Side Pockets

Miscellaneous stuff that one can ruminate over during their travel. Not everything is experiences and culture and food - heck, your books and your recollections of movie scenes are also a part of your travels.

  • Foggy winter morning at Carmelaram
    Nostalgia,  Side Pockets

    Winter morning and chai at an Indian railway station

    It is not even 7 in the morning as I turn on the ignition of my car. In Bangalore, the weather reading on a cold January morning hovers around 15 C or thereabout. Outside, there is a blanket of fog that is so thick, I can barely see beyond a few meters. Onward I muster to the nearby railway station, barely a 15 min drive away. I have promised to meet a friend for early morning chai there. The drive is dangerous in the thick fog. As soon as I get out of the car, the dew drops condensed on the eucalyptus tree branches above patter down on my windcheater.…

  • Nostalgia

    The lost romance of train travel

    “The trains [in a country] contain the essential paraphernalia of the culture: Thai trains have the shower jar with the glazed dragon on its side, Ceylonese ones the car reserved for Buddhist monks, Indian ones a vegetarian kitchen and six classes, Iranian ones prayer mats, Malaysian ones a noodle stall, Vietnamese ones bulletproof glass on the locomotive, and on every carriage of a Russian train there is a samovar. The railway bazaar with its gadgets and passengers represented the society so completely that to board it was to be challenged by the national character. At times it was like a leisurely seminar, but I also felt on some occasions that…