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Finding a Home in a Village in Wayanad (Kerala): Day 1, Episode 1

a brick-tiled roof home in wayanad village with betel nuts plants and coffee drying (1)

Sitting on this makeshift work desk (that’s actually a couch) on the ground floor of a home in Chitragiri village in Wayanad is a blessing. Maybe the Christian family who owns the place might say that Christ has bestowed this blessing upon us. A big white church stands on the opposite side of the road. It is called Saint George Church Chitragiri, if I am not wrong. Its large but narrow white facade bolts upright while the rest of the church sprawls behind. A tea plantation lies next door to the church. 

a couch with laptop and pillows and covers, my makeshift work desk in a guesthouse in Wayanad village kerala
my makeshift work desk, Wayanad village, Kerala

In our house, this house, or I must say, this building, the owner’s family stays upstairs. I guess they have more guest rooms on the second floor. Behind our house, which has two rooms, a hall, a kitchen, two bathrooms, more common area, is the dormitory which is unoccupied at the moment. The coffee and betel nut estate of the family is behind the building. Our porch leads onto the cement driveway which fronts the green estate. 

Here downstairs we are, our doors open to the lushness of this coffee district.

We have spent three nights in this home. Today is our fourth day. 

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3 Years on the Road: Behind the Scenes

on the road 1 drying clothes on rolling mountains near a road himachal pradesh

36 Months as an Itinerant Writer: What It Means to Live On The Go Table of Content [TOC] Introduction January 5′ 2024 Bangalore Here I’m in a hotel in Bangalore, writing this narrative and wondering why I feel so cold and why am I so uninterested and unenthusiastic about everything. I have stayed in hotel rooms …

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From Homeless to Home in Himachal: Travel Serendipity

from the balcony outside my room in rewalsar monastery the view of rewalsar lake homeless to home

Homeless in Himachal During a Storm But Then We Find a Cosy Home in a Monastery—Travel Serendipity in Rewalsar Lake, the Himalayas 12:45 pm, May 25 Let’s see if we find a place in Rewalsar. 7 pm, May 25 Though I said let’s see if we find a space in Rewalsar today morning, I’m already …

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The Road Taketh, and the Road Giveth–Moments of Bliss

eating makka roti with maa ki dal in himachal a bite in author's hand

Moments of Bliss on the Road I travel full-time—haven’t had a rented or owned home to call mine since February 2021. So when a friend asks, “What are your favorite moments from your journey?” many moments of bliss rush to me. I have hundreds of anecdotes of being frustrated, angry, afraid, or hopeless on the …

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Lost in the Sikkim Countryside Alone–Learning to Unstuck Myself

the dogs looking out from a mountain in eastern himalayas sikkim

A Short, Solo Hiking Adventure in the Eastern Himalayas, When the Host Family Dogs Abandon Me One has to be confident while hiking. One should know that her shoes can take care of her and, if alone, she can climb down steep paths and clamber up narrow ridges by herself. Because, sometimes, things don’t work …

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A Serendipitous Stop in Karnataka Near Nandi Hills

feature oriental darter preening and sunbathing in a pond near nandi hills karnataka

Keeping Our Eyes Open to the Wonders of the World At times, we look around us, and everything moving or even inanimate strikes us as beautiful. Travel, for sure, helps me appreciate the new and the old. But it also opens my eyes to things I might have ignored otherwise. Though I lived for years …

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A Green Affair in Siliguri–Picking Tomatoes and Turnips

mobile tandoor for peanuts in siliguri city west bengal

Though I stayed in Siliguri, a city in West Bengal, for more than two months, I have not written a blog post on it, yet. The reason could be that I was busy with a creative writing project that took all my time. I was not venturing out a lot either. With my head down …

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My Best Travel Books of All Time

best travel books to read in the photo author is lying down with book on her lap in malaysia kinabatagan river homestay

Though this piece began as the books I loved in 2023, as the number of books about traveling overpowered other categories, I decided to dedicate an entire blog post to the best travel books to read. 

