Agra   a complex and magnificent fabric ties the subcontinent together

  

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just a glimpse, stay tuned for more to explore  MilesAstray unfolds in retrospect. I was living these stories full time, now I'm making space to pen them down. Head over to the countries section for the latest places/stories and completed countries.

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a glimpse

glimpse: LIFE LOTTERY | Against all intuition, this is not a picture that speaks for itself. It’s easy to misinterpret. The viewer might toss it into a cliché-drawer in a remote mind-corner, where it gathers dust quickly. Yes, these children are poor, but they are not “pity-poor.” They oughtn’t to be thought of as “aww these poor kids.” It doesn’t do their strength and fortitude and grace any justice. It denies them the agency to make the best of a hard lot. They have lives. Their slum in Chennai has a name: V-House Triplicane. They play, they laugh. Probably more than their spoiled cousins in the West. Having less is not the problem here; but having so little that access to the most basic resources – food, shelter, hygiene, healthcare and education – becomes a daily struggle, is an injustice considering how easily it comes to others. Pity doesn’t help these kids. Awareness and action does. There is little merit in most of us being where we are and a false sense of entitlement keeps us from redistributing resources and opportunities in this world more evenly; from us, the life lottery winners, to these kids, the runner ups.

glimpse: FLYING BY | With his ingenious equations, Einstein taught us that time is relative in this universe. Thankfully, he also pointed out how it ticks in our humble human dimension: flying by in joyful moments, slowing down when we can’t wait for it to pass. And there is another dimension to this ironic dilemma we are all familiar with: being young, time is slow and blocking our way to the perks of adulthood; but once we’re there, it passes us by to never be caught up with again, moving faster with every year. Of course it doesn’t really, but it really does. Time appears to have a twisted sense of humor, quite literally, and it never seems on our side. But maybe time was never the traitor here; after all, Einstein’s equations state that the actual physics-relativity is unnoticeable in our tiny world, where every simple watch renders time absolute. But wait a minute – I think I know who’s to blame when we ask: “where has the time gone?” It’s  r o u t i n e  that carried it away. Time might be hard to grasp, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to follow this logic: the more one day resembles the other, the less they are distinguishable in hindsight. Without event-anchors to hold on to, tracing back our steps becomes a blur and time will shrink in retrospect. Pack more memorable life into your life, just like you did as a child, and you will know where time has gone.

 

glimpse: ELDERLY RESILIENCE | Being old takes a lot of experience; you don’t get there overnight. But the journey builds resilience, especially when it’s hard. In places where clocks are rarely on time and hum erratic rhythms to moments of sparse convenience, every mundane task can become an endurance contest; but the elderly don’t shy away from them, and it’s the most normal thing to find an old man enjoying the morning breeze after a long sleeper bus ride halfway across India.

 

glimpse: REFLECTING UPON WASTE | India brims with myriad lives, scenes and stories, which unfold in a hued and complex fabric. The subcontinent's cultural normalities and perplexities often stand in stark juxtapositions, which beg for astonishment and consideration. Here I was prompted to reflect upon waste, which filled this lake in the heart of Rajasthan's Jodhpur. The architectural delights fringing the lake are mirrored in it to compose a blend of man-made marvel and man's ecological sin.

 

glimpse: BERRY | It wasn’t easy to find out what these are, and the answer is truly amazing. It’s my secret now, and I’ve said too much already. If you’re curious, you’ll have to follow the hints and do the detective work yourself.

English day

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Chennai

Alleppey Backwaters   palmy generations

Udaipur   hypnotic culture everywhere

 

 

 

 

 

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places / stories

story lived, yet to be written
Delhi / Indian Liberalism: Differently Abled & Open to All Religions
story lived, yet to be written
Goa / Throw a Rock, Hit an Expat on a Scooter: Foreigner Meccas
story lived, yet to be written
Kerala / Life by the Water
story lived, yet to be written
Rajasthan / Holy Dumpster Cow
story lived, yet to be written
Tamil Nadu / The Importance of Education & the Happy Homeless
story lived, yet to be written
Uttar Pradesh / Taj It or Not
Show More

Delhi / Indian Liberalism: Differently Abled & Open to All Religions

story lived

yet to be written

stay tuned

Goa / Throw a Rock, Hit an Expat on a Scooter: Foreigner Meccas

story lived

yet to be written

stay tuned

Kerala / Life by the Water

story lived

yet to be written

stay tuned

Rajasthan / Holy Dumpster Cow

story lived

yet to be written

stay tuned

Tamil Nadu / The Importance of Education & the Happy Homeless

story lived

yet to be written

stay tuned

Uttar Pradesh / Taj It or Not

story lived

yet to be written

stay tuned

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related

 

photos | people

The Observer Effect: Momentary Momentum

in-between instants

...the camera’s skill to freeze the momentary momentum in-between scenes is nothing short of miraculous and reminds me of a quirky phenomenon in the quantum realm: the observer effect. see more

photos | people

Outside Job

when your office isn’t anywhere near an office

...nobody robbed us of our freedom; it was an inside job we signed up for. Outside jobs, by contrast, are not always a deliberate choice and oftentimes the harder labor, but they come with a certain spatial freedom... see more

photos |  landscapes

Asia

neon-rice & snowy white

In a realm so contrasting that it juxtaposes the world's highest peaks with some of its most paradisiacal beaches, there's naturally much to see: gargantuan caves, neon green rice paddies, bizarre monoliths, brackish lagoons, blue lava and a volcano inside a volcano to name but a few. see more

photos | urban

South(east) Asia

humble homes & visionary blueprints

intricate slums & ancient temples witnessing futuristic skylines on the rise see more

 

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elsewhere

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in South(east) Asia

Cambodia
green and specked with temples
Indonesia
diversity of 18,000 islands
Laos
lush & tranquil realm
Malaysia
blend of contrasting flavors
Nepal
Himalayan heart
Philippines
joyous culture, island nature
Singapore
future vision
Sri Lanka
of vistas, beaches & animals
Thailand
paradisiacal beach day
Vietnam
much latitude, much to see
Show More

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latest

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USA

New York / Dream Arrival: Jamming Untamed Imagination into Tight Realities

urban

Afterglow Fader

travel

Volunteering vs. Voluntourism

essays

Analog Hiccups