Photo Essays

Santhome church in Chennai, India 5
24th June 2015 – Chennai, India Familiarity did breed contempt, thats for sure. Else how did I never check out such beautiful things? Like a forgotten teardrop on the chennai map, I finally heard the distant church bells ring. There is something very different about living in a country, and visiting there. When you live there, you are caught up in the pace of the city, and tend to ignore the beautiful things around you. But when you visit there, you are relaxed. You soak in more of the sights, you hear all the noises of the place, and you smell and feel every […]

Project 365: Day 358 – Catching up with St. Thomas

Marina beach at sunrise. Chennai, India.
23rd June 2015 – Chennai, India Home is near, I can almost smell the fish flavour And hear the sound of my mother, crying marriage. Fortunately, there are still a few sights along the way Until the destination, and the start of a new page.   I reached Chennai last evening, and went straight to bed. I wanted to count sheep, but instead counted all the countries in the last 12 months. After 3 continents, and 35 countries, I was back home.   Well, technically, not yet. Home is still 1400 KM away, tucked in the northern regions of Kerala. And it […]

Project 365: Day 357 – Mornings at Marina

Hula hoops in Unawatuna
22nd June 2015 – Unawatuna, Sri Lanka Midnight hula hoops stretched to early morning hours, And I passed out, on a familiar beige couch. Only to wake up and say goodbye to the world. It was short and sweet, but now I head to my homely pouch.     After all the surfing and the yoga shoots yesterday, the evening continued with a barbecue, as it always happens at hostel Unawatuna. Barbecues are a pretty regular thing here. All the people in the hostel pool up some money, go out and buy some meat, charcoal and booze. And then we barbecue it up. The last […]

Project 365: Day 356 – The world is not enough

Surfing at Unawatuna, Srilanka
21st June 2015 – Unawatuna, Sri Lanka The last ten days, have come knocking. “Who’s there?“. “A little bit of sanity“, it said. Because insanity drives us to do things And to see the world on our own head.   There is something crazy about Unawatuna. I can’t simply seem to get enough of it! Yesterday, after checking in, I met with my old friends, and also made some new friends in the hostel. There were a couple of guys from England, 2 girls from Ireland, and then 3 backpackers from Perth, Australia. (Sorry about all those Perth jokes, girls). We did […]

Project 365: Day 355 – Surfing or Yoga? Both!

fort station, colombo srilanka
20th June 2015 – Colombo, Sri Lanka A familiar fort called me back today. I loved the call, but hated the timing. At 4 am when Srilanka was snoring loud, I was eating fish buns and other snacks and things. Last night, I had taken an air-conditioned bus towards Colombo, from where I was to catch a morning train towards Unawatuna. The plan had a few holes. One, the air-conditioning kind of made me nauseous, to the point that i had to open the window to get some fresh air. And secondly, it was a bumpy road. Somehow, I managed to finally […]

Project 365: Day 354 – Ungodly hours at the fort

Ampara srilanka
19th June 2015 – Ampara, Sri Lanka Extreme sports are totally my thing. No wait. Take out the R there. I meant spots. And after a gruelling ride towards the east, I finally met a hammock. And the woes turned to naught.   I had previously visited the southernmost point of Srilanka, in Tangalle. And today, I had a chance to visit the Easternmost.   We rented a motorbike from the guesthouse we were staying in, and left towards Ampara. Sangaman kanda in Ampara district, just past Komari, is the easternmost point of the country. And it was just 20 KM […]

Project 365: Day 353 – Easternmost tip of Sri Lanka

Sunsets at Arugam bay, Sri Lanka
18th June 2015 – Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka Fatigue is like a surf break on the beach, You wait for it for hours, in the scorching sun. And when it finally hits you in all its glory, What follows is a  whole night of sleep, and a day of fun. After the lengthy journey yesterday, fatigue had hit us like a train wreck. And I slept almost till noon today.   At noon, me and Nicci stepped out of our resort to check out the local beach. Arugam bay is a popular surfing destination, and one of the reasons I had chosen to come […]

Project 365: Day 352 – Serenity and sunsets at Arugam bay

This set of yoga images is a part of my photo series named ‘Calm in the crowd’ ============================================================   Summer Dien is a Yoga teacher, who is currently based in Samahita retreat, located Koh Samui. We met in Singapore during the time when she was teaching yoga in Bali (where she is heading back soon), and had taken a short vacation. She wholeheartedly agreed to the crazy project, and decided to challenge herself by trying to do yoga outside a classroom setting.   We first began with some yoga images at the Eunos metro station in Singapore, which was followed by some […]

