article, dharamsala, friends, india tourism, life, LOVE, memories, road trip, traveling, Uncategorized

The Road Trip

We pulled into Dharamsala around as the sun was first rising, with two fingers of light on the horizon. We crossed the breezy but narrow roads into the city limits, making our way to a bus depot.  Rubbing my sleep-filled eyes, I tried to peer through the hazy glass, at the snow-covered mountains on my right, the sky turning the color of light orange with wispy blue clouds at the edges, like froth at the top of a drink. Most of my classmates were asleep, the target of my envy —for the rumbling-swaying bus devoid me of the much-needed rest—considering we had a long day ahead of us.  I had stayed up, flitting in and out of sleep, leaning in, my weight on the shoulders of a friend, who had blissfully slept, much to my chagrin. We walked up to our hotel, with the taste of our exhaustion livid in our mouths, slept on the bed in the same outfit, only to wake up an hour later, drink a cup of coffee in the beautiful terrace area and later, drive to our first destination.

We had the trip of our lives, with the fear of imminent placements put mutually on the backburner. I have no adjectives to describe my classmates— they are the most eclectic bunch of people I have met! Our class would throw their hands up in the air and relax, with music in the background and a cigarette in their hand, than battle out political differences. This educational trip, or so it was meant to be, was a proof of our symbiotic association. We travelled all day, amidst the cliffs which were marked by tall trees along the roadsides, their arms up like they were being frisked. We ambled along a clammy-smelling, muddy trail to the Tibetan parliament in exile, and trudged lazily from a library to a human rights discussion. We braved the sleety rain ricocheting off the rocks. We were bemused by the plight of the young children at a Tibetan Children’s school and amused by the extremely cheap desserts at the Tibetan café.

We would come back to our hotel, exhausted from the day but pumped up for the night. Groups were fluid as people drifted in and out of different rooms with ease, some fumbling around for shampoo, and some for a matchbox. Amidst all the clamor of our incessant bickering and bluff sessions, we all felt united by one purpose—that we did not let our fears prevent us from missing out on this trip. We shared childhood (read embarrassing) anecdotes and danced to old Bollywood jingles into the night (well some did, I slept. Huge regrets.) I trekked — or something close enough to a trek —with my friends, without a care in the world, without any fear of being embarrassed of my child-like naivety. I’d like to think the time spent on a stony wall, within the reclaimed cathedral just off the road, brought us closer to each other. I’d like to hope that somehow, this short tour gave us all memories to store within each fleeting moment. Before we start feeling limited by our lives and jobs, penned in by money or family, we stretched out in our bit of the leg-room and somehow, just somehow, made this tour into the road trip we all dream about.

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article, bosphorous, istanbul, life, LOVE, traveling, turkey, Uncategorized

ISTANBUL – A trip to the Turkish Delight

Istanbul, the gorgeous capital of Turkey, can boast of many things, being an exciting amalgamation of the old and the new, the traditional treats and the modern breath. Napoleon Bonaparte rightly exclaimed- If Earth was a single state, Istanbul would be its capital. It has had an adventurous journey, having been founded in 660BC as Byzantium, and then falling into the hands of the Roman conqueror Constantine, who christened the place as Constantinople. It earned its new name, Istanbul, in 1930, after Turkey became a republic in 1923.

Sitting on the famed European-Asian border, the city has much to offer in terms of stunning architecture, historical delights and boat trips on the Bosphorous, one of the world’s busiest waterways, connecting countries to the Mediterranean.

The Grand Bazaar

The bazaar is famed for being the oldest and the largest covered market in the world, with over 4000 stalls to entice any shopaholic’s interest. Situated in the Old City, Kalpali Çarsi has an assortment of thoroughfares from carpets to brassware. Be sure to haggle, for the merchants are known to often bend a little.

The Topkapi Palace

Home to the stunning 86 carat Spoonmaker Diamond, the palace was once the palatial residence of the Ottoman Rulers. The garden is a stunning piece of art, and overlooks the Sea of Marmara. Containing four courtyards and a number of other smaller structures, the palace’s Construction began in 1459, ordered by Sultan Mehmed II. It became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1985. It is now a museum and shows on display beautiful Ottoman jewelry among other artifacts.

Hagia Sophia

It transcended a journey from a church to a mosque and now finally rests as a fine museum and one of the city’s favourite destinations. The byzantine architecture, with the intricate mosaics and marble pillars make for a beautiful scene.

The Basilica Cistern

All Dan Brown fans out there will remember the mention of this place in his book titled INFERNO, where the 6th century structure does not fail to impress even the most unassuming. Known locally as the Sunken Palace, one must make an eerie-full descend into the cavern which houses three hundred and thirty six columns with bases in a few feet of water. It was earlier used to store water for the nearby buildings. It might remind you of the nail-biting end of the movie, the dramatic setting of which will make you visit this place for a closer look.

The Bosphorous

Istanbul’s waterway, which forms the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, is straddled by the metropolitan population. It divides the Asian Turkey from its European counterpart, but what it does better is give the travelers a beautiful boat-ride.  The city’s official ferry company, Sehir Hatlari, offers short, full and night cruises to suit individual needs; and for a more breath-taking local experience, hop onto a ferry bustling with Turkish tea-sippers and catch a glimpse of the sun setting across an orange sky.

