Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday spirit

Have a long holiday planned this December; starting with Kathmandu, then Jaipur, a short stay in Delhi & finally to our respective homes (Bombay & Pune). Can't wait for it to begin !!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On My Bookshelf

Came to my mind when I was browsing through my bookshelf & glanced at two of my favourite classics:

Perched together,
Tagore & Tolstoy,
Unfold two lives,
Of enchanting beauty,
And tragic love.

Apart even though,
In distance & time,
Binodini in Bengal,
Born in Tagore's ink;
Anna, a Russian Karenina,
Of Tolstoy's times;

But here on my bookshelf,

Share a fate nonetheless,
A beckoning of love,
A disenchanted life.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trip to Cambodia - Part II

While in Siam Reap, we visited a "Floating Village". Now the whole concept would seem bizzare to you & me; but its an established way of life for many Cambodian fishermen. This village on the lake is made of houses built like boats. So one might go to bed one night in one corner of the lake & find himself drifted to another part of the lake the following morning! As the lake changes shape (it gets smaller & shallower during summer); the village moves to deeper locations. There are no fixed neighbours; no fixed directions; no fixed views from the bedroom windows....everything is adrift.

I would find it impossible to live in such a fluid & mobile *home*; but then sitting in a multi-storeyed condo in Singapore, I realise that circumstances are a matter of perception. While I dare not put myself in the shoes of those villagers (in my smug belief that my life is so much better than theirs); their bright shining faces told me, that the joys in their lives were as real as the joys in mine.

A floating restaurant, a floating church, a floating school & some floating houses (yes, those are TV antennae on those water-huts!!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Trip to Cambodia

I'm back from the short trip to Cambodia & I'm still mesmerised by the place. We spent most of our time exploring the ancient ruins of the Angkor sites & absolutely loved them all.

Although "Angkor Wat" is the most famous monument in the country; my favourite has to be the Bayon Temple built in the 8th century by King Jayavarman VII. Its decorated with 216 massive faces of an ancient deity; made to resemble the face of the King himself. What an ego-trip he would've been on! But the result is absolutely breath-taking. There is such enigma in the upward pointing self-absorbed smiles on these faces :)
Of course there is the 'Ta Prohm' Temple; made famous by Lara Croft's 'Tomb Raider'. The once-beautiful temples now in the clutches of giant tree roots; can get seriously spooky :) But its difficult to miss the fierce beauty of nature & its stampede here. It is fit to be the backdrop of a Hollywood movie!

And then there were the people of Cambodia; who make simplicity look so endearing! Especially the small kids who study by day & run around the western tourists by noon trying to make money by selling bangles & postcards...they really are angels!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Happy Diwali Everyone!

This year we celebrated Diwali the good old way after many years, since Diwali is a public holiday in Singapore. So we put up our Diwali decorations & lights; wore Indian clothes; got lots of Diwali sweets & played taash (cards) till late in the night.

Hope everyone has a festive & fantastic Diwali!!