Books and Berries

The sprawling villas on both sides don’t point to a village. I’m about to double-back when the signboard declares that I’m still a kilometre away. The signs are all over the place – a book and strawberry, over the red type declaring Bhilar as India’s first “books village”. Located between the popular hill towns of PanchganiContinue reading “Books and Berries”

When the jungle calls

“Don’t grab the crabs!” the major said, laughing. “Just gently pass the branches behind.” We looked at each other, the ten of us, wondering if we had heard correctly. We had been in the waters for fifteen minutes, gazing at the star-lit sky when she quipped again, “Next time ensure you come on a moonless night,Continue reading “When the jungle calls”

Say cheese

It had almost become my morning ritual. I would walk up the stairs at Daragaon village retreat to see if the Kanchenjunga—the world’s third-highest peak—had dropped its misty cloak. Seeing the clouds intact, I would trundle down past the cow shed with a heavy heart and inevitably meet someone from the house bringing up tea.Continue reading “Say cheese”

Wrapped in green

It was the only choice. He didn’t have Pulimunchi. The Mangalorean fish curry had felt like home stranded in Pondicherry during the 2015 downpour. Infused with red chillies and tamarind, the curry was at once a reminder of the fiery red ones back home in coastal Maharashtra yet devoid of the overpowering taste of coconut oneContinue reading “Wrapped in green”

Microcosm

The ghats are where the action is. Walk alongside and you will find kids playing cricket on each stretch. In the evenings, a premier league, replete with commentators, and a crowd you have to zip past to avoid being hit. Afternoons are about cards with tea. Also, to repair the boats that will be pushedContinue reading “Microcosm”