“It is going to be the best view of any river that you may have seen,” the unflinching faith in Alam’s eyes shone through as he said this. He was speaking of the river Yamuna, the same brackish, foul-smelling body of water that has been the bane of India’s capital city, Delhi. And yet, there was no room for any doubt that the “Hawa Mahal” of Alam’s village in Katha, Uttar Pradesh, provided a view like no other.
I had always sensed the Beatles connection in Rishikesh, even when I wasn’t looking for it. To me, Rishikesh is the ultimately detox destination and no, I have never needed to check into an ashram for it. The sight and sounds of Rishikesh are enough, nature’s glory and the fleeting impressions of art left behind by inspired minds from around the world have long satiated my creative needs. On my latest visit, I set out to find the real Beatles Ashram or to bust the myth forever.
There’s a lot to be said about Kashmir. The Valley has enchanted travellers for centuries but all that has changed in the past decades. The very idea of travelling to Kashmir is considered dangerous. Alpaviram spoke to F&B entrepreneur, Goumtesh Singh better known as ‘Joy’ who from hails of Jammu. Now, a co-partner of Raasta and although his work takes him away from his beloved homeland, its beauty and charm is always on his mind.
The thought of travelling Africa for the first time, evoked in me mixed feelings. While I was excited about visiting a new country, the thoughts of its difficult past, of war and conflict, poverty, disease and other stories that I often read, kept me guessing what the travel had to offer. So, a week before I embarked on my Journey to Rwanda and Uganda, I kept reading as much as I can about these countries, their history, economic order and culture. While information helped, I won’t deny a sense of unease while boarding my plane from New Delhi. Continue reading “It Was Love At First Sight In Rwanda…”
Russia has the dubious distinction of being the most unfriendly country in the world. But it is also the land of Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky and this year’s Football World Cup. So I set out for ‘the land of no smiles’, armed with a solemn expression and a Russian speaking friend.
The latter was most useful but the first was absolutely unnecessary.