The Year Of The Monkey


China, Travel

I can’t believe it’s the Year of the Monkey again. That it has been more than a decade since the last Year of the Monkey. Gone through 12 Zodiac signs. All the other animals before reaching the monkey again. It was in 2004 that I first met the monkey. Back then, I was in Lianyungang, […]

February 8, 2016

Bok Choy And Memories


Everyday, Random Thoughts

I found some fresh bok choy in the local grocery store and I was immediately taken back to many a dinner and lunch in restaurants from the north, south, east, and west of China. All these years. I remembered the texture, the flavor of garlic and ginger. Just gentle garlic and ginger and the rich, […]

January 12, 2016

Two Drunk Chinese and an Orange


China, Travel

  Many years ago, now more than a decade, I spent a few months in the most obscure town you can imagine in China. Shuyang. Deep in Jiangsu Province in the northern part of China, it was my first stay abroad. Shuyang was a nondescript town. A village really. It was drab, colorless, and would […]

September 17, 2015

How to Survive as a Vegetarian in China


China, Travel

Having spent around 3 years in China, the first question that people ask me, a vegetarian for life, is “How did you manage/survive?” Not how the land was. Its wonderful people. The spectacular temples. The beautiful juxtaposition of tradition and culture. Just this question. You then shrug and say, “Oh, it was fine.” “But I […]

December 7, 2014

When Little Things Mean Something


China, Travel

I wake up these days feeling like I have never slept. I don’t know what it is – the lethargy of a hot summer kicking in? Or the ennui of each day that yawns itself into monotony? Or just the excesses of an adrenaline-packed week in Shanghai? After a gap of just over 7 months, […]

February 26, 2012

A last kiss to Karakoram


Travel, Xinjiang

July 12 The sun is out already by 4AM. I lie awake for sometime in my yurt. Both Jorg and Birdy are still asleep. Inside the yurt it is pitch black, but I can see little sparkles of light through the netting. I have a few quilts on me, and I feel a bit hot, […]

November 12, 2011

Karakoram Highway and Karakul Lake


Travel, Xinjiang

July 10th It’s time to go through the usual rounds again – up early, have no breakfast, check out of the Qini Bagh, and rush to the Kashgar bus stand where we wait for tickets. Jorg is unwell, suffering from a bout of food poisoning. There is a hilarious incident when Jorg thinks that a […]

September 18, 2011

Kashgar Again


Travel, Xinjiang

July 9th It’s still drizzling in the desert when we pack up and leave. I tried running before we left. It’s easier now that the sand is wet. In around 2 hours, we reach Kashgar, which strangely is bathed in hot sunshine. We laugh at the irony. It’s raining in the desert but hot in […]

September 4, 2011

Desert Adventures


Travel, Xinjiang

Here was the plan. Pitch tent somewhere in the Taklamakan desert. Grill some meat and a potato or two. Have some wine. Lay back and see the countless stars that a desert sky provides you with. Wouldn’t that be the life? Life, as it turns out, is more than you dream of. Even when the […]

August 24, 2011

The Taklamakan


Xinjiang

July 8th Kashgar’s sun signs a bright midday-kind of heat even though it’s early morning. The skies are crystal blue, and today would be the Karakoram Highway. This is what I was looking forward to – the entire reason why I chose Xinjiang once I realized that Tibet would not be possible this time. We […]

August 20, 2011