Turkish night! at Cappadocia

More on Turkey below:

Or read all my travel posts here.


Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia

Cappadocia is one of the most visited tourism centers in Turkey, and understandably so. Cappadocia’s landscape owes its origin to eruptions from two volcanic mounts, the last one being about 8000 years ago. Over years, the outflow cooled to produce interesting rock patterns – perfect for watching from the skies.

Cappadocia also has one of the world’s best hot air ballooning sites. Even before we reached Turkey, Sudha and I had planned to try it out. We booked our flight on a balloon just before leaving Istanbul after our tour operator assured us that it would be phenomenal. Continue reading Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia

Anatolian museum and Ataturk memorial – Ankara

One of the best preserved neolithic civilizations is Çatalhöyük, dated between 7500BC and 5700BC in southern Anatolia, the ancient name for much of the area that is Turkey today. It was a planned society with streets, intersections and houses. However, the houses were rank peculiar – none of them had any doors or windows. The only way to enter was to clamber into a hole on the roof and climb down a ladder. It seems strange that people learnt to put up walls and not make doors in, especially after migrating from caves which have natural entrances. Maybe that’s where the phrase – I’ll drop by – originated.

Fertitlity Goddess

The museum of Anatolian civilizations has interesting finds from this and more.

The primary deity at Çatalhöyük was a form of Mother Goddess. Excavations show a figurine of a plump woman with full breasts and stomach seated on a chair that has the heads of two beasts carved out as hand rests, now on display at the Anatolia museum at Ankara. The figurine seems to indicate that she was a fertility goddess, which is not surprising considering how many societies had
deities for fertility, including Hinduism. This was a time the early artists arose – the museum has some cave murals that show deer being hunted; the color of the murals still fresh more than 8000 years later. Continue reading Anatolian museum and Ataturk memorial – Ankara

Oktoberfest 2011

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fest – over 6 million people visited this year. The fest is spread over a vast ground that houses beer houses which serve the traditional Bavarian beer and eataries and fun rides outside.

I walked in a little after 9am, when I could get into a beer house without a reservation.It was like a huge barn, with lines of benches within. Though early, our beer house already had around 5000 people in it, merrily quaffing their beer.  Continue reading Oktoberfest 2011

The Jewish Museum, Berlin

I read about the Jewish Museum on TripAdvisor. One entry intrigued me. It spoke of a hall of fallen leaves – where one would walk over metal faces. A weird fascination took me over – I imagined a glass floor beneath which there were statues of faces of people, staring up at me, condeming the luxuy I led my life in as compared to the misery in which they had existed. So I decided to visit the museum last Sunday. Continue reading The Jewish Museum, Berlin

And dreams move on

Written for a cousin who wanted something different for her SOP when applying to an MBA college. I suggested she write a poem, and then ended up writing it for her.

A strange river is this; this river of life
Lilted with joy, troubled by strife
The person I was to the person I am
Far have I come as trickles the sand

A little girl dreamed when the journey began
Visions she had of a life lived grand
The girl is gone, but her heart beats strong
In the young lady, the dreams live on

In the voice of the woman, the girl still sings
The songs of life and the lessons it brings
Of the hope that guides her, of the sights she has seen
Of the ports she has stopped at, and the life in between

The lady will age, changes will show
Along the river as she does flow
Some dreams will fade, some rise anew
But to her heart, she’ll always stay true

Magic Gardens at Koh Samui

One of the most fascinating places at Koh Samui is a valley called Magic Garden of Buddha. Unlike other places, it is not a religious spot. The open valley lies in a private estate chiefly used for growing durian ( a variety of fruit grown in Malaysia and Thailand). The owner – Nim Thongsuk – started carving statues in the valley in 1976 and over the next 23 years, with single-minded devotion, created a variety of stone statues in the valley.
Continue reading Magic Gardens at Koh Samui

Breaking news: “I’m going to be bachelor no more” says Shrinath

A noted long standing bachelor is switching from bachelor to married camps this August.

Trusted sources tell us that Shrinath V, long considered as picky and choosy in making his choice of mate, finally found his match in Miss Sudha G, graduate from NITIE, after talks between them continued for more than a month.

“We never thought he would finally say Yes to anyone,” said his close friends. “He kept saying no time for this for the longest possible time. Then when he said yes to meet people, he would say no to proceeding further after just one meeting or conversation. He kept stating he would know when the right person came along, but considering the odds of him meeting the right person, we were on the verge of branding him an eternal bachelor.” Continue reading Breaking news: “I’m going to be bachelor no more” says Shrinath

Forty two. Bayalees. Same number, but yet so different

A number is a number, whatever language you may use.

Or so I used to think.

I was reading Malcolm Galdwell’s Outliers, where he discusses why the Chinese are better at maths.

In an idle moment, I started wondering about numbers in Indian languages. Forty two. Naapati erendu (in tamil). Bayalees (in Hindi). Betalees (in Gujarati). Continue reading Forty two. Bayalees. Same number, but yet so different

Are we losing the magic of reading a novel?

Two weeks back, I sat down for dinner with an old friend. Over the last eight years, we’ve exchanged books and opinions. He sips into novels, flinging aside any that cannot capture his interest in the first 30 pages. I drink deeper. I remember just three books that I have put down without turning to the last page in over three hundred I’ve read.

Both of us had aspirations of writing a novel. He quit his job to try creative writing for a year. His creativity failed him that year, and he had to stumble back to corporate tedium, though in a technical writing position. My desire to write was waylaid by an almost relentless pursuit of immediate gain. Activity absorbed my time, leaving none for contemplation and ordering thoughts in my head. Continue reading Are we losing the magic of reading a novel?

Technophile, literary addict, lensman. LBS & Maps expert, product manager when at work.

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