Monday, June 30, 2014

Wish list series - Travel 5

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Montana. This would be the last in my travel list for now. There are other places, but the urge to explore them will assert itself at some other point I'm sure. I have other wishes to get to now...a couple of spa experiences, chocolate dreams etc. Gotta get to writing about those!

"Scenic view at Midway Geyser Basin" by aeypix
All those dinosaur movies my brother and I watched as kids had such unique landscape. Everything seemed scale with the creatures that walked the earth then. It was after moving to the US that I chanced a look at some of Montana's scenery and was captivated and scared at once. It was so wide open, so huge, and just so boldly beautiful that I didn't know what to do with myself. I look at pictures and am constantly surprised to find no dinosaurs or any ginormous, majestic creatures that could do justice to the crystallized poetry that is nature in Montana.

I cannot wait to visit Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, the various mountains and trails and really, do what I'd do in any gorgeous soul stirring place - walk all over! I don't know when I'll be able to do this, but this sounds more within reach than any of my other exotic choices. I would love to spend a whole year there, so I experience what the seasons in Montana do to the land.

Nature and all good energies out there...I know you can hear me and my soundless, but very real intent. I have to visit these least once. I hope it happens!

Image credit - "Scenic view at Midway Geyser Basin" by aeypix through

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wish list - Travel 4

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This travel wish list is rockin'! Apparently I am not as devoid of plans as I thought I was!

The next place to visit would be a region called Ladakh in the northern reaches of India. While at it, I would be a prize fool's prize idiot for not visiting beautiful but troubled Tibet which influences Ladakh greatly by way of culture.

Both places are troubled, and continue to have shifting political landscapes. I wonder though, if the troublemakers bother to look at what they are attempting to destroy. There is such a wealth of history, much spiritualism and beauty in the region, that describing it in a few words will not do it justice. I cannot properly outline the struggles the nations around the region have endured, without appearing biased. It holds great value to multiple cultures because of the civilizations that have thrived and declined around the river Indus, which is an integral part of the region of Ladakh. It is situated between the Himalayas and the Karakoram ranges.

I would like to hike there. Through gravel paths, along jewel toned lakes breathing in rarefied but uncorrupted mountain air. Him asked me why mountain air from anywhere else won't do, if that's what I'm aiming for. I told him that I wanted to breathe the air that permeated the cradle of civilization; one of the many of course, but one that I identify with. He called me a sentimental goose.

Well, that's squawk-kay.

Image 1 credits -

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wish list series - Travel 3

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My third most desired place (it could rank earlier too...this isn't a list in preferential order or anything) is a city in the state of Uttarakhand in India. Maneri, which will forever be special in my heart, is one among the cities along the banks of the Bhagirathi river. The Bhagirathi river is one of the two headstreams of the holy river Ganges (currently a reservoir of unholy filth downstream, and as I have no way to contribute to it's clean up, I will shut up about what the rest of the world already knows, and is likely confounded by. I do consider the Ganges holy, and am disturbed and disgusted by what it is now. But that has nothing to do with the rest of the post!). The Bhagirathi by itself is a turbulent river, and has had many dams built along its course to harness water for electricity. This has impacted the course and flow of the Ganges considerably (many people deny this).

Maneri was where my Dad lived for years while he worked as an engineer on one of the many projects there. My mother joined him after they were married, and I apparently became a possibility in that lovely, verdant city. Mom's memories are in snapshots of simplicity, gushing water behind the "camp" where my parents lived, the winters when she would knit me little woolen sweaters, mufflers and boots, that I still have, and winding trips down to the city main where they would shop for weekly supplies. My first birthday was celebrated around a campfire, with Dad and Mom dispensing "samosas and jalebis". Mom fondly remembers the folding chairs, having mountain goats going about their business, and the kids running around being themselves.
Image - Maneri, Uttarkashi, via

There is a picture of them, standing in the eddying waters of the Bhagirathi, my Dad holding my Mom protectively, and my Mom looking impossibly lovely and young. Her saree is hiked to avoid a drenched hem, and her midsection is cradled protectively.

It was the ritual among the mothers to slather on vit E oil on the kids and let them run about in their bare essentials in the late morning sun. This was to ensure they had adequate vit D ofcourse! We all played on the banks of the Bhagirathi, using the foliage to great advantage.

Dad has memories of his constructions sites, where they blasted rocks, and worked on foundations of dams that we learned about in textbooks much later.

Maneri's lyrical beauty calls to me daily. I make up stories about it. Started writing another book about it before another set of events took over. No doubt my parents sowed the seeds of yearning and curiosity about a far off time in my life. Whatever it is, it is my ardent wish to be a part of Maneri someday. For however long or short a time as possible. I want to be a part of my past!

