The Winding roads

When you look down from a hilltop, you would find the roads gently winding their way across the mountainside.

That is precisely what I saw and captured during my holiday in Bhutan a few months ago.

Bhutan aka the Happiness Kingdom is  heavenly.





Through the viewfinder

When you look at something through something else, the entire perspective changes. I realised this when I clicked images through the viewfinders at the Eureka Skydeck in Melbourne.

The Eureka Tower is a 297 metre (975 ft.) gold plated skyscraper by the Yarra River in the heart of the Southbank precinct in Melbourne.

It is Melbourne’s greatest point of view, and one of the most stunning observation decks in the world.

This the Sea Life Aquarium as viewed through the viewfinder. Below that is the same building viewed though the normal glass.





This is the view of a street artist painting on the harbourside in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.



Experiments do pay off…



Woman- Thy name is Resilience

When cityfied people go touristy, we gape with our mouths wide open or blubber like goldfish when we see people go about their lives calmly in conditions that we think are DIFFICULT to endure.

Fifteen of us were on a trip to Bhutan where we huffed and puffed our way up the hill to visit the Tiger’s Nest monastery. We were carrying nothing heavy with us (I had a backpack with my camera gear), yet most found the going arduous. And the locals just breezed through.

These two beautiful mothers were walking effortlessly up with their bambinos tied on their backs with the help of makeshift slings. Smiling, they acceded to my request to a photograph with the Paro Taktsang in the background.

Bhutanese ladies.jpg

Very few of the islands in Sundarbans are habitable. We were constantly looking over our shoulders while walking and all around while on the boat ride into the mangroves.

This old lady was weaving a basket and was thrilled when I asked her if I could take a picture. She rewarded me with a one toothed smile.

Old lady.jpg


While we were warily looking out for tigers and crocs in the waters of Sundarbans, this lady was bravely fishing all alone. Then, what other option did she have? As they say in Hindi, ‘paapi pet ka sawaal hai’!


#cityfied #city #urban #women #womanpower #superwoman #superwomen #photography #traveldiaries #traveldiary #sundarbans #fishing #bhutan #tigersnest #parotaktsang #mothersand babies #trekking #hardships #livelihood #newontheblog

Quality and time

There was an interesting piece in the Business Standard today called The Cancer Column. The heading caught my eye.

The author has beautifully penned her thoughts about her friend Annie who was diagnosed with a malignant inoperable lung tumour which had metastasized to her lymph nodes also. Annie chose not to undergo chemotherapy because of her own reasons. She was allergic to invasive allopathic medicines and she also felt it wrested choice and control from the patient. She chose to opt for naturopathy that would improve her quality of life. Either way there was no cure for her deadly disease. Chemotherapy would have bought her just a little more time, but not much. She was absolutely justified in choosing to say ‘No Chemo’. I am in no way undermining her decision and courage. I salute her.

Chemotherapy by itself is more dreadful than the disease. It ravages your entire system during and after the treatment. It is not a great option for people who do not have much to gain from such treatments either due to the advance stage of the disease or their age.

I lost an aunt to breast cancer because she did not believe in allopathic medicines and preferred to go in for naturopathy and yoga treatments. This was not a great move on her part because the cancer was at an early stage and could have been cured through chemotherapy and surgery. She was afraid of the pain from the therapy, the loss of hair (albeit temporary).

I also know of people who chose to go in for allopathic treatments and find cure. The chemo sessions are just temporary. At the end of it all, there is a bright light beckoning you.

I underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer at the age of 45. It was torturous, I admit. But then I still say it was worth it. Here I am writing this 8 years hence. Chemotherapy ensured I have life aka time. I chose quality of life too.

A few days ago, my mother started bleeding at the age of 80 and a biopsy was performed to rule out malignancy. Luckily, it turned out to be benign. If by any chance, it had turned out to be cancerous, we had decided to just get a surgery done to remove the uterus, but avoid chemotherapy. Reason??? Her age and her physical health… She would not have had the strength to fight the side effects of the medicines and it would in no way have improved her quality of life. We chose the option of ‘no angioplasty’ in February this year due to the same reason.

If chemotherapy is the only option, choose it. Embrace it with a bold smiling front. Take a call after weighing all pros and cons. What is also important is to bring in life style changes. Eat well. Exercise well.

It takes massive courage and clarity to choose quality and time.

#cancer #chemotherapy #treatment #naturopathy #allopathy #quality #businessstandard #interalia #thecancercolumn #mitalisaran #courage #life #time

Eco village at Sundarbans

We went on a two day trip to Sunderbans with Backpackers Tour de Sunderbans in early August. Checked into the cottages at their eco village. The eco village is built on the second largest island Satjelia. The journey to the island was an adventure in itself. We travelled in a Tempo Traveller for 3 hours reaching the last road point Godkhali. From there on a short 20 min ride on an open local ferry to the island of Gosaba, the largest island.

Boat ride

This was followed by a bone rattling ride in a suspensionless contraptionthat the locals call a rickshaw. After having every bone and joint shaken, we got into the ferry boat ELMAR, which took about 5 minutes to transport us to the eco village.



The Eco village is beautifully conceived, giving the entire place an earthy look.

#sunderbans #ecovillage #westbengal #backpackers #tourdesunderbans#traveldiary #traveldiaries #mangroves @ Backpackers Eco Village, Satjelia Island, Sundarban