• img_0921

    Tirthan Anglers’ Retreat

    A sorority-of-sorts reunion long in the making finally fructified this summer past. Siblings and school buddies decided to get away from it all for some rejuvenation. Given the relentless May swelter our respective cities of residence experience, an escape to Himalayan havens was a unanimous no-brainer. Besides, I was returning after a scorch proper from Ujjain where I had been parked for two weeks acquainting with the Simhastha Kumbh.

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    Reflections of Aina Mahal, Bhuj

    For a man of his artistic genius and versatility to nearly fade from the narrative within three centuries of his existence is a tad baffling. But for one-line references and the odd paragraph in numerable writings, travel guides, and coffee table books themed around Kutch arts and crafts, little is known of Ram Singh Malam, an incredibly multi-faceted craftsman today.Were it not for the Aina Mahal (Palace of Mirrors), his greatly diminished but still abiding pièce de résistance, Malam could well have been an easily missed footnote in the history of the arts.

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    Gone Fishing, Tirthan

    Prejudice alert. Any place I can wake up to a dog curled up close at hand has an everlasting hold over my heart. I make no bones about it. Nor am I averse to gushing about it. And should that place be set in one of the prettiest valleys of Himachal Pradesh, well then I’m a complete and unabashed goner!

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  • DSC_8095

    Times Food Guide 2016 – Chandigarh

    It’s out. Actually it’s been out for nearly a month, just didn’t get around to gloating about it. The launch of the Times Food Guide for Chandigarh (Mohali & Panchkula included as separate sections) took place at The Lalit on 29th March at the high decibel Times Food & Nightlife Awards ceremony.

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  • nyiff-10

    NEW YORK INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL (NYIFF 2016)

    This post goes out especially for followers in the United States of America. Some of whom have, over the past few years, unfailingly pinged Cutting Loose for fashioning their travels around India. In turn, nothing has given me greater pleasure than showcasing to them an India beyond the obvious. If testimonials are to be believed, they’re clearly not missing the tried-and-tested.

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    Walking The Himalayas By Levison Wood

    It demands more than just a sturdy pair of legs to consider an expedition such as the one Levison Wood embarks upon in Walking The Himalayas. The promise of a Channel 4 series lessens none the daunting challenge at hand. That it has been done before offers little succour either. Because one man’s trudge across the ‘raised eyebrow over India’ (Michael Palin) could well be 1,700 high altitude miles through five (often hostile) countries over six months, for another.

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    Inside A Rainbow

    This was a first – signing up for structured travel to play catch-up with Kutch’s capabilities. It, Breakaway’s Textile Trail, had seemed like an enormously exciting way to acquaint myself with an Indian extremity hitherto unvisited. That it was going to unravel itself through brilliantly hued warps and wefts accorded it that much more of the proverbial colour. As also the knowledge that our intimate group would be accompanied by an expert for edifying effects.

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    Goa The Muse

    The sea has its moments, yes, but I don’t much care for Goa’s beaches. Nevertheless I gladly wash ashore ever so often for a change of scene and cuisine. Of which the latter, in my mind, remains her irrefutable raison d’être. Languor permitting I have successfully indulged in a spot of exploration in between meals as well. This is how I ended up making the acquaintance of three enormously ardent men when there a couple of months ago.

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    Walk On The Wild Side

    “How about a quickie?” a friend had grinned cheekily, emboldened by Dutch courage brought about by more than a few sun-downers. “Why not!” I’d breezed back similarly high-spirited. “Pick a place then!” came his excited riposte. That was all the encouragement I needed. It’d been a while, and I had really begun to miss that fun factor called spontaneity. Time you summoned it, woman, I spurred myself. Next thing, we’re dashing for his car.