Image credit - Maneri, via

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wish list series - Travel 2

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Caroline Island; Angela K.Kepler through
The second most wished for/hoped for destination would be Kiribati. It caught my fancy because it had, at some point, the option to choose the time that it would follow being super close to the imaginary International Date Line. In fact, the Date Line is now altered tending further east, so that the country of Kiribati can all be in the same day, to the west. The Millenium Island, also called Caroline Island is the eastern most island in the Line of islands in the Southern Pacific, all of which see the earliest sun of the new year. Caroline Island had the first sunrise of 2000.

I've handed my heart to it since then. With such beauty, and early risers, what to do for the rest of the day, but sit and stare and bask in the knowledge that you got up before everyone else?! To view endless beauty no less. Yes...this is my retirement spot. It can retire me too, when it sinks.

Tarawa Island Gilbert Islands DX News T30AQ T30RHI would like to go there, and given it's sinkability, go there soon, and really, live the rest of my life out in one of their beaches. With no compulsions of any kind, except figuring out the wildlife, which I understand is greatly threatened. By us of course, and our endless ambition. There are conservation efforts underway. Developed countries are also part of the conservation and economic development efforts.

Much requires attention in this beautiful yet threatened place. One doesn't take away from the other.

Wish I was already there!

Tried to get free Kiribati/Caroline Island pics and haven't found any. Here's one off  general info websites.

Image 1 credit - Through wikipedia, Angela K.Kepler through the Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum
Image 2 credit -

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wish list series

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I'll put my wish list out here. These are the things that I hope to do. By articulating them, I acknowledge that these things actually matter to me. The hopelessness of the last few months needs to go, and I decided after writing yesterday, that wallowing in the same hopelessness for the entirety of my lifespan on the planet is not me. If only I'd written sooner...

But here goes. Perhaps it'll be my wish list series!

If you read this, do leave me a note about what your favorite places to visit would be.


Kirkjufell; by CNaene
Of all the places in the world, the very first place I'd love to visit would be Iceland. There is something about that cold starkness that calls to everything elemental within me. Of course, I'm not a fan of cold, stark climates...but for Iceland, I would happily live in a crevice of its rugged terrain. It doesn't appear to be cold and stark always either. There is even an elemental passion in the green that bursts forth; something scarily beautiful.

I'm not much of a food adventurer, and definitely draw the line at fermented shark products. Still, there is no problem trail mix and fruit cannot fix!

The waterfalls and northern lights alone would be worth every single minute. I'd like to walk endlessly, bathe in a hot spring and really, just be. Which is what I would like to do anywhere. Feel a place on my own time.

Image credit : Kirkjufell by CNaene at

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rambling into sense

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I've decided to write everyday. With the tumult inside, there can be no other way to stay sane.

photo credit- Michal Marcol
I've always admired distance runners. The trance that many of them claim to fall into with the rhythmic movements will elude me forever. As will the endurance for such an activity. How wonderful it must be to literally run away from or run with plaguing issues. Or perhaps, there is no psychological twist to something so wholesome!

It seems that I have lost something vital. In the past year, there have been so many moments that took away from my innate perception of self, that I have been forced to reconstruct my beliefs. Indeed, my very goals and foundation. Everything that I believed etched in stone came slowly unraveled. And yet, not a single earth shattering event took place.

There have been moments when the someone's loud honk in the street was replacement for soaring frustration, moments when the thundering of a summer storm gave voice to anger I had no words for. Times when happy news and stories, and issues of the Travel magazine from the National Geographic took me to places I'll never see. And this last is part of the problem. The fact that I had refused to accept so far, that much was out of my reach. And now, it appears unattainable...everything that I had imagined that I would do one day seems so far fetched, I wonder how I will sustain myself for the next 40-50 years.

I've written myself into a conclusion. I feel hopelessness. And I feel hopeless. And while I know it won't last forever, feeling this way for even a minute is too long in my book.

Speaking of books, I haven't come around to writing beyond the first chapter of two others that I had begun. I cannot muster the enthusiasm to say that I will get around to it. But I hope I can one day.

I'm so glad that I have this space. I'm going to ramble my way to sense.

I truly appreciate that you stayed so long to read this in its entirety. I'm going to get better you know. I just haven't written as often as I should have. It should be evident to me by now that nothing sorts it all out better than putting the words out there.

pic credit -; "Boy Running On A Beach" by Michal Marcol

Monday, June 23, 2014

Swirl down

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Can't see for the dark,; Storm Clouds by antpkr
eyes open yet careening
looking for a point
to call as an anchor.

Pulse hammers searching,
air one can't claim
or thrive on when inhaled
Poisoned with thoughts
of what could have been.

Thirst so deep,
wells of water only
reminders of sorrow that cannot infuse
spirit into cells
dry from faithlessness.

A heart closed
A mind tired
A soul waiting for

photo credit :; Image "Storm Clouds" courtesy antpkr