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Showing posts from July, 2014
Humayun Mahal

Have lived in Chennai for about a year and have made several visits to the city, but didn't know a thing about this beautiful structure called the Chepauk Palace. Only came to know about it after reading this news item Another interesting link below:

Land of the Hoysalas

This is a travelogue I wrote last year after a visit to Chikmagalur-Belur-Halebeedu. It has since been published in The New Indian Express
It is to coffee land, Chikmagalur, that we finally head to, after much deliberation. The idea is to take long walks in the coffee plantations, breathe the fresh spice-scented air, and unwind. Far away from the Internet noise that everyday life has come to mean for us ‘city types’. So, we land up at a homestay, a 13-km drive from the heart of Karnataka’s Chikmagalur town, also the district headquarters. While we manage to take a stroll or two in the coffee plantations, the constant rain means no trekking, and no outdoor activities. No signal on the phone, no signal on the iPad – leave us tearing our hair out wondering what to do, unused as we are to the silence and the sound of constant rain.
It is then that the manager at the homestay comes up with the idea of Belur - Halebeedu. Why not, we say. The husband and I both vaguely remember seeing Belur as…


The permanence of things, or the impermanence of things, whichever way you look at it. We shot this during a visit to Hampi several years ago. Hampi was once the seat of the mighty Vijayanagar Empire. The fabled city where gold and precious stones were sold on the streets. The Empire is now dead and gone, while the structures, symbols of the glorious architecture of the 14th century, still remain.

A moment in time

The colonial facades of Singapore stand testimony to its British heritage. A heritage India shares with Singapore. The juxtaposition of the past and the present is never so clearly evident as in the modern-day city state of Singapore. The past doesn't go anywhere. It is here.

Quite the head turners!

Chinatown in KL. A melting pot of cultures.

Stopping by a Kopitiam

Well and truly Asia

All these at the Batu Caves complex. With Murugan lording over the hills.

Bihun sup, mee kari, soto...

The hawker centre/food stalls at Masjid India area, KL had boards selling mee kari, which is rice vermicelli cooked with coconut milk, spicy curry soup, sambal, seafood, chicken etc. Bihun sup is vermicelli in beef broth and soto is least that's what some Internet research tells me.

Kedai Makans, the food shops

Kedai Makan is Malay for food shop. Wiki tells me Nasi Kandar is mildly flavoured steamed rice served with curries. Here's the link for more on Nasi Kandar

The pic below of a Kedai Makan near Sogo Mall.

Hello lamp post!

Hello lamp post! Whatcha knowin' I've come to watch your flowers growing - Simon & Garfunkel, 59th Street Bridge Song

Streetscapes - Singapore and KL

Out head-hunting?

To say the streets of KL are colourful would be an understatement!

Holland Village, where there's magic in the air

On a whim, we took off to Holland Village and were smitten by the place. A certain bohemian spirit in the air. Check this out:

An eye for an eye. Yeah, take that!

More food for thought

China Town in Singapore has a food street that is hugely popular.

And then, some more!

KL and Singapore, and the food we didn't eat

Street food, hawker centres, high-end restaurants (restorans in KL), you name it, you have it. KL and Singapore are a food lover's paradise, especially if you love nasi lemaks, satays, and all that blah. Except we happen to be vegetarians who settle for the roti, rice, or dosey, idli routine and a rare coffee at one of the kopitiams. Nevertheless, had fun gawking at the boards and reading out the names of dishes.

The streets, they tell a story, if you listen carefully

"Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,The muttering retreatsOf restless nights in one-night cheap hotelsAnd sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:Streets that follow like a tedious argumentOf insidious intentTo lead you to an overwhelming question. . .Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"Let us go and make our visit. " (T S Eliot, 'The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock)

'Don't carry the world upon your shoulders'

It's always people who make places. And for us, it was this band in the heart of KL's Little India that made it special. Happily playing popular tunes past nine at night in front of a hawker centre, of which there are plenty in KL, this band made our evening. We asked them for 'Hey Jude' and we got it! Yeah, the lead guitarist and singer referred to their notes for awhile before that, and then jammed away.