“Orange, the blend of red and yellow, is a mixture of the energy associated with red and the happiness associated with yellow”.
Orange is ‘joy, warmth, heat, sunshine, enthusiasm, creativity, success, encouragement, change, determination, health, stimulation, happiness, fun, enjoyment, balance, sexuality, freedom, expression, and fascination’.
The ‘Orange’ of my travels from mandarins in Taizhou(China), sunset in Kasauli (India),a Brooklyn brick house, cables in Gurgaon (India), a worship idol (Hong Kong).
Tags: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, China, HongKong, Oranges, sunset
“Orange, the blend of red and yellow, is a mixture of the energy associated with red and the happiness associated with yellow”.
Tags: Angel Glacier, Canada, Cavell Pond, Edith Cavell, hikes, Jasper, Jasper National Park
The stretched out snow wings on the cold dark mountains, the ecclesiastical aquamarine waters of Cavell Pond and one can gaze, transfixed for hours, visualizing warring armies and angels of mercy. The wing- shaped Angel Glacier in slow-motion-meltdown the north face of Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada, honors English nurse Edith Cavell who was an angel of mercy helping allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War 1. She was executed by the Germans for her actions and beliefs.
We follow the trail starting from the car park, climbing the stairs and past the Memorial for Edith Cavell, crossing a gurgling stream and instead of going straight to Cavell Pond through glacial debris left by the retreating Cavell Glacier, we climb past Teahouse Creek to the Cavell Meadows junction at 500m. A steady flow of climbers, young, old, four-year olds bravely leaning on mini walking sticks, school groups and tourists give us company. A squirrel insisted on following me or the Lays chips packets I was carrying and finally made its move the minute I rested on a rocky perch. My scream sent it careening off among the rocks and few minutes later I felt beady eyes glaring at me for being so squeamish.
Just beyond the junction the panoramic view of picture perfect Cavell Glacier on the far side of the pond, Angel Glacier in center and right above Cavell Pond and the near invisible Ghost Glacier clinging on to the ledge on the left, compensates for the rugged terrain and occasional rumblings and ‘the mountains shrugged’ performance. In 2012 the area was cordoned off due to flooding and ice fall and in 2013 September, though it had partly opened, we had to be content with ledge lookouts. Few brave hearts sneaked down to the edge of Cavell pond when a snowy grumble and ice fall prompted the supervisor to blow his whistle to stop further clandestine excursions.
The trail continues onwards 526m towards Cavell Meadows and a spectacular view of Mount Edith Cavell, Angel Glacier, Cavell Glacier and Cavell pond.I had stopped midway preferring the stillness of environment to tourist chatter till squirrelly ambitions interrupted my niveous reverie.
Tags: Ailsa'sTravel Theme, Burnaby, Camel Carts, Canada, Weekly Photo Challenge
‘Playground of the Gods’ at Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, Burnaby……Wood carvings atop Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area are a symbol of friendship between the Japanese and Canadians. The unassuming carvings meld with the scenic views of Downtown Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
The vintage, Camel cart snorting at the new mechanical carts.
Tags: Allahabad, Nehru family, P&O liner, Suez Canal, Travel
A RICKSHAW JOURNEY. …An Introduction to an ongoing ‘Fantasy’.
‘These hauntings make up the invisible story of our lives, the shadow side of the resume, if you like.’ Pico Iyer in SUN AFTER DARK…..Flights into the Foreign.
A scene replays in memory, the year 1958 and father, holding on to marigold and rose garlands, waving from the door of the railway compartment, on way to Bombay (now Mumbai) to board the P&O liner* for England. Air travel was in nascent stage and any trip to the western world was by sea.
The railway platform had turned into personal fiefdom with friends, family, business associates wanting to be part of the epical send off. Father had been a popular and active member of Rotary Club, the Masonic Lodge, business associations and neighborhood committees, explaining the massive turnout at the open platform of Allahabad railway station. Another reason could be that apart from prominent and political families including the Nehru family, only a handful of Allahabad citizens had ventured to foreign shores. Decades later, in 1975 and in comparison to 1958, it was me and my eldest brother when I boarded Air India flight at New Delhi airport for my first journey to the USA. Going abroad had become a regular travel feature.
Father kept in touch with snail mail and picture postcards from ports of call sailing through the newly commissioned Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea with stopovers in Egypt, Gibraltar, Spain, Italy and France and breaking journey in England. The picture postcards addressed to me carried instructions to show them to the German Principal of my convent school, St. Mary’s Convent. I was a shy 6 year old and the very idea of waiting outside her office to share a personal letter was unthinkable.
