Making Memories 

One of the most precious earnings of life are the relationships that we nurture through the years. 

By accepting, complimenting, encouraging, forgiving, we choose to keep our focus on that which is relevant. By not paying attention to the petty and the temporary we sow seeds for something more lasting.

This photograph is an Ode to my brother and the precious bond he shares with my son. They are both sitting in the ramparts of the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, soaking in the chants coming from within and enjoying the atmosphere that only rains in the mountains can create!! 

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India…. My storybook. 

From the most basic of kitchens come the most delicious of meals! 

On a recent visit to a small village in East Sikkim called Budan, we had a homestay at the simple abode of one of the villagers. Our presence was celebrated as a big occasion for the whole village and a lot of respect was accorded to us. From the traditional welcome, to the performance of local dances, we enjoyed everything. 

Absolute silence and abundant natural beauty just added to the whole experience. 

In such situations, when city people visit Eco villages and homestays,  the whole village rallies around the family that is the host, providing manpower and help when needed. The status of the family is also elevated. 

The more I travel into the interiors of my country the more clearly I recognise the beauty of the human spirit, it’s desire to please and give respect to other beings. They come from a place of dignity. It is a beautiful and symbiotic relationship…. 

The diversity of India never ceases to amaze. Every corner has stories, told and untold. I am blessed to have the opportunity to read these, one page at a time. 😊💕

Tulip Gardens of India 

Tucked away in a breathtaking location in the Northern regions of India, in Srinagar to be precise, lie our Tulip gardens. Their ephemeral beauty can be enjoyed for only the first two weeks of April. 

The space where they grow is visually intimate, the eyes are brought back constantly to the gardens after they reach the mountains that cradle them. 

Definitely worth a visit for anyone who loves nature and flowers! 

To be in Foreign Lands.. 

Saadi Saga..!!

We are both speaking english but we both don’t understand what the other is saying. Each is believing that the other is lacking basic intelligence. We stare at each others lips brazenly in the hope that the moving parts will reveal something more for the ears to comprehend. Magically, we both stop at the same time. This conversation isn’t going anywhere.

I restart, taking in a deep breath and gathering all the patience that only a mother can muster up in situations that can drive others insane.

“Dew. yiew. haive. ainy. vege. thaarian. aaptions. puhleese?” I enunciate slowly

“Aaaah! Oui!” she says excitedly, “feesh??”

….And it starts again…

I want my words to be light and breathy, like foam over a perfectly made cup of cappuccino, but alas, change doesn’t happen over a days time. My words feel clunky and large, as if they are taking too much space in the air when they come out and they do not float like wispy clouds, but instead fall like stone pellets. There is no way an Indian can take out the breathy lilt that a French can so effortlessly. Their tongue curls in inhuman ways, injected with treacle and ice in equal measure. My ears are tired of trying to understand them, as I am sure theirs are too. And whereas I am dealing with just one, they have to deal with a huge number of interesting situations. 

An old grandmother walks into the plane with a grandchild on her aging hip and three polythene bags over her shoulders and arms. Her hair is dishevelled, as is her dupatta. She asks the prim, french stewardess, “Main kitthe javan?” The lady is bewildered to say the least. Very patiently and inhaling deeply she asks for the boarding card. The grandmother promptly puts all her bags on a vacant seat and asks her to forage through them to find it while she proceeds to resettle her slumbering grandson. The stewardess raises both her hands, as if faced with a grenade instead of stuffed polybags. 

“Eye kan’t do thait!” she says in a panic. Meanwhile the grandmother fishes out the limp boarding card and presents it.  The lady reads it and proclaims, “twenty nain!”

“Kee??” asks the grandmother

“Unattee,” I pipe in, suddenly, I have dropped into the situation like a knight in shining armour. The stewardess looks at me with new respect as I take charge.

“Twanoo madad chaidey?” I offer. the grandmother looks immensely relieved. I pick up her many bags, like a seasoned coolie and guide her to her seat.

“Chould you help us here puhleeze?” they ask me when I return. A passenger from another part of the plane has made her way to the washroom in this section. The accosted lady is looking apologetic and saying,”Utthe bahut bheed seegee, pressure kabu nee horiya…” Okay, I don’t want to take the risk of translating this for sure! So I nonchalantly tell the posse of staff, “She’s good, won’t be a minute.”

The much relieved lady hurries into the loo and takes her time… A very long one at that!

I know they are staring at me, but I bore into my diary and scribble furiously with my pen and look very busy…!

Simple Pleasures of Life… 😊

You know a journey is coming to an end when all the toothpaste tubes are squeezed out with super human effort, when the soap cake you carried from home becomes wafer thin and you are loathe to buy a new one… 

Everything you carried from home to last you through your travels gets over one by one. You favourite tea, your food packets of pulao and dal, your travel perfume.. all lie empty in the bin. 


As you stare at your half empty bag and look back at the life it has helped recreate away from home, you are grateful for its constant presence and its ability to still delight you by revealing the corner of a fresh pair of socks, one that you had completely forgotten about, as a surprise gift!  

And as you revel in your sudden good fortune, you realise that happiness comes in a thousand different sizes and a million different colours and in the most unexpected ways… 😊

#travel #travelogues #adventure #justgo #travelbug #Durham #durhamdiaries #myworld #justenjoy #justathought #journaljourney

Duke Lemur Center

Visited the Duke Lemur Center today😀. It’s the only such facility outside of Madagascar (the main Habitat of Lemurs) where such a dedicated effort is being made to save these gorgeous creatures from extinction.

There are more than a hundred species of Lemur, being brought up here under very protected conditions here. Every new birth is celebrated with enthusiasm and best medical facilities are extended to keep the existing population healthy. 

This stunning creature here is a Blue-eyed Black Lemur 🎶😯😊 
#lemur #dukelemurcenter #nature #beauty #protect #extinction #save #wildlife #donoharm #Durham #northcarolina #behuman #travel #travelogues