The Calm in the crowd: Yoga Images with Summer

The view of the hills at Ella, Sri Lanka
17th June 2015 – Ella, Sri Lanka The journey of many miles, begins with a single step. Even if that step is placed in the middle of a muddled street. And the journey of the day may go on for hours, but it’s not too bad When a perfect view and a bumpy road, decide to meet. We left early in the morning. By early, I am talking about 5 AM early. And did not have the faintest clue that it would be 10 PM before we found a place to sleep.   There was a train booked from Colombo to […]

Project 365: Day 351 – Through Srilanka’s hill country

Absolut india in Colombo, Srilanka
16th June 2015 – Colombo, Sri Lanka Apart from the flashy cars that I clicked yesterday, The Duty free shop had also given me a bottle of joy. When colombo poured buckets, and there was nowhere to go, Mixing an Absolut vodka bottle with a resonator, was our best ploy. I reached Colombo in the morning, after some really horrible turbulence and some choppy winds. Both of which combined in very cosmic proportions to ensure that I did not get any sleep throughout the flydubai flight. After reaching the Bandaranaike airport, I took a bus and then a rickshaw – also called […]

Project 365: Day 350 – Absolut India, down in Colombo

Duty free shops at Dubai, UAE
15th June 2015 – Dubai, UAE It didn’t help much that I bound at home today. And it didn’t help much that inertia was a close pal. But the land of flashy cars and excess heat is getting to me. Its time to board that airbus, and shift to a different locale. Like the past 2 days, when Dubai had me by my neck with its heat, the trend continued today also: I stayed at home throughout the day. But in the evening, I had no choice to step out. For a simple reason. I was leaving Dubai today. It was a […]

Project 365: Day 349 – Dutyfree shops and flashy cars

The view from Al Mamzar corniche
14th June 2015 – Dubai, UAE I was caged again. 2 days in a row now. Because Europe had me pampered with its cold winters. If not for some Mandi, and a walk through the Newest of Dubai’s projects, it could have been much worse   For the second day in a row, I found myself sitting at home in the mornings. And you can blame the 40C temperature in Dubai, for that staycation.   It has been quite a while since I experienced something like this. From the days when I landed in Serbia in the snowfall till praying for the winter […]

Project 365: Day 348 – A walk in the Mamzar corniche

Dubai metro station
13th June 2015 – Dubai, UAE The heat engulfed, encapsulated, every inch of my skin, And like a caged animal, I stayed in. Whimpering, but alive. I took to the night like a werewolf in June’s simmering heat. And decided that in air-conditioned metro stations, I shall thrive. I have already been through Dubai on this project once, and clicked almost every possible angle of it, from old souks to parks to tall buildings. So, I was unsure what to see for the day. Yet, staying inside was not an option. I was being hosted by an old friend in Chennai along with […]

Project 365: Day 347 – Saved by the metro stations

Orpheus statue at Sofia airport, Bulgaria
12th June 2015 – Sofia, Bulgaria The European odyssey, is finally over. Not sure how I feel about it, but I am smiling. I bid my goodbyes, and sang with the thracian Orpheus, And watched as the flight wings hovered above the desert ring. It has been a long 5 months, hopping through Europe. Most of it, during the cold winter months. But sadly, yet happily, it ends today. The fact is, I miss home a little bit. Home is not as you would imagine it. I just miss the luxury of sitting in a corner or a chair that I am […]

Project 365: Day 346 – Goodbye Europe. Hello again, Asia

Alexander Nevsky cathedral, in Sofia, Bulgaria
11th June 2015 – Sofia, Bulgaria I’ve been to the largest. The second is not too different. Somehow, the domes are similar. And I can’t tell the difference. Followed it up with local beers, and an English pub quiz. We were close, and should have almost won. Just my jealous 2 cents.   One place which I didn’t get to check out yesterday during the free sofia walking tour, was the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. I did pass by it, but somehow the sun prevented me from taking any pictures. And I didn’t get to go inside too. So, today I made up […]

Project 365: Day 345 – Size does matter in Sofia

St. Nedelya church, Sofia, Bulgaria
10th June 2015 – Sofia, Bulgaria If something was free, I should have been the first to take it. But somehow, going on 2 hour group walks was never my style. Not today. The free walking tour was finally on my agenda. And rightfully so. The trivia, and the ministers, were well worth the while. It has been 5 months in Europe. And I have not taken even one of those free walking tours so far. Somehow, the concept of going in a group to walk around the city for 2 hours, was a little alien to me all this while. And I had […]

