Gundmi: Of paddy fields and barefoot simplicity

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My right leg was starting to hurt as I balanced all my weight on it mid-step, trying to not make a sound. We were standing on the bund of a paddy field, and had just spotted a kingfisher enjoy the afternoon sun. It bobbed up and down, as the branch it sat on swayed gently in the breeze. Below it, … Read More

An Illustrated Walk, Lake District, UK

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The woods were unexpectedly silent and I was relieved to see only one other car parked at the foot of the hill. Considering that it was a National Trust car park, I had dreaded running into scores of other hikers who might have decided to set out on the Great Wood walk on this fine spring day. But luck was … Read More

Travel with a book

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The written word has so much to offer that it’s almost scary what it can do to your imagination. A book is a journey, an experience. You hear the roaring thunder threatening to overturn your boat, you feel the ecstasy of having climbed Mt. Everest, you smell the wet soil of a rainforest, you crouch behind cars with detectives, you … Read More

Bird-watching, a first-time experience

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This story, titled “Bird-watching: A first-time experience”, first appeared on 2nd February 2016 in The Pollachi Papyrus. Read the full story here. Ramya birding from a bullock-cart | Credits: Lingesh Kalingarayar My interaction with winged creatures has been almost entirely limited to crows, peacocks and pigeons. While crows constantly stole my food during the hostel years, a peacock once used … Read More

13 must-have Indian food experiences

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This piece was originally done for the travel company GoMowgli, highlighting the food experiences a first-time traveller to India must have.  From the 36-course Kashmiri wazwan to the simple biryani of Tamil Nadu, India offers to your palate a mind-boggling variety of tastes and flavours. Much like its people and culture, Indian food is highly diverse, with each region having … Read More

A night on an island in a tiger reserve!

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A version of this story, titled “Fiercely protected, fearlessly wild”, was first published by The Pollachi Papyrus on 21 October 2015. Read it here. Spread over 640 km2, and surrounded by forests on all sides, the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is home to a large number of endangered and endemic species – tigers, elephants, langurs, macaques, bears, bison, deer and various birds, … Read More


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Bombay is chaotic, beautiful, ancient, glitzy, dirty and absolutely as fascinating as it gets. Here’s a scene from the boat ride we took at the Gateway of India.

Romanticising train travel in India

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This story was first published in The Better India, on September 8, 2015,  titled: This is why I cannot stop travelling by Indian trains. Read it here. The sun was pink and gold as it rose over the plains, getting bigger and bigger as the train sped through the fields. I was standing at the door of Trivandrum Mail, with … Read More

Why we travel!

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All of us want to getaway and run off to the mountains or to beaches where we can dance in grass skirts. I think travel is a way of saying goodbye to the old, shedding off the past and growing into a new person. It enriches you so much, and the people (and animals) you meet along the way have … Read More

Why we travel

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All of us want to getaway periodically from our routine lives. Here are some thoughts on why we travel – we moult, shed, discover ourselves and make way for the new. And sometimes, it can just mean listening to the sounds around us, listening to the night, the forest, the stars and the quiet.  

India on a map!

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A map created for GoMowgli (, a travel start-up based in South India. We carefully picked must-see places for a first time visitor to India 🙂 If you have more to add, leave your suggestions in the comments! Click here for a larger view. And here for the image without text.     

Manjapra, a little-known village in God’s own country

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This story was first published by Tripoto on June 19, 2015. Read it here. When Dee invited me over to stay at her farmhouse in Manjapra, Kerala, for a few days, I jumped at the idea. I’ve always been biased towards this South Indian state, having visited a few times earlier, and was enchanted by the idea of staying in a … Read More

Why Coorg keeps calling me back

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This story was first published by Tripoto on May 26, 2015. Read it here Image credit: Ramya Sriram  Dark-leaved coffee plantations. Waterfalls cascading down hills. Pepper vines winding their way around tall trees.  Misty morning walks. Smiling peaceful people. If there’s any place that’s called me back again and again, it’s Coorg, nestled in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. I … Read More

WanderTales #2

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In this second issue of WanderTales, Neelima and I bring you the single most ingredient that makes for a quintessential road trip. Here’s to the countless cups of chai we’ve all had on the go!

The family that travels together stays together!

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This piece was originally published on Tripoto on 5 May 2015. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of my childhood travels is a blue Milton water carrier that faithfully accompanied us on long train journeys. Along with carefully rolled chapathis, fried snacks and biscuits, it formed our portable kitchen, a place where us kids … Read More