South Asia

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

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.

sharjah, uae, emirates, airport, travel, photography
21st January 2015 – Sharjah, UAE We build homes, buildings and offices so magnanimous, yet feel content, in a weird way, sleeping in an airport. That joy you feel, is called a satiated wanderlust. While the joy of a home is sublime, Today, its the nomad I court. I may complain about waiting and crappy airport services a lot, but the fact is: I love being in airports. There is something so nomadic about staying in an airport, that it even that tickles my wanderlust. Something like Tom Hank’s ‘Terminal’. I hope you read the sarcasm in my lines. Because I just […]

Project 365: Day 204 – Sleeping in Airports

koggala lake, sri lanka, travel, photography
20th January 2015 – Koggala, Sri Lanka My legs have become way too complacent, and there is a growing sense of restlessness, and the urge to move on to the next unknown. So, the bags are packed, and goodbye thrown around. And so, I am off. To my next calling. Another milestone. I guess it has been a really long love affair between me and Sri Lanka. But this has to end today. I went out for a little bit in the morning to Koggala lake, which is very close to Unawatuna, and ended up clicking some kids who were jumping […]

Project 365: Day 203 – Time to jump again

ahangama, stilt fishing, sri lanka, travel, photography
19th January 2015 – Ahangama, Sri Lanka When tourism replaced the ocean as the breadwinner, The stilt became an ornamentation. Not functional anymore. Amidst the cramming for the tourist dollar, much rampant. There was one solitary stilt fisherman. The one we heard from lore. One of the reasons that I came to the Southern part of Sri Lanka, and stayed so long here, was to see the legendary stilt fishermen. Steve McCurry had popularized Weligama with his photograph of the Sri Lankan fishermen. And since then, thousands of tourists have been flocking to the shores between Unawatuna and Weligama to take […]

Project 365: Day 202 – The stilt fishermen of Sri Lanka

hummanaya, tangalle, sri lanka, travel, photography
18th January 2015 – Tangalle, Sri Lanka The southernmost tip I touched, and the beautiful coast I strode, All in the search of a blowhole, on a cliff that faced the blue sea. There were no people, no tourists, and finally no blowholes too. There was just the ocean, some friends with popcorn, and then me. From Weligama I left to Tangalle today morning. Tangalle is the southernmost district of Sri Lanka, and I passed by the southernmost point of Sri Lanka on the way. Oh, I am back on a motorbike again. I rented one in Unawatuna for 700 Rupees […]

Project 365: Day 201 – Riding a motorbike. In another country.

Weligama, sri lanka, travel, photography
17th January 2015 – Weligama, Sri Lanka From one beach, to another. The journey continues. Some shores are new to the eye. Some, way too familiar. The sea has a song that charms, then invites anyone, Who has heard it before, to come back and once again, overhear. It’s 200 days with a backpack now. Momentous moment, and I am celebrating it back in familiar shores. Last night, I had stayed at the Unawatuna hostel again. But this time, I’ve decided to party less and travel around more. So, I left to Weligama again. I’ve been here before,  and I like the […]

Project 365: Day 200 – Familiar shores

hulhule, maldives, travel, photography, travel photography
16th January 2015 – Hulhule, Maldives Travel has its banes. And sometimes, lack of sleep is one. with the ferry, the airplane, the bus and the train – all in a day. I was finally back in the crazy pit again, by now. But only my spirit is. My body is completely at fray. When I woke up yesterday to click those sunrise kite surfers, I didn’t imagine that it would be 30 hours before I would sleep next. Yesterday night, after Victoria left at a 10 PM flight, I still had to loiter around in the Ibrahim Nasr airport for a flight […]

Project 365: Day 199 – Lack of sleep. Again.

maafushi, maldives, travel, photography, travel photography
15th January 2015 – Maafushi, Maldives Paradise is not permanent, as my passport can tell you. And neither is Maafushi, or any other part of earth. Soon, these islands will be erased from the world map, But evolution is a bitch. For new paradises, there is never a dearth. It is with a sad heart that I had to leave Maafushi. Especially knowing the fact that this island may not always be there. Maldives is already the lowest-lying country on the planet, and the rising ocean level poses a real and tangible threat for the existence of the country. So much that the […]

Project 365: Day 198 – Like a kite in the wind

maafushi, maldives, travel, photography
13th January 2015 – Maafushi, Maldives Where the powdery coral sands meet the blue rush, Where a life locked up in a shell, moves away from the ocean floor.  When one’s birth is not the only thing to be cheerful about, She collects little sea shells on the sandy sea shore. So today, was Victoria’s birthday. Yes, we were celebrating it in the most pristine waters on earth, but apart from that, we had no idea on what to do. First, we checked some packages for snorkelling. But taking a look at the videos, it was obvious that there was not much of […]

Project 365: Day 196 – A birthday at the beach

maafushi, maldives, travel, photography, sunrise
12th January 2015 – Maafushi, Maldives The morning brought with it, before the mashuni and roshi, A sheet of yellow, painted in a shade of the golden rays. Abandoned boats became models for the sunrise. I could live here forever, without counting the days. Maafushi is a really small island. I tried to walk around the island today morning at sunrise, and found out that it took only 30 minutes by walk. And to walk from one side to the other, only about 10 minutes. This island was great for both sunset and sunrise. The sun rose behind my little room, in a […]

Project 365: Day 195 – Early birds!