Here you will find all kinds of books on traveling: including some on traveling within one’s room and another one on setting up a home in a foreign country. Some books are as old as 1794 while others are from a couple of years ago. The list has solo walking adventures, solo mountaineering on horsebacks in the old-day Persia and current-day Iran, one is of a lone woman biker, one of a tramp, and there are even artists sharing their traveling experiences (or vice-versa). I have also kept two fiction travel books. They were so good, they belong here. Irrespective of their variety, all these books on travel have the same intention: to share one’s experience of exploring this wonderful magical world.

I’m still to add many more books to this list, but until then, enjoy.

Of course, the list of books that changed my life is a must-read after you have checked this one out.

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Hardworking Indian Women: Stories From, Literally, The Road

an indian grocery seller woman looking for money in her purse by the roadside in pondicherry

Are Indian Women home-making or home-running? Let’s figure out.

Highway Fruit Seller, Maharashtra

Somewhere between Satpura National Park and Goa, the highway is fringed by women sitting on the pavement amidst baskets of fruits. It is a yellow afternoon. As my partner and I drive by, the vendors wave and call while wiping the rainbow of fruits with a cloth. Plump round guavas, large custard apples, sparkling oranges, red apples, pointy jujube, tight sapodillas, big pineapples—they have them all. Because they call, we don’t stop. But near a woman who is quietly wiping the pomegranates, I ask my partner to stop the car. 

“We could buy some,” I say.

He nods. “Sure.” What do you think we should get, is his question next. 

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6 Years of On My Canvas

a boat parked at the edge of water used as a feature image for six years of my personal growth and travel blog on my canvas

Six Years of Running My Personal Growth and Travel Blog On My Canvas The past six years have been important to me in many ways. In them, I not only wrote on this blog and brought it to where it is today: an infinite source of inspiration, hope, and ideas for me and, hopefully, a …

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Lucknow Food Trail: Childhood Memories and a Miss and Hit of Expectations [Episode 4] 

the quint essential Uttar Pradesh tiki on a plate

Please note: This narrative is fourth in the series of travel essays on my Sikkim to Himachal highway journey. Read the First: Leaving Sikkim for Himachal, Second: The 500-km Drive Through Bihar — Corn Harvests, Marriage Certificate at Hotels, and Truck Slogans, and Third Episode: Arriving in UP at Midnight — an Eerie Expressway, a Suspicious Hotel Attendant, and a Missing Wheel-Cover, too.  

Also note: If I was a bit calmer — and perhaps had an ice cooler sticking to my head — I would have photographed it all. But for now, we would have to do with this photo-less food tour of Lucknow. I have added some photos downloaded from Google though.

The featured image is of a plate of tiki, taken at my parent’s home but purchased from a street food shop in the town. It is a quintessential UP photo, showing the tiki (though without chutneys) along with the Hindi Punjab Kesari, the everyman’s newspaper of my state.

My Home State Uttar Pradesh (UP) Has Moved On, But I Have Not

We were going to pass Lucknow on our way to Himachal (from Sikkim). So for that afternoon, we had planned a Lucknow food trail: not any guide, but we ourselves were taking us on an impromptu food tour through Lucknow. Neither had I been to the capital before nor did my partner S, and skipping the city’s quintessential delicacies to make it quickly to Himachal sounded like a lame excuse. 

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Arriving in UP at Midnight: An Eerie Expressway, A Suspicious Hotel Attendant, and a Missing Wheel-Cover [Episode 3]

driving through haryana sunflower fields used as feature image in driving through UP article

Please note: This narrative is the third in the series of travel essays on my Sikkim to Himachal highway journey. Read the First Episode: Leaving Sikkim for Himachal – Serendipity or Choice? and the Second: The 500-km Drive Through Bihar: Corn Harvests, Marriage Certificate at Hotels, and Truck Slogans, too. Can We Ever Feel Safe in Uttar Pradesh? …

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