Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Of all that my eyes have seen
The heart endured
Or is it an iron mask
That shows more than it covers
Is it an honest smile
That touch my eyes
Or will I smile again
Only when its time to die
I ask for forgiveness
But there is no one to forgive
I hope to forget
But nothing remains to forget
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Saturday, 4 April 2009
1. I have been to Paris twice and have never been to the Louvre. No Mona Lisa. (Though I did spend a grateful few minutes in the Louvre Loo – travel tip- it’s for free! But I guess it doesn’t count.)
2. I have traveled (pure pleasure – not on business) to Kenya but have neither seen the big game – no safaris; nor eaten them- no Carnivore!
3. I have lived in Ethiopia and not been to Bahir Dar or Gondar. I won’t say this again – cos it makes me want to kill me.
4. I have lived in The Netherlands and never seen a tulip. In The Netherlands, that is. But I guess the season had something to do with that.
5. I have never seen the Kashmir Valley. A glimpse across the Pir Gali pass doesn’t qualify.
6. I once had a chance to say something to a person; I should have said it. I almost did. A moment lost is a lifetime lost. The candles that lit up the night will never be so bright.
7. I have been to Granada and not entered the Alhambra! Am breaking an oath here – had promised my fellow backpackers never to mention this to anyone!
8. A villager casually pointed out a partially visible landmine to me. It was less than a meter away from where my precious right foot had just landed. And he got a much needed laugh, when he saw the expression on my face!
9. It was late night and I was driving through the desert. Far away from anywhere. My wife and my infant daughter were with me in the car. Suddenly, I saw a man lying by the roadside. It happened too fast. I passed him. I could have stopped to help. I didn’t.
10. I once missed a flight that crashed. It was destiny. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to reach no. 10! ;-)
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Imagine an extra terrestrial being, observing the earth from somewhere far above, on a clear Saturday morning. If she had good eyesight she may have spotted this emerald green, tear drop shaped island hanging tentatively to the Indian peninsula. If she was also blessed with an ultra sensitive sense of smell she wouldn't miss the fact that she was hardly sniffing any vile CO2. Ah! Fresh! While at it, if she had screwed her eyes and focused on the eastern edge of the teardrop, she would have made out a thin black strip running along the coast, hugging the ocean and gently shimmering in the sun. She may also have picked up this little red dot on that strip that seemed to dash and stop as it inched slowly southwards. What she couldn't have known was that lodged uncomfortably, albeit voluntarily, inside this sporadically moving red dot was a miniscule and extremely rueful entity. The cause of this rue was the knowledge that at this very moment this entity could have been comfortably inside a fast moving white streak located somewhere much further to the south on the shimmering black strip. But alas, this miniscule and rueful entity had inside him, in no mean amount, a senseless and intangible quality called a sense of adventure. It usually resulted in the uncomfortable lodging of the entity in question in the most questionable places.
The red dot of course was one of the many that crisscrossed the emerald island at this same excruciating pace. What is popularly called a bus.
The white streak of course would have been my car, which rested peacefully back home.
Two reasons for that. I had just read somewhere that
The reason for the sporadic movement of the bus is quite simple. Security checks. The entire bus gets off and files through a check post for baggage and personal screening. This happened twentytimes in the 150 km stretch that I traveled. I took 6 and a half hours for the trip. Finally when I got off at Pothuwil I should have been in a really bad mood - but i was at
Heading south the tuk tuk crossed the new bridge, built after the tsunami, and immediately dropped me off on the beach road. I turned left and hit the beach. This stretch of beach is the main hub of activity for the tourists, surfers and fisher folk alike. The beach is a charming mix of laid back leisure and frenetic fishing activities. This is considered a surfers haven – especially suited for beginners. The season starts picking up after April and lasts till about November depending on the monsoons. I was there during the low season so I pretty much had the place to myself. There were still a few accommodation options and restaurants that were functional. I spent my time there taking long walks, watching the fishermen reel in their catch, see the sun set and the moon rise and of course beer, arrack and some lazy conversation. I had decided to come here at the last moment - when I had realised that I had a long weekend staring at me. I hadn't counted on the bus trip to take double the scheduled time. So it was with some dread that I looked at the return trip. Luck was with me, however, as I bumped into some NGO types headed back to Batticaloa. Not bad at all, I thought, ensconced comfortably with a German blonde and a French brunette inside a white streak. Couldn’t help feeling that I was being watched – maybe by some extra terrestrial being who was peering down and smiling knowingly…