Month: January 2009

Royal Rajasthan

The pages of Indian history textbooks spring to life in Rajasthan. My winter trip to Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur transported me to the pre-Brit India of royalty, grandeur and power.  Despite the cold north, days are exasperatingly hot in Rajasthan, with frigid nights. Our road trips were filled with mirages, which tend to appear magical, despite tenth grade Physics. The sky was always a majestic blue, unlike I’ve seen elsewhere  in India. Even sunset in the state was different, more spectacular, with definite colors in sharp phases and a lingering after-sunset. The night sky was a sight I’ll never forget, especially in Jaisalmer; I have never seen so many stars twinkling in the pitch-black sky. Flooded with blue-painted houses, Jodhpur is known as the Blue City. It is home to one of the biggest forts in India, Umaid Bhawan, which took 15 years to build and is a proud glimpse into the luxury that our country could once boast. As a tourism-fed economy however, one half of Umaid Bhawan was bought by Tata and converted into the …

A pinch of philosophy

Socrates’ school of thought has me hooked. My philosophical hunger has new food for thought. According to Socrates, “No one could possibly be happy if they acted against their better judgement. And he who knows how to achieve happiness will do so. Therefore, he who knows what is right will do right. Because why would anybody choose to be unhappy?” Reason has strayed. Unhappiness is a choice. Socrates has a point.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

If you could defy time and visit snippets of your past and future as your current self, would you? It’s not exactly a choice for Henry DeTamble, the protagonist of The Time Traveler’s Wife. Henry’s genetic condition makes him vanish involuntarily from the present, and lands him into his past or future, unaware, in only his birthday suit. His time-travel episodes are filled with adventure, lies and heartache, because even though he can defy time, he can’t change it. Henry DeTamble: “How does it feel? I feels exactly like one of those dreams in which you suddenly realize that you have to take a test you haven’t studied for and you aren’t wearing any clothes. And you’ve left your wallet at home. When I am out there, in time, I am inverted, changed into a desperate version of myself. I become a thief, a vagrant, an animal who runs and hides. I startle old women and amaze children. I am a trick, an illusion of the highest order, so incredible that I am actually true.” …

2009

2009 has finally marched into our lives with dreams of peace, happiness and prosperity. Season’s greetings to everyone! After 3 weeks of living out of a suitcase, a Hong Kong trip, and a Rajasthani holiday, I am back in the blogosphere. My mind is throbbing with posts to be written, my google reader is overflowing, my supply of books has been refurbished, I am finally home and in winter mode, life is good. I am embracing 2009 with open arms. Resolutions, though, are already in tatters. 2008, in retrospect, has been a good year. I fell in love with blogging, graduated unofficially, rediscovered books. The others demand individual posts. Realizations ’08 There is such a thing as too much chocolate. The blogger’s bug shows up its scratchy head all the time. Travel, adventure, people, thoughts, all fight their way anti-laziness as potential posts. Silence is the second most wonderful thing. The sky is a spectacle in itself. Sun rise, sunset, stars, moon, all of it. B r e a k i n g n e …