9 Months and 3 Countries – Golden Highlights of My South American Adventure

In the nine months that I was backpacking through South America (SA), I visited three countries: Chile, Peru, and Bolivia.

White roses, pink bougainvilleas, golden marigolds, and red hibiscuses bloom throughout the day in my parent’s garden, but then comes night, and the queen of the night takes over. These memories from SA waft through my being as the scent of the queen of the night drifts through my parent’s garden and settles in our wistful dreams.

Hope you enjoy these golden memories.

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Peru – In the Golden Foliage of Poetry and Pictures.

 

Oh dear friend, would you convey my message if you travel to the mystical land of the Incas.

 

photos of peru

 

Could you find that old lady who guided me to the bus and tell her that I dream of her hair as I dream about the Himalayan snow.  

Could you find that little mystery-eyed girl who would be bigger by now and whisper to her that I would come again to play the game of “donde estas” with her in her home.

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Let Your Life Flow Freely – She Knows Her Course Better than You Do.

Let life happen to you — Rainer Maria Rilke told a Young poet, Franz Xaver Kappus when he expressed his doubts about his poetry to Rainer in a letter.

 

Out of all the golden words that Rainer said, this advice struck me the most when I read the twelve-letter correspondence between him and Franz. Those letters are a brilliant read. But calling them a read would be undermining them.

The art that those twelve letters hold in their hearts thrives with life and hope and advice. That art is like that thunder which roars at night. That art is like that lightning which dances across the grey sky. That art is like that twilight which doesn’t know any bounds.

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How to Score a Peru Visa on an Indian Passport – From India and South America

I traveled in Peru for a little more than a month, as the immigration officer at the Arica-Tacna (Chile-Peru) border crossing had stamped my passport with a one-time stay of thirty days, though I had a 183 days and one-year-valid Peru visa stamped on my blue passport. To get to stay a few days over a month, I had gone to the immigration office in Cusco to extend my stay. 

The immigration officer listened to my pre-rehearsed story that elaborated how I was in love with Peru and a month to explore it was too short. He stamped my passport with more days and suggested me to request the immigration officer next time to allow me to stay the entire duration granted by visa. I would have told the young immigration in charge at the Tacna border that I intended to stay for the whole period, but I was still new to long-term travel. 

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How to Achieve Your Goals – 12 Principles That I Have Stuck to Since I Was Fifteen Years Old

I was a science and a mathematics girl. Having seen my interest and capability in the sciences, my brother decided that I should compete to get into the IITs, the MIT of India, and become an engineer.

As I hail from a small town, which doesn’t offer many educational opportunities, my father took me to Kota, a city in the desert of Rajasthan, admitted me in one of the private institutions of the coaching-hub of India, and left me in that unknown town; I was fifteen years old and hadn’t stayed away from my parents for more than a few days.

At my first attempt at the entrance examination, I failed. At the secpond attempt, for which I dropped a year, I ranked seventy-eight (78) amongst half-a-million students.

It didn’t happen by chance. Though I was young, I knew what I had to do to achieve my goal. And it didn’t seem that hard at that time; I just had to crack the concepts, practice, and give exams.

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What Made Me Become a Part-Time Chef Even Though I had a Regular IT Job

I wanted to see if the flavors I saw flying in my kitchen had wings. I wanted to see if my hands moved fast enough to massacre a red onion in under thirty seconds. I wanted to see if I could count on the buoyancy of the country eggs I poached. I wanted to see if I could scale the golden fish. If I could do justice to her death. I wanted to see if I could make the chicken fall off its bones. I wanted to see if the boiled spinach adorned a darker green. I wanted to see if anyone else could stuff more onions in paranthas than I could.

I wanted to see if any other spice could overpower asafoetida’s pungent-ness. I wanted to see if life could be lived without coriander. I wanted to understand the fuss about the snowy-white garlic. That always looked to me like the dome-like crown on the head of queen Victoria. I wanted to see if Tiramisu talked. Maybe it could breathe life into another being. As when I licked its spoonful, I was floating freely and kicking in my mother’s uterus again.

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How I Have Changed Over One–Year of Sincere Writing and Blogging – And This Is Just the Beginning.

I think a lot more.

I read a lot more. I scroll blogs for hours. I highlight words while I read. I note them down. I try to go through them again.

I write a lot more. I ask myself why shall I not write on a Sunday. The world goes on. So I go on describing it.

I broke up with redundant words. I perfect the Whatsapp messages and the emails I send. My scrutinizing eyes don’t even spare the responses of my friends.

When I wake up, I think about writing instead of thinking about going to the toilet. I am burdened by guilt the day I don’t write. The day I write well, I feel liberated.

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How I Struggle as a New Writer – Or as Someone Who Is Trying to Accept That She Is One.

When I say a new writer, I mean someone who didn’t dare to make writing her life. Or to even think about earning money from her writings. Or to be able to imagine that her story or a poem might get published. Or to be able to say out loud that she is a writer.

But.

She has made writing her life, recently. She earns money from writing. Her day revolves around writing. Her poem got published. Sometimes she stammers that she is a writer.

She still gasps for breath as she wakes up every morning bearing a writer’s responsibility. She becomes too hard on herself while maneuvering her newly-found writer’s freedom.

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Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary – A Day in the Winged Paradise

We went on a one day drive to the Ranganathittu bird sanctuary. And I was overwhelmed by its beauty, to say the least.

I penned down my experience in a poem. After all, what is better than nature and poetry?

So here you go.

 

As we entered the sanctuary, painted storks glided above us in the clouded sky, 

and with our heads tilted towards the heavens,

we walked by the side of the muddy Kaveri,

to see flocks and flocks of white and grey birds just perched onto the canopies of the Arjuna and the Acacia on the islets.

The crisp air buzzed with their songs and shrieks,

though I couldn’t identify even one of those notes.

We gazed at the distant foliage to recognize the winged-ones,

but our eyes instead discovered three crocodiles who rested on the rocks with their powerful jaws wide open,

as if they were waiting for a fish to dive into their mouth.

Their stillness made us wonder if they were real or fake,

and then we saw one of them gracefully gliding into the coolness of the water,

alluring us to go behind him.

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What Did Staying in Touch with My Ex-Boyfriend Teach Me About Life – And About Myself

After years of struggle, I broke up with the man I had wished to spend the rest of my life with. Then I flew to the other end of the world. In that foreign land, I picked up a million tiny parts of mine and weaved them again. Then I breathed life into that lifeless me. After a year, I returned to the old city and happened to rent an apartment in his vicinity.

I thought I had moved on. And I had. I am with someone else now and I love my current partner most earnestly.

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