beingdesh

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Category: Travel (page 2 of 6)

To Sri Lanka, with Love.

Hi Sri Lanka,

I am quite to used to writing letters, just that it has been some time since I felt like writing one for someone. But then I couldn’t resist dropping you note.

It has been a month since I left your shores, and I have thought about you quite often. Before I met you, I had known you only through Cricket, the legend of Ramayana, and sometimes through the history of long running conflict between your children. As a kid who enjoyed bits of the Ramayana (through the eyes of Ramanand Sagar and Uncle Pai) and lots of Cricket, I grew up visualizing you across these two dimensions. But then actual meetings do break notions and change perceptions.

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What to eat in Sri Lanka?

Angelic Prawns, Devilled Chillies, and lots of EGB!!!

My journey across Sri Lanka flipped me through a variety of experiences, but the ones which stood out were the Prawns (in salads, curries, butter garlic, cocktail, and an endless list), the devilled recipes (chicken, prawns, vegetables and a brilliant Maggi flavor), usage of some vegetables and fruits which we don’t find that commonly in India (such as Leeks and Avocados), and an ability to merge western influences with local cuisine, both from the legacy of the British Raj, as well as island’s Australian linkages.

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Brain Freeze and Defrost, Gangtok Style

Standing there, I was witnessing one of the most stunning visuals of my life. A semi-frozen lake, solid on the edges, and covered on the sides with ice-shavings. The breeze was light, and the Sun was just making a friendly appearance once in a while. Tsangu Lake can be amazingly beautiful. And that day, it surely was.

Traveling with an entire extended family can be a pleasure, but equally a pain. Eating out on travel becomes frequent, and a lengthy process. So do the tea breaks. Some health concern always pops-up. Kids end up fighting. Women end up fighting with the local sari and shawl shops. Teenagers end up discussing their crushes and romances. And Men end up finding out ways to smuggle in a bottle of Whisky. Like all group travel experiences the entire group splits up into smaller groups. But the problem is, that you can never abuse. And an even bigger problem being a teenager from a Hardcore God-Fearing Brahmin Family is that you can’t drink!

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A Very Long Walk to Freedom

There is a continuous buzz in my ear, but I neglect that and keep running. I see him clearly, the colors are crystal clear, Hi Definition, and beautifully bright, even in the pitch black darkness of night. I can see the rolling ball at his feet, about to leave them, but still hesitant, like a first-time school going kid. I can’t see him now, I can just see the ball as it starts curling towards me, wait curling away from me! I dive and snatch it out of the sweaty, seafood-smelling air. I stopped a certain goal. But now it is my head which is curling.

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The Healing Chill of Hebbe Falls

A chill runs through my body, crossing my spine, and within touching distance of my brain. I can only feel the cold water massaging my bruises, playfully interacting with platelets busy constructing a clot. I can sense a relieving burn crawl over my scratches, and it is extremely refreshing. Suddenly all the tiredness faces an existential threat. I feel a rush of energy pass through my body. Water can do that to you. Chilled water can do it better. A super chilled waterfall after an injury-laden trek tops it all. It can pump life in you within seconds and make you feel alive.

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