He had returned after six months to a tumultuous welcome and for days our house turned into a community hall with an enthralled audience listening to his travel tales of ‘hand shake with Queen Elizabeth 11; witnessing a fox hunt and the musical bowl he had been presented with; about the spectacular Eiffel Tower (Paris)and the Coliseum (Rome); the mysterious Bavarian Forest, Vienna, Amsterdam, Geneva, Venice, Scotland, Edinburgh and other cities and monuments. The coveted items were the tape recorder, Swiss chocolates and watches, my German blonde doll rolling her blue eyes and saying ‘Ma’ whenever her stomach was pressed, a sky blue can-can dress that was one size large for me and I had refused to give it to my cousin, and other western apparel and gifts for me and my brothers. There were envious innuendos on my mother’s French chiffon saris, how they were a compensation for the six month absence and looking after a household of five children and equal number of hanger ons and helpers.
We all basked in the glory of father’s trip oblivious that this bug was being transferred to five siblings who would be mapping out their journeys, India centric trips and business ventures, to Australia, Cyprus, USA and Canada. We lost our father to cardiac failure (1960) before he could take our mother to America. Their bags packed, tickets and passports ready but he was destined for another journey.
The siblings did not let go of his dreams. The eldest and youngest brothers set off for Australia on completion of studies, to expand the family jewelry business, the second brother to the USA, Stanford University and World Bank to pursue higher studies and employment and third to George Washington University, USA and later on human rights missions to East Timor and other nations. I was not one to lag behind and kept afoot of my four brothers with Summer school in Stanford University, stays in Oman and Hong Kong, travels to USA, Canada and Asian countries including my own, India. The third generation continues to unravel the journey thread.
‘The Rickshaw Journey is about small steps to realization, confrontation and re discovery, journeys linked to the soil and mind. ‘. this is an introduction to a travel memoir in the writing…..
Tags: Allahabad, Canada, China, food, Hiroshima, HongKong, Hung Hom, Lebanese Shawarma, Mughlai, Okonomiyaki, Poutine, Tai Po, wet markets
The surprising part is that I am not a food person but gastronomic interjections have always been lurking in the background. In the 1970s while in the midst of understanding the nuances of the Romantic poets P B Shelly, Keats and William Wordsworth ( for Bachelors at Allahabad University) I would willingly miss lectures to gormandize on Sweet & Sour soup followed by Chicken noodles twirled in Chicken sweet ‘n’ sour.
Indian-Chinese food, especially the three mentioned dishes, was the ultimate in food luxury, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut were nowhere near Allahabad’s ambit, with restaurants and roadside food stalls were in business, forget the authenticity. Even our helper dreamt of returning to his native village in Bihar to open a noodle shop,even Maggie noodles would do and worked hard to invest in woks, ladles and packets of Maggi noodles. The ‘Genuine Fake’, as a salesperson on Nathan Road (Kowloon) would say, was gaining popularity.
Marriage and travels did not lessen the craving for Chinese food, in all its avatars, and my first choice in whichever part of India or world I would be in, would be noodles and Chilli Chicken or Sweet & Sour and second choice Indian Mughlai preparations. Our five-year stay (1995-2000) in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman was a diversion with Middle Eastern cuisine, especially Lebanese shawarma*, taking precedence.
In July 2008 I found my self winding down from Hong Kong International Airport to Kowloon. The lights and traffic could not wrap away the distinct aroma that trailed us on our walks in the malls, lanes and markets of the Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. My initiation into the wet markets, discovered by chance, was lamentable and urbane in turns. Initially, the raw meat smell forced me to walk away from the forked hanging pigs, the bloated ducks, the flowing tanks of unknown fish, prawns, scallops, colored crabs, clams, oysters and carts of dried sea food and chicken claws. My curiosity over rode my olfactory senses, guiding me to the markets and lanes of Sai Kung, North Point ferry station, Peng Chau and Cheng Chau islands, Tai Po, to Hung Hom lanes and Yau Ma Tai food streets and food vendors.
On occasions food masqueraded as outings on the stony trails of Ng Tung Chai waterfalls scrunched between bare rocks and tropical vegetation on the northern slopes of the cone-shaped Tai Mo Shan in Kowloon; on tram rides to the Peak and its surrounding attractions; ferried us to Discovery Bay, Lamma, Lantau, Peng Chau and Cheng Chau, Tung Lung Chau (off Clearwater Bay) and Tap Mun the Grass Island on the northern part of Sai Kung ( would be asked whether I had tried “iceless” cold milk tea, sun-dried fish and boiled squid and shrimp); on the Buddhist path to Diamond Hill and the Nunnery, the Monastery of Ten Thousand Buddhas (Man Fat Sze); the Jumbo Kingdom floating restaurant in Aberdeen; Tai Ho, where I had gone to watch the Dragon Boat Race, famous for its gourmet delicacies the Loh Mai chee glutinous handmade rice balls stuffed with sesame and peanut paste or Cha Gwoh rice dumplings stuffed with mixture of Chinese herbs; Po Lin Monastery for its popular vegetarian fare and the concrete jungles of Central, Causeway Bay, Shueng Wan, Kowloon, Wan Chai for their pubs, cafeterias, fast evolving eateries and Michelin starred restaurants.
