Project 365


Project365 ends today! 9
1st July 2015 – Mamallapuram, India The memories will remain etched for ever Of a year that went by in poetry and pics. But its not the places that will spring to mind. Its only – and always – the people who will stick. I thought this day would never come, but it’s day 365 today!   Its been 35 countries (and Kosovo), spread across 3 different continents. With 21 international flights, 23 international border crossings by land and couchsurfing in 20 countries. Riding a motorbike through 12000 km of the indian subcontinent, including the cold Himalayan roads of Nepal and […]

Project 365: Day 365 – That’s all, ladies and gentlemen!


Rock temples in Mamallapuram, India
30th June 2015 – Mamallapuram, India The quest is close, and one day remains Don’t judge me when I say I did nothing today. I’ve had a hell of a year, and survived it. I deserve rest in my own serene and calming way.   Maybe it was a good thing that my family visited me here.   I find myself relaxed, without any timelines to chase or to get back. So, I decided to stay one more day in Mamallapuram, and explore it a little bit with my folks. And it wasn’t so bad as I thought.   I may have […]

Project 365: Day 364 – The big day is tomorrow!


Mamallapuram, India 2
29th June 2015 – Mamallapuram, India The bullet finally saw some action. And a familiar town woke me up with a surfing beach. Familiarity and family have a similar ring, My ears are ready, for whatever it is they preach. The unthinkable does happen. Sometimes. I should have left from Mamallapuram to Chidambaram today. But a surprise call last evening from my parents, informing me that they might head here, put me off balance. I still wasn’t sure of it though.   I woke up in the morning and took the bullet outside for a short ride, looking for tea stalls to have […]

Project 365: Day 363 – Smiles abound in Mamallapuram



Mash restaurant in Chennai, India 1
28th June 2015 – Chennai, India I took the fight to the rain gods, and Came out winning, flashing a proud grin. They tried to keep me subdued, But today, I am not letting myself be pinned. Finally, I left Chennai today. But not too far, I only managed a mere 40 KMs before rain forced me to settle at Mamallapuram for the day.   But before all that happened, I stepped out for an early morning sunday breakfast at one of my favourite restaurants in Chennai. MASH is so awesome, that till date, it is one of only 3 restaurant reviews […]

Project 365: Day 362 – Till we meet again, Chennai


Rains in Chennai, India
27th June 2015 – Chennai, India There is one more adventure left for me. And I should head out soon to get into it. But the rain feels incessantly malicious today, I am going to bide my time, and just sit. I should be leaving Chennai already. The last part of my trip involved riding home to Kerala, from Chennai with my bike. But through the Southern coastal route, passing by Chidambaram, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari, and Trivandrum. The only problem: I can’t get out of Chennai.   I should have left yesterday evening towards Mahabalipuram, but a freak rain had me grounded in the […]

Project 365: Day 361 – A rainy and lazy day in Chennai


Karl Schmiddt memorial at Elliot's beach, Chennai
26th June 2015 – Chennai, India Sunrises are totally my thing nowadays. And I go from beach to beach, looking for the best. Being back again in a beach where I found myself. Feels beyond good. Feels like I’ve earned my rest.   After hanging around the Marina beach area for 2 days in the morning recently, I needed to get back to one of my more favourite beaches.   Elliots beach in Besant Nagar, has to be the place where I have spent most of my early mornings in Chennai. In fact, there was a time during my employment days in […]

Project 365: Day 360 – To the memory of a Dutchman



Kollywood at Marina beach, Chennai
25th June 2015 – Chennai, India There was no glare of the soft box or reflectors Only the distant sight of a port city, and the rising sun. I have only watched the exaggeration on screen, But I find now that the background score is also fun.   With nothing else to do again, I stepped out Marina beach again today morning. The second time in 3 days. But I had an unexpected surprise in store today. A kollywood movie shooting.   Unlike what most of my non-Indian friends believe, India is not just Bollywood. Bollywood refers to the Hindi-language movie industry of […]

Project 365: Day 359 – Kollywood. Not Bollywood.


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


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