Project 365: Day 344 – Free tours and the Tourism minister

Somewhere near Ruse, Bulgaria
9th June 2015 – Bucharest, Romania The coach hissed on the tracks, surprisingly reminiscent of India. And the open windows, took the eye to the distant edge of the world. Past a lengthy immigration stop, and a barrage of questions, The visions of yet another country – silently yet surely – was unfurled. It was a good run, Bucharest. But I am afraid we must finally part ways. I left the hostel in the morning, and headed to the train station. There was only one train everyday from Bucharest to Sofia, and that was at 12.50 PM. I had already bought the tickets […]

Project 365: Day 343 – The Bulgarian train odyssey

Herestrau skate park, Bucharest, romania
8th June 2015 – Bucharest, Romania The wheels are in motion. And they are soaked in adrenaline. And somehow, once again, I find myself again in the giant park. But not for the Indian festivities that clouded the horizon yesterday, But rather for the inlines, the bikes and the skates. And all their spark. I don’t know what’s with me and the Herestrau park, but I am back again here today. Well, it wasn’t intentional. It just happened that I was walking towards the central train station, and somehow, unintentionally my path led to the Herestrau, yet again. But I had something […]

Project 365: Day 342 – Skates and bikes. Rolling in Romania

Parvathy Baul in Bucharest, Romania
7th June 2015 – Bucharest, Romania Passed down in a history of oral traditions, with not a written word. In the company of only the Ektara strum and the Duggi beat. The Baul had me in a trance, although not a word was registered. Sometimes music transcends meanings. Not an easy feat. For the third time in a row, I was back in Herestrau park. But little did I know that today would be my favourite one. 2 days ago, I was here to check out the public parks and the lake. And yesterday, I came to see the Namaste India fair. Well, I came back […]

Project 365: Day 341 – Swaying to a Baul in Bucharest

Namrata Rai performing Kathak at Namaste India, in Bucharest, Romania
6th June 2015 – Bucharest, Romania A mere 25 days waited in front of me, To find myself back in the warmth of home. But then, home found its own way to come to me. After all, home is wherever your heart decides to roam. I decided to go back to the Herastrau park again today. But not to enjoy the public domain, rather for 2 other reasons. One was to see the Dimitrie Gusti National village museum. Another was to get a little taste of home. And I found the perfect partner to go along with. Cristina Istrati was not only a published […]

Project 365: Day 340 – From Bucharest. Namaste India.

Herestrau park in Bucharest, Romani
5th June 2015 – Bucharest, Romania It must have been love at first sight, When the colentina flowed into the large lake. And the love child grew up with a curious disposition. To build as many statues as an eye could take. I am determined to continue the good run in Bucharest, and decided to walk out on my own today. Exploring the gardens and parks in Bucharest. The day started with walks around the large Cismigiu garden, which stood verdant surrounding a lake which I would later learn was artificial. I entered from the main entrance near the city hall, and […]

Project 365: Day 339 – When Herastrau and Colentina met

Caruta cu Paiate monument in Bucharest, Romania
4th June 2015 – Bucharest, Romania The old city and yesterday’s events, were old news I had moved on. And that is one thing I have learnt. And so I bumped into a bunch of happy-go-lucky folks. Amusing they were. Recognisable, they definitely weren’t. I had put behind me yesterday’s events, and woke up with a fresh smile. The environment at the funky chicken hostel also helped to liven me up, with 2 Polish girls from Krakow who showered smiles all around, and brought some energy to the day. So, I stepped out to see a little bit more of Bucharest city […]

Project 365: Day 338 – Caragiale’s characters

When people usually think of the Philippines, the first images that come to mind are either the densely populated streets of Manila, or many of the thousands of islands and the white, sandy beaches they hold. Very few people equate Philippines with a grand mountain range. Until they visit the cordilleras! Luzon is the largest island of the Philippines, and located at its north-central section, is the Cordillera Administrative Region – a massive mountain range that occupies a total of 6 provinces. And if you are hearing this for the first time, a cordillera is a Spanish term which implies what I […]

Visiting the Cordilleras: The lesser known Philippines

Bucharest, Romania 2
3rd June 2015 – Bucharest, Romania I didn’t sing, or do the colourful Roma dance. And I walked around with a camera, the tourist stamp. Yet, a pretty girl asks me if I was a travelling gypsy. Not cool, Romania. I am going to remember this scamp. It wasn’t long ago that I was in Dresden, scared of the Pegida people. Or the time when I was in Monaco, and profiled by the cops. But the Balkans had helped me forget those 2 episodes, with the love and mutual respect they have been showering on me, all the way from Albania to […]

Project 365: Day 337 – A Gypsy with a camera?