Hamam

For those jet-lagged days and sore travelling feet, the experience of Hamam is a must. The traditional spa experience in the old city includes masseurs engaging in the ritualistic series of soaking, scrubbing, exfoliating and rinsing treatments. It all varies according to the bathhouse; however, if one wishes to splurge, most hotels offer modern versions of the same experience.

Galata Tower

The spectacular view of the city from this towering structure is a must see for all first-timers.

Istanbul Modern

A perfect glimpse into the contemporary art scene of the city, the converted Warehouse near Karaköy on the banks of Bosphorous, showcases works of Turkish artists, sculptors and photographers. Book a table at the outdoor terrace Restoran Im and mix Cuisine with culture which makes for a sumptuous visit.  A set of Rainbow stairs nearby join Findikli to Cihanger.

Rumeli Hisari

The ruins of an old fortress, Rumeli Hisari,are located in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul, Turkey, on a hill at the European side of the Bosphorus. Since the 20th century, the place has been a museum and also doubles up as an open-air theater for various concerts at festivals during the summer months.

 

Lastly try the Turkish coffee, which is a thick concoction of black unfiltered coffee. ‘Mandabatmaz’ is one of the most famous variants!

*Featured picture credit- onorient.com

free verse, life, LOVE, ode, Poem, Uncategorized

Before You

Before you,

I turned my back to the sunlight in the doorway,

The shadow glistened on the ground;

A sad picture.

I sat with cold coffee,

My companion; a newspaper, and household pets

Filled the void.

I ran into the shade of a broken tree,

To save my shirt from quivering drops

of heavenly tears.

I ran ahead of my life, away from myself.

Before you.

 

Now I see the red curtains like a sky

With its damask cheeks, grinning at me.

I see the pawns of Chess- valiant warriors

Strutting on the board, knights-at-arm.

I see poetry, with each living breath.

After you.

Life.

free verse, life, LOVE, memories, Poem, Uncategorized

I AM NOT YOUR EXPERIMENT

I am not your experiment;

drink deep or taste not the chaste lip

that I’ve held in reverence

for so long .

 

I am not your dust ;

don’t hold me in the barrel of glass but fling me to the winds.

I’ll fall like rain.

 

I am no saint;

pluck not the stars from heaven,

but adorn my hair with flowers

of love requited.

 

I am no cloud with silver crest;

hope not for shade from

the grizzly Rays

but hand to storm the weather.

 

I am not your mirror;

look not to me to see yourself in glory

but your worst critique

and truest fan.

 

I am your song;

hark closer, and you will hear

a longing desire for love

that echoes yours.

LOVE, Poem, REALISM, rhyme, SONNET

Charcoal

I knew it was always you
omnipresent,different kind of feeling,
never letting go of that link
which tied two separate universes through.


Its a new day and pleasant dreams
reconcile reality with fantastic space;
I accept the love with grace
so much that it overflows at the seems.


I was lost in your fire that lit my soul
in thousands of fragments that burned bright,
blinded for a while in the dazzling light.
I couldn’t separate diamond from coal.

life, LOVE, memories, Poem, rhyme

Spare The Prejudice

 

When the way seems to have gone astray,
and there seems no hope at all,
who holds the fingers’ glistening sweat,
to push harder through fate’s enthrall?

Ordinary love,makes it farther than,
the fake and twisty fairytales,
ordinary love,yes it is,
often the prejudiced,and the stale.

We cant go any further than this,
we cant love any longer;
We cant stay apart for long,you know,
nor stay together, stronger.

Inept it is,to believe in forevers,
callous,it may seem,for me to do.
Resurgent faith,with every dawn,
digs deeper in my heart,for you.

We can make forever,one day a time,
and spend lovelorn weeks apart,
we take off our masks,indignant,
for any day,our forever can start.

Spare the prejudice,its cynical,
the world doth teach ,to trust not.
Ordinary love is all we ever get,
extraodinary is but a thought.

No livid details,you love who you love,
no superman to save the day,
Cant stop dreaming,and I wont,
for My ordinary will find its way.

Maybe your love isnt what you saw coming,
but spare the prejudice,please!
You may fall for a pleasing music,
but Lyrics is what’s underneath.

Aestas air breathes through the night
guarding ordinary hearts asleep,
from prejudice,deep and dark
burning in cradled dreams.

Yet again with open arms,i call thee
My ordinary love,back to me
hoping,once again you’ll fall
for the girl you loved,the ordinary Me…

LOVE, MISPLACED FEELINGS, Poem, rhyme

No Ifs and Buts

There will always be that someone,
The one you are Stupid for,
No thoughts no deeds could change that feeling
No ifs or buts,neither nor.

You miss him when he isn’t around
Tease him when he is,
His arms do render comfort,
And warmth seeps from within his grip.

His kiss does make your sense go astray
Interspersed breaths caress your eyes,
That boyish grin,and you lose your guard,
There really is magic,his smile.

When you both fight, those annoying days
Nothing seems to feel right.
You fear distances that anear,
Carelessness at its height.

Avoid you may, care less,if you will
You know nothing will ever fill that space,
People may come and they may go,
He has a different place.

You are left agape,that a guy can have
Such indelible effect on you,
You feel regret and even annoyed
for there is nothing you can do!

Sometimes you just have to believe
That some things are meant to stay,
Even if not perfect,even if not much
But anyhow,someway…