All posts by Dishki

Romancing with books

“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”
                                                                                                                                             – Jhumpa Lahiri

book2This quote best describes my love for reading. I can live my life sitting in a library and read day & night. How many countless nights have I spent reading novels instead of course books. I remember my board exams when I was busy with Harry Potter series or my semester exams spent going through novels online. And, now my parents know about it after so many years. Sorry Mom 😀

I am sure all bibliophile fall into the same category & consider themselves to be the greatest reader/collector of books. Books are the one friend I know will never fail me. The long train journeys or the waiting for the delayed flights – a book has seen me through all. An interesting book & a cup of coffee, that’s all I need the company I need for travelling.

Recently, I came across a bookstore in the by-lanes of the city & instantly fell in love with this shop. It is kind of a reader’s paradise. All kinds of books ranging from history, fiction, non-fiction, biographies & what not! Books few hundred years old!

book1I got a book even older then my parents. On no previous occasion had I bought such old book. It like being part of history. This book was given as a prize to a school student for excelling in studies in year 1939. Whenever I open the book I can feel the same thrill that student must have felt on getting the book. It gives me the feeling of flipping through history. I know I sound so dramatic here. But, I am just being honest.

My heart cries every time I hear someone telling they don’t read books. Come on, who does not like stories. I can understand few people wont like certain kind of books. I don’t like reading biographies much. But seriously the thought of not liking any book at all sounds absurd to me.

I am sure my love for reading will continue for lifetime & I will definitely pass it onto people around me too…


Just Another Day…NOT !

Once in a while you feel that whole world is conspiring against you. And yes, you are not mistaken. That’s exactly what is happening. Nothing works out as it is supposed to be. You realize that you are having worst day ever possible.

You have an early morning meeting in office but you wake up late (after hitting snooze on alarm n times). Rather than sharing the workload, maid decides to increase work exponentially. Well she also has the right to do things as per her wish.

The microwave does not work as the power backup in your apartment does not support it. There goes your plan to have quick breakfast. And you think you can still manage to reach office on time. Beware, day has just begun!

At last you are ready to leave the home. Grab your keys, run to the parking, start the vehicle. But, the damned vehicle does not start. You know this is not the end of the world. So, you plan to hire a cab. Booking a cab through app on phone is another battle in itself. To add to the woes the cab driver gets lost on the way to pick you up. Another twenty minutes have passed & no signs of the cab. Somehow you reach office, actually running around half of the campus & people staring at you.

After the entire morning struggle you realize the meeting will begin late. Finally you take deep breath. Some solace. The day is not that bad even. You can attend meeting on time & you are back to your chirpy self….Yippee!…Until you realize that you are stuck on the same issue since long time & have no idea what might be wrong. Oh! So from chirpy to grumpy again in few minutes. Keep sulking throughout the day. Blaming you or maid or the cab driver or that late night internet surfing session last night. The day drags to an end.

Again, begins the battle to hire a cab and reach home. Top it with some evening traffic & the potholes filled road. You are at a short distance from home stuck in traffic, just then the Rain God decides to pay a visit. Since you have the laptop you cannot just leave the cab and walk home. Why me? Why? That’s what you are probably thinking. Have patience, the day is about to end. You will be home soon & can enjoy your cup of coffee. Out of the blue your cook also declares that he is taking a day off. Seriously, does everything has to go wrong on the same day?

After all the trouble throughout the day Mr. Husband decides to be the savior & takes you out to for the dinner. You are still suspicious of what new chaos is waiting to happen. But nothing goes wrong. Enjoy your dinner followed by ice-cream & a long drive. Finally the day ends on the happy note.

The day has not ended exactly – you log onto Facebook after returning. Then five minutes of surfing internet turns into fifty & you again sleep late. And the cycle continues…

(Note – I still think that Facebook is at fault because it made you sleep late & then you missed your alarm & we know the story after that.)

bad hair day
(Image copied from internet)

The Chosen Ones

You were there when I was trekking at high mountains,
You were there when I was camping in the desert,
You were there when I was enjoying on the beach,
You were there when floods & earthquakes strike,
You were there guarding the Land, Sea & Air.

You are the sons & daughters, brothers & sisters,
You are the ones who leave their families to save ours,
You are the best amidst bests of men & women,
You miss the Diwali, Eid or Christmas celebrations at home,
But your happiness to serve the nation surpasses it all.

Salute to all the soldiers guarding our borders,
You are the true heroes – The Chosen Ones!

(Image copied from internet)

Mystic Baratang Island

Baratang Island – part of Andaman Islands is a place just out of the Nat Geo & Discovery documentaries. Andaman Islands are one best place to visit in India. Best time to visit would be from October to April. I have been there twice, but the second time was marred by sudden cyclonic disturbances. As excepted the beaches are one of the best ones. My favorite place for the whole trip was Baratang Island. It is like nature’s hidden secret which someone accidentally stumbled upon.

We had left 04:00 am from Port Blair to reach the Baratang. Journey is divided into three parts –

  • Port Blair to Jirkatang
  • Jirkatang to Nilambar Jetty
  • Jetty to Baratang Islands

We had hired a private cab for one day. Government run buses are also available for the journey.

First part was covered in approx. 1.5 hours. We reached Jirkatang where Forest Department officials have a check post. To be honest, I was sleeping for this part of journey. At Jirkatang Check Post, the refreshments are available. So wake up yourself with a sip of tea. There is an old temple on the roadside which reminded me of all the Bollywood movie temples with bells ringing. 🙂

The second leg of the journey is interesting. You have to pass through the Jarawa Reserve Forest. The vehicles are only allowed to move in convoys, heavy vehicles in front with policemen accompany them. This area is inhabited by the Jarawa Tribe, native of Andaman Islands. Stopping on the way & photographing is strictly prohibited. Even talking or giving any food items to Jarawa is forbidden. The road passes through patches of dense forest. Tall trees on both sides of the road & scattered sun rays all along the way. Pictures wont to justice to this beautiful sight.


It leaves us to ponder about the strange ways of life – some are busy with all the modern amenities & then there are tribes still untouched by all this fuss.

The third leg of the journey is a short distance covered by Jetty boats to reach Baratang Island. You are welcomed by loud voices of tour guides promising you the best services. Places to cover in Baratang –

  1. Mud Volcano
  2. Limestone caves
  3. Parrot Island

I did not visit Parrot Islands as they cannot be covered in single day trip.

We took motorboats to visit Limestone caves. I was left awe-struck by sheer beauty of Mangrove forests. Mangrove trees have formed a natural path which leads to the caves. At places the mangrove trees have covered the area as if to form tunnels. This was the highlight of the day for me.

Mangrove forest

The limestone caves take you back to the geography lessons about stalagmites & stalactites. The water seeps through the rocks crevices and forms amazing structures. Well, the guides there would show you all the possible figures in those structures – fountains, humans & even holy deities. Even though we understand the science behind the cave formation, it is a natural wonder.

Limestone caves

The Baratang Island did not have many options for food. Better to be prepared & carry light snacks. Remember to wear covered clothes to avoid mosquito bites & a big no to open toed shoes. We took return Jetty from the islands at 4:00 pm & followed back the same route to return to Port Blair.

After visiting this place, I often find myself thinking about the inhabitants of North Sentinel islands. They are one of last known tribes in the world with no contact. They have discouraged all attempts to be contacted by outside world & remain a mystery till date. People about whom we know nothing, unheard & unknown. Does anyone else also wonder that some more secret tribes would be existing today?  Do let me know to assure me that I am not alone with all these weird thoughts.