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    Surat’s Sepulchral Splendour

    For the longest time I had been unable to fathom the fascination a dear friend, nay two of them, have long displayed for the dead. They’re both doctorates–I have often wondered if that’s grounds–and avid travellers, though many decades apart in age. He, formerly a bureaucrat, currently a graver, plans nearly all his trots across India and the globe around beautiful cemeteries, writes about them even. She, when not teaching English Literature to college-goers, plays tombstone tourist wherever she goes. While I have continually accused them of being macabre for their interest in the interred, they’ve always blamed my immunity towards taphophillia on dread of death.

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Travel

img_0921

Tirthan Anglers’ Retreat

A sorority-of-sorts reunion long in the making finally fructified this summer past. Siblings and school buddies decided to get away from it all for some rejuvenation. Given the relentless May swelter our respective cities of residence experience, an escape to Himalayan havens was a unanimous no-brainer. Besides, I was returning after a scorch proper from Ujjain where I had been parked for two weeks acquainting with the Simhastha Kumbh.

img_7629

Reflections of Aina Mahal, Bhuj

For a man of his artistic genius and versatility to nearly fade from the narrative within three centuries of his existence is a tad baffling. But for one-line references and the odd paragraph in numerable writings, travel guides, and coffee table books themed around Kutch arts and crafts, little is known of Ram Singh Malam, an incredibly multi-faceted craftsman today.Were it not for the Aina Mahal (Palace of Mirrors), his greatly diminished but still abiding pièce de résistance, Malam could well have been an easily missed footnote in the history of the arts.

Latest in Books

IMG_3803

Walking The Himalayas By Levison Wood

It demands more than just a sturdy pair of legs to consider an expedition such as the one Levison Wood embarks upon in Walking The Himalayas. The promise of a Channel 4 series lessens none the daunting challenge at hand. That it has been done before offers little succour either. Because one man’s trudge across the ‘raised eyebrow over India’ (Michael Palin) could well be 1,700 high altitude miles through five (often hostile) countries over six months, for another.

Latest in Food

DSC_8095

Times Food Guide 2016 – Chandigarh

It’s out. Actually it’s been out for nearly a month, just didn’t get around to gloating about it. The launch of the Times Food Guide for Chandigarh (Mohali & Panchkula included as separate sections) took place at The Lalit on 29th March at the high decibel Times Food & Nightlife Awards ceremony.

Walk On The Wild Side

IMG_3639

“How about a quickie?” a friend had grinned cheekily, emboldened by Dutch courage brought about by more than a few sun-downers. “Why not!” I’d breezed back similarly high-spirited. “Pick a place then!” came his excited riposte. That was all the encouragement I needed. It’d been a while, and I had really begun to miss that fun factor called spontaneity. Time you summoned it, woman, I spurred myself. Next thing, we’re dashing for his car.

Read more

Surat’s Sepulchral Splendour

IMG_8629

For the longest time I had been unable to fathom the fascination a dear friend, nay two of them, have long displayed for the dead. They’re both doctorates–I have often wondered if that’s grounds–and avid travellers, though many decades apart in age. He, formerly a bureaucrat, currently a graver, plans nearly all his trots across India and the globe around beautiful cemeteries, writes about them even. She, when not teaching English Literature to college-goers, plays tombstone tourist wherever she goes. While I have continually accused them of being macabre for their interest in the interred, they’ve always blamed my immunity towards taphophillia on dread of death.

Read more

In Goa, Must Mustard

Mustard-36

Seldom do I recommend an experience sans encounters of the empirical kind; much less if it involves unsuspecting taste-buds. But I had been hearing such wonderful things about this one the past year, I made a rider-hitched–the messenger requests that she please not be shot–exception for it.

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Notes on the Road

IMG-20160205-WA0000

In this age of new-fangled travel apps and notebooks which require power chargers, styli and pinches to get them going, those that employ real paper, ink pens/pencils, and a spit-moist forefinger as page-turner are seen as somewhat of an anachronism. Mostly by all those cool people. In that sense, as an entrenched adherent of old-school ways, I’m quite…well…hot.

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