The Chin-India cuisine was replaced by Cantonese, Anhui, Fujian, Hunan, Szechuan, Jiangsu, Shandong and Zhejiang cuisine originating from different regions of China. The closest to Indian-Chinese is Szechuan, spicy and oily, though by now I was developing a taste for soup noodles and dim sums. In Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai I stuck to McDonald’s and KFC. The one time I tried traditional Chinese cuisine was a post wedding lunch at a village near Taizho situated south of Ningbo on the eastern coast of Zhejiang province, Mainland China. We had accompanied the groom’s friends and family to bring his wife from her parental home and were treated to a lavish wedding feast prepared by village cooks in the backyard. I had never tasted or seen so much exotic fish and would ask my friend the names every time a new dish was served.
My one grouse is that I can never walk into a Chinese food place on my own as the menu is mostly in Cantonese. Somehow learning languages has never been my forte and in six-years stay could manage ‘wai’ or Hello and that too because it is the most frequently used word. The goof up happened in Shanghai where I tried all possible actions, flapping wings, quacking, doodling to get across the ‘chicken’ word to the waitress. The girl, probably in a rush, as it was nearing closing time, came with our order that looked and smelled beefy. Our doubts confirmed by a young man had to be content with side veggies. Another impossible venture is using chopsticks as my fingers seem stuck in the ‘two left feet’ syndrome no matter what the encouragement or admonishment, ‘See…it is so simple..place it between thumb and fingers and voila the grain is in your mouth’. I wish it was so easy.
In between there were trips to USA, Canada, Japan and I preferred to try local temptations than the five-star presentations. In Hiroshima it was the ‘Japanese Pizza’ the ‘Okonomiyaki’ a thin layer of batter and a generous amount of cabbage on top of yakisoba noodles. One can opt for toppings of oysters, squid and cheese with bonito flakes, green laver and okonomiyaki sauce and optional extras, mayonnaise, pickled ginger, and seaweed. We were seated at a counter facing the chef preparing the okonomiyaki on a large griddle and could see other eaters drooling as he speed-chopped, layered, topped and presented the precursor of a snack called ‘issen yōshoku’ or “one-cent Western meal”.
‘Poutine’ was another luck-in was in Calgary, Canada, on a cold, snowy day. ‘Poutine’ or simply piping hot crispy fries and cheese curd cut into pieces dunked in gravy of choice, to meld in a unique flavor. Initially, I was hesitant in trying it out but then the first few bites had me scrapping till last bite.
Every city has its own aroma, sometimes familiar, and six years down the line the ‘Chinese Takeaway’, in words of Betty Mullard* has become more than a city to explore, it has become a way of life via the gourmet trail.
* Kowloon Tong. A novel of Hong Kong by Paul Theroux
Tags: imagination, openings, windows
I was going to give the Weekly Challenges a miss till I finished the writing projects on hand but then I could not resist. So here is my take on ‘Windows’, isolated and dark from the outside, letting your imagination linger on the possibilities behind the panes and curtains.
New York …Soho
Macau…the other side of glamor
Hong Kong……Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Vertical imagery.
Tags: Japan, Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto, Yellow
Kinkaku-ji Temple, “The Golden Pavilion”, breathtaking in its golden glory.
Excerpt from my article Kyoto Japan – the Iconic Lady (All Ways Traveller) www.allwaystraveller.com/online
‘ Another luminous example of antiquity is the Golden Pavilion or Kinkauji from the period when there were no cameras to capture its golden glory reflected in the still waters of the Magic Pond or Kyoko-chi. The tourist pictures do little justice to the real structure and a visitor can just gawk at the play of colors, burnt amber, fiery reds, vivid yellows, amidst the surrounding foliage of Kinugasa-yama Mountains in the background. The eight different sized islands or famous rocks in the Pond personify the Buddhist scriptures ‘Land of Happiness’ and for the harried visitor a natural stress buster. Hayashi Yoken, a recalcitrant monk, had burnt down the Pavilion in 1950 and the present Golden Pavilion is a replica of the original, with extra gold added to the two floors.
I walked around the Japanese Garden, retained in its original form, with natural springs, moss gardens, waterfalls and bridges, the Dadoniji Stones, try plunking coins in the stone bowls for luck, the Sekka-tei tea house and the Fudo Myo, a mini temple in honor of the god of fire and wisdom. The bushes around the temple, ornamented with tiny pieces of paper containing wish-fulfillment messages, are the links between past and present.’
Weekly Photo Challenge….Yellow