light up the city’s history. Take the…

Losing the fear of flying

I had never thought I would find myself 65 metres above the ground, hanging on for dear life. And doing this of my own volition. I am not the particularly adventurous type, preferring to get all cultured out through museums and concerts while on holiday. Well, it is a bit of an overstatement to say…

Tso far tso good

When we reach Tso Moriri, it feels eerily quiet and desolate. No tourists, no locals. And then we hear a feeble sound from the distance. A group of children are playing cricket on the banks of the lake (‘tso’ in the local language). And we start walking towards them. There they are, engrossed in their…