maldives, maafushi, beach, ocean, travel, photography
11th January 2015 – Maafushi, Maldives Maldives called with its blueish beaches, and I answered. But what the brochures sell you on the glossy airline travel magazine, Is not for the faint of heart, or in other words, the backpacker. Hence a secretive public island, with bikinis flashed and beaches clean. Maldives is not a cheap country to travel in, as I understood yesterday. But then, it doesn’t have to be as expensive as expected. The trick here, is to ignore all the travel brochures that you will see about Maldives. So, not only is Maldives the lowest-lying country on the planet, it is […]

Project 365: Day 194 – At the bikini beach. Oh yeah!

maafushi, maldives, beach, sunset, travel, photography
10th January 2015 – Maafushi, Maldives From islands real and artificial, through the searing noon heat. To the powdery sands and shallow seas of an atoll paradise. Maafushi has many wonders to share, and colours to show. But the evening light showered only a golden shade on my eyes. Last night, I had thought I was in Male. I was actually wrong. The Ibrahim Nasr international Airport in Male, is actually NOT in Male. It is in a small island called Hulhule, which is roughly 2 km away from Male. And if you arrive at the late hour of 10 PM, like […]

Project 365: Day 193 – Paradise found in Maafushi

galle, fort, sri lanka, travel, photography
9th January 2015 – Galle, Sri Lanka The Portuguese built it, and then the Dutch called it their own. While the Sri Lankans call it heritage, and Unesco chimed in too. The heat may be striking, and the prices take your breath away, But the fort still stands out, staring into the calm ocean blue. I was leaving Sri Lanka today evening, and had a flight to Maldives. Everything was looking ok till last week, until the elections brought some craziness into it. Some yesterday, was Sri Lanka’s general elections and it was a close contest. The current president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was in […]

Project 365: Day 192 – The Dutch fort in Galle

hostel unawatuna, sri lanka, travel, photography
8th January 2015 – Unawatuna, Sri Lanka When the tedious chores of laundry were set aside, I had to deal with the torrential downpour that Sri lanka brings. And when the hostel became an abode for another day, I was content with daybeds, flowers and all the little things.  I had one more day in Unawatuna, before leaving to  Maldives. And the plan was to go out a little bit. But there was an unexpected torrential rain, and my plan turned ever so quickly. I ended up holed up in hostel Unawatuna the whole day. But luckily, there were some things to […]

Project 365: Day 191 – From Hostel Unawatuna, with love.

Unawatuna, sri lanka, travel, photography
7th January 2015 – Unawatuna, Sri Lanka From a rising phoenix to a roaring lion, We all have our insignia, we make it as we see fit. The needle is forlorn, and the artist will soon move on, But yet, we find our own ink. And go through hell to get it. As expected, came back to the party hostel to wake up to some crazy ass-partying. And unexpectedly, a tattoo session. One of the guys in the hostel was getting some touch-up work on his tattoo, converting it from a phoenix to a lion. To the artist’s credit, he managed to do this […]

Project 365: Day 190 – Inking today

Weligama, sri lanka, travel, photography, fishing
6th January 2015 – Weligama, Sri Lanka One more day in idle town, one more book to ravish. One more picture of the songs, sung by the living and free. One more thought to muddle my calm waters, is that freedom is all that is ever meant to be. Sorry for going back to the beach everyday, but there is little else to do here. I am still soaking in the Weligama beach, beginning each day reading a book. And ending each day with a book in my hands. But the restless soul that I am, I think I have had too […]

Project 365: Day 189 – Freedom from the rat race

weligama, morning, fisherman, fishing, sri lanka
5th January 2015 – Weligama, Sri Lanka Don’t judge me, by the bottles of white rum, and the spliffs. Its just a merry day, and I am just doing my duty to be gay. It’s only we banal mortals who wake up and smell the coffee, The sea has had a long night, and will have a longer day. I woke up again today early in the morning, all thanks to the nice and serene environment in Weligama which made me to sleep at 10 AM. Well, not without a drink first. I met an old friend who was travelling in Sri […]

Project 365: Day 188 – Good morning, Weligama!

weligama, sri lanka, travel, photography
4th January 2015 – Weligama, Sri Lanka The surf wasn’t too inviting, and the waves faded from the eye. But the company of a well-written book, kept me going. Reading seems to be the mood of the day, as I find out. Not just in the hostel, even the public toilets were showing. I think today was my first sober day in Sri Lanka. I don’t think I have had any day so far without a drink here in this idyllic country. It has been gorgeous, but it has also been tiring. Weligama seemed to be the antidote. The whole town sleeps by […]

Project 365: Day 187 – Reading passes the day

welligama, sea, fishing, village, sri lanka 3
3rd January 2015 – Weligama, Sri Lanka In the sandy village, the surfers flock to their herd, Devoid of the chaos from Mirissa and Unawatuna nearby. But when the sun rises, and the waves are still quelled, Its not the surfboard that shines, its the fishing fly. Weligama literally means ‘sandy village’ in Sinhalese. And rightly so. This sleepy and silent surf-town, sandwiched between the party havens of Mirissa and Unawatuna, was made popular by Steve McCurry through his famous photograph of stilt fisherman. But sadly, there is no more stilt fishing that goes on in these regions. Well, there is, but […]

Project 365: Day 186 – Weligama fishing village

mirissa, sri lanka, beach cricket, travel, photography
2nd January 2015 – Mirissa, Sri Lanka The 22 yard pitch gave way to a an extended shoreline, And coconuts stood as the wickets at the runner’s crease. The young and old, white and black, took to the willows, and The cricket gods in the country were content, and at peace. I was to move out from Unawatuna today. All the drinking and the joints from the last 5 days have been getting to me, and I needed to explore some inner peace. Especially after my new year’s eve shower yesterday. So, I packed the bags and was leaving to Welligama, but […]

Project 365: Day 185 – Beach cricket in Sri Lanka