This is the Arena for

Caption: Travel

July 9, 2016
12: 40 AM

Hiatus in Himachal – Part 3

En route to Mahasu Peak, when I saw one of the horses raring wildly towards me, bucking and kicking in the nads of other ponies nearby, I turned and looked at my wife who saw the light go out in my eyes. I’d never wondered until then about the freight logistics in domestic passenger flights; whether there would be any scope for transporting a dedicated crate casket or the pieces of my mangled body wrapped in plastic would just be squeezed in the gaps between other bags. Full Reel…

June 30, 2016
11: 22 PM

Hiatus in Himachal – Part 2

When I logged in to do an online check-in for our flight to Chandigarh, I found that we were assigned the last two seats in front of the lavatory. Initially, I thought that MakeMyTrip had not selected our seats as it would have cost them a whopping 300 Rupees causing a dent in their quarterly results. But then I had this epiphany that it could have been done on purpose so as to give the customer the real “economy” experience. Full Reel…

June 29, 2016
8: 52 PM

Hiatus in Himachal – Part 1

With our car dangling at the tip of a cliff and a gaping void underneath, the voice command system would repeat, “You have arrived at your destination. Step out of the vehicle. You are now about to enter a happy place. Close your eyes and jump off into the valley of emptiness”. This voice could belong to one of those advanced audio commentary apps of psychic intelligence built with dark undertones. Before the vacation started, MakeMyTrip’s repeated reminders indicated that our true happiness lay in subscribing to an app called AudioCompass, an advanced audio tour guide. But who knows…

A Vembanad Weekend – Part 5

Though it wasn’t exactly an elusive, suited-up Bond and his girl steering their luxury yacht to a lakeshore in Venice backed by some chic sax music, our welcome was adorned with the native greatness of a mellifluous live flute, and refreshing serves of elaneer, and a fresh flower to each of us. Apart from the flautist who had his lips puckered over the flute gracing us with a warm welcome melody, the rest of the reception team were waiting in the namaskaram posture beaming with smiles as our boat sputtered and stopped at the…

A Vembanad Weekend – Part 4

Half an hour into the drive, we were still worming through a clutter of fuming vehicles at a toll plaza on the state highway just within 5 km from the airport. Wet roads indicated it had rained lately and the driver made sure the car got an earthy makeover as he had to plunge it into big puddles to circumvent his raging competitors. Weather had vastly changed too. The sun had come out and I started sweating as though I saw an end-semester question paper cramped with those little boxes and instructions in the footer reading, “Answer within the…