Category: Travel


A journey to discover my RED center.


This goes back to the summer holidays of grade seven at school. The term broke for summer vacations after a month of school. It meant one thing for me – Three months of joy, cricket in the sun from dawn to dusk. I’d wait till the moment mum and dad left for work each morning and after waiting for a good five extra minutes (What if they had forgotten something and came back home), I’d shoot out the door with my willow dragging behind.

Two and a half months flew by, I had worked up a dark tan, which hadn’t escaped mum’s keen eyes and I had to endure some tough grilling sessions. Summer vacations also meant something else – School Homework. Now that’s something that I had let slide for all this while. I worked furiously for the next week, ticking off one homework after another. As the first day back to school grew closer, I realized that I had knocked off all but the Geography homework. On the face of it, Geography was my favorite subject, the task at hand – Pick a continent of your choice and put together a scrap book of political and physical maps, present information about the countries, detail the flora and fauna of the region etc.

Tough times sometimes bring out ingenious brainwaves. As I flipped through the Atlas making up my mind on what continent to pick, the answer became pretty obvious quickly. AUSTRALIA it had to be. Not that I had a particular liking, (Truth be told, I’d wake up at 3AM every morning that India played it’s game at the 1992 cricket world cup down under. I still have the prized poster of all the teams in the bright uniforms lined up and sitting on the Spirit of Tasmania cruise ship.) the choice was easy to make with the continent having only a handful of states, most of which were stacked next to each other with their borders in straight lines. This was going to be easy!

As I went through with putting the maps together and coloring the various states, I also started pouring over information about the land. Slowly but surely it gripped me. The native animals were nothing like found elsewhere, A continent that also doubled up as a country was unique. As I learnt more, I came across a picture of Uluru – The rock that stood tall and handsome in the middle of nowhere! I was in awe. How wonderful would it be to be standing there, I thought to myself. I finally managed to put the homework together. It turned out that I had one of the best works in the entire class. I took immense pride in showing it off to anybody that came home that summer.

Fast forward some 17 years. I have just finished booking my tickets to go to Uluru! And what better time to pick to go than around my birthday. I look forward to waking up to the sights of the BIG rock in the distance. The vast emptiness all around, clear starry skies, makes for a perfect setting to celebrate a big milestone – Yes! somebody turns 30 soon. Can’t wait to get there now. Going to the Red center to reconnect and discover my own center. Should be good. Very good!

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God must be Spanish


One of the ‘must go’ places on my list is Spain. Although the allure of europe on the whole is magnetic, Spain just takes the cake with the cherry on the top for me. so biased am I, that I have a strong feeling that God must be Spanish. Why else would Spain enjoy the exotic locales, the distinct cusine, a smattering of brunettes, red heads, blondes and even the rote black hair which for once is pleasing to the eyes. I wonder what’s not to love about the Spanish. Where else would you be named Maya and your name pronounced Maja, Where else would a staid sounding Xavier become a mysterious toungue flexing Havierrr (oh yes, love the stress on the letters right at the end!) ?

 My pangs just heightened when I was flipping through the channels on TV and decided to stay with the latest stage of Le Tour de France. Every third name mentioned turns out to be a Spanish!, while i sat there munching on – what else but Nachos and finger lickin good salsa. I could half imagine god at work, throwing together Spain and peppering it with men and women second to none. Agreed, that the french might have wrested the mantle of the most romantic, but the air of mystery around the spanish does it for me. With all due respect, What do the French have to show except for their fine wine, a few croissants and an Eiffiel tower that epitomises love. Add to it the notion that they try and peddle to you that Paris (Parie for the refined) is the most romantic city in the world, after appearing to be the uptight. Hell yeah, I would’nt bat an eyelid in accepting an invite over to france, but definitely not at the expense of Spain. 

 

 You guessed it right, These days I am working on my flamenco skills, dressed as a daredevil matador, a long stemmed rose trussed between my teeth answering to the name of Havierrr albiet tucked miles away in melbourne. Till one day I pack my bags and command my armada in the direction of Spain, ill have to be happy with polishing of my tapas and nachos with a content smile. About the tour de france, although I was backing Cadel Evans, flying the green and gold flag high to bring home the honours, I would’nt complain if one Alejandro (Alehandro please) Valverde, pips him to the post.