I see him abruptly leave our surfing lesson in between and pace towards the seashore. He picks up a diaper lying on the beach before it can be swept by the waves and throws the same into a trash bag.
“Diapers are the worst things you can throw in the sea, people need to be more respectful towards the environment.”
Juan is one of the co-founders of Kallialay Surf School located at Serenity beach, Pondicherry. Kallialay was a chance discovery. I stumbled upon it during my solo backpacking trip to Pondicherry. Being an impromptu plan, I was totally unaware of the existence of good surfing schools in India. But as luck would have it, I overheard the interesting story of Juan and Samai (co-founders of Kallialay Surf School) from some strangers at a restaurant and decided to give surfing a go.
The following passage presents my recollections from one of the best moments I have ever had in my life. I was at this 4 day session called ‘Moral Rearmament programme’ conducted by ‘Initiatives of Change’ at Asia Plateau, Panchgani, Maharashtra. Read this if you believe in the power of listening to your inner self.
We all lead a hectic life.
From daily classes to never-ending deadlines, it is extremely easy to get lost in this fast paced world. Every day, we struggle with challenges that lie both outside and inside ourselves. But with time, we lose our inherent capability to fight these challenges while trying to keep up with the world around us.
The moral re-armament programme conducted by ‘Initiatives of Change’ (IofC) was a welcome change from the rat-race that we are all a part of. It is conducted at a beautiful location called Asia Plateau –Panchgani. To describe the experience in one sentence- it provided us with an opportunity to connect with our inner self and experience the power of silence.
Our first day started with waking up early and catching the 6 am bus from our college campus that would take us to Panchgani. After an exciting morning ride, we all reached the Asia Plateau campus within three hours from departure. The first glimpse of cloud covered campus made us rejoice with happiness. We have seen plenty of cloud cover days here at Lavale, but this was different, it was as if the weather had a personality of its own! We were all waiting for the sessions to start.
Deoriyatal is a Himalayan lake surrounded a beautiful meadows of Uttrakhand. To add to the setting, the lake overlooks the mighty Chaukhamba peak, making this location one of the best campsites in India!
I reached this location in the April of 2017, a season when the entire 2 kilometer long trail from Sari Village to Deoriyatal is filled with ‘Buransh’- or wild rhododendron. This article relives the memories of the short Deoriyatal trek through a series of snapshots.
The trek starts from Sari Village, 14 kms from Ukhimath. The 2 kms long trek is moderately steep, but has a well marked and well laden path.
Make sure to enjoy a glass of the famous ‘Buransh’ Juice (made from freshly plucked wild rhododendron flowers) available throughout the region.
Title: The Colours Remain Location: Jamali Kamali, Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Delhi Beyond the bustling lanes of Mehrauli, in the domineering shadows of the Qutab … Continue reading SlowRover Snapshots #23
The land whose exotic rain-forests hide one of the most beautiful secrets of India- the ancient Living Root Bridges.
These Living Root Bridges, as the name suggests, are bridge like structures made from the roots of Fiscus Elastica. Interacting with locals, we found out that each living root bridge take at least about 10-15 years to become sturdy enough to hold human weight, and most of the living root bridges in the Khasi-Jaintia hills of Meghalaya are over 100 years old.
In this article, we’ll showcase a series of such bridges encountered by the author during his trek to a village called Nongriat near Cherrapunjee.
The trek starts about 3-4 kilometres from Nongriat, a village famous for its rare Double-Decker living root bridge.
Enroute the Nongriat Trek- Such views are abundant.
Infact, you can witness you first ever living root bridge about 30 minutes into the trek (2-3 kms before Nongriat). This one will be marked as ‘Single Decker living root bridge’ on the sign boards. (I am unable to recollect the name of the village where this bridge is present. Comment on this blog in case you happen to know the name. TIA!) Ticket Cost for Single Decker Root Bridge: 10 INR.
“What did you say name was again- Prophet Star?”
“As in P-R-O-P-H-E-T Star?”? I enquired.
“No. You’ve got it wrong- It’s P-R-O-F-I-T Star. And by the way, you need to pay my 20 rupees as an entry fee before entering this Bamboo Skywalk- Hurry up, I don’t have much time.”
I paid up, of course, but not without reconfirming his name a couple of time. It’s not everyday you meet a man with a name so apt, for his job was to sit at the entrance of this amazing Bamboo Skywalk in Meghalaya, collecting profits from keen adventurers–here to witness one of the most spectacular scenes that the wettest place on Earth had to offer them.
It’s surprising how train journeys closely mimic the cycle of life. We meet people, make friends, only to let them go and find new ones- thereby knitting an endless chain of emotions- only to be felt but never to be broken. But again, what is life, but a collection of such journeys.
The following passage is an ‘as-it-happened’ description of a journey with the Indian Railways (the 12.30 Passenger train from Madurai to Rameshwaram, both of which lie in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu). Try not to find for a story in here, rather, seek to experience the billion personalities that make India Incredible. Here it goes.
Chug, Chug, Chug! The 12:30 passenger train from Madurai has just started to sing its rhythmic song, a melody it will sing for the next few hours till it reaches a mystical island called Rameshwaram. It is an overcast day of November 2015, the rain clouds looming over the horizon as I attempt to traverse, and hopefully document, the lush green landscape of Tamil Nadu, India.
Tamil Nadu country side with the looming rain clouds
I yearn for the rain, as I am aware of the power of the raindrops to elate even the most dolorous environs.
As I try to get comfortable in my cozy window side seat, I am greeted by a distinct sound. ‘Wooooooo…’– a loud cheer, emanating from the far corner of my train bogie, surprises all the five occupants of the compartment I am in. The train had just passed over a small river causing a group of seven children, sitting at a corner of the bogie along with their parents, to let out a loud “Woooooo..” sound in a seemingly pre-planned unison. From that moment onward, the children failed to hide their excitement towards any river, tunnel, or even an old bridge that our passenger train crossed. Continue reading “Experiencing India: Sounds and Sights from an Indian Train Journey”
Given our love for food, this post was long coming. It is a proof of how nice things happen to you when you travel. 2015 was a year of joyful travels for the Slowrover team. Individually, we travelled to distant parts of this beautiful country, getting unbelievably lucky when it came to food, This post celebrates our love for Indian Food, and we share with you, the best treats we had in 2015 (and where to find them). Here it goes
Disclaimer : You will feel very hungry. And you will need to travel.
Omelette Indulgence at Lovely Omelette Centre, Mussorie
Foodgasm in the making
Lovely Omelette Centre is considered to be one of the best omelette experiences in India. Extensively covered by all the leading travel/food journals of India (Lonely Planet, Outlook Traveller, Trip Advisor, Highway on my Plate), this Omelette paradise is adored by all. It offers a limited variety of omelettes (Oil/Butter/Cheese being the prominent ones).
The compartment was abuzz with a distinct sound. Our train had stopped at Manamadurai Junction, a small station that falls on the route from Madurai and Rameshwaram. Continue reading SLOWROVER SNAPSHOTS #17