From my Flickr photo set “Leisure

What is this life if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare 

Muscat, April 2008

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows

Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, April 2012

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

Negombo, Sri Lanka, April 2012

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

Hampi, March 2013

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Leisure by WH Davies, Songs of Joy and Others, 1911,


Random road links on the web – 22 Dec 2010

There is now a 20 acre open air “restaurant” for vultures. If you have any dead animals, you can go and put it there. I suppose the bird lovers are happy but has anyone asked the Parsis what they feel about this.

Jonathon Glancey writes a piece about Nagaland. A nice piece of travel writing but an Englishman is an Englishman and therefore such passages are not unexpected:

One marker honours the uncertain remains of Private Thomas Collins, 21, from Barkingside, Essex. The fighting at Kohima was so intense that bodies were mixed into a mash of bloody tropical ooze. It seems not only sad that a life like that of Private Thomas Collins should have been blasted from him at such a tender age, but also somehow almost ineffably strange that this young lad from England’s far east should have died in the Naga Hills. This was very probably his first trip abroad. One moment, his big adventure would have been to take a train up to town from Barkingside; the next moment, drilled, dressed in khaki, Lee-Enfield .303 over his shoulder, Collins was packed off to die in this improbably remote corner of the British Empire.

Via Global Voices piece on Maldives, I had a look at this piece on bullying by Maldivians by blogger Mohd Saeed.

We laugh at guest workers. Comes a waiter to your table asking what he can get for you. “Ey Bondhu” and just a bit of mocking. “Rashah dhey”… go back to your country!. And we laugh.

And lastly, there is this whole campaign on Gujarat tourism out of which this concept sounded quite interesting (albeit expensive).

Across the nation – 2

I discovered the meaning of “jet-setting” albeit with an Indian touch. Or is it called “living out of a backpack”? (Well, I don’t really use a suitcase). Consider this:

Sunday, Day 1: Leave Mumbai around 5pm by cab to Nashik (around 150 kms drive). Reach Nashik by 9pm..

Monday, Day 2: Full day workshop with client in Nashik; finish by 3 pm; set off for Mumbai; reach Mumbai and home by 7 pm.

Tuesday, Day 3: 10.30 a.m. flight to Bhubaneshwar; land at 1.30 pm; head to client’s office for conference till 7 pm.

Wednesday, Day 4: Morning is free, went to Dhauli and Udaygiri; Flight to Bangalore at 1.40 pm; land at Bangalore at 3:20 pm; wait for chartered car to pick up (arrives at 7 pm); reach Hosur at 10 pm (2 hours driving through Bangalore); The original plan was to go to Salem but with rain and the late hour, decided to halt at Hosur.

Thursday, Day 5: From Hosur drive to a TN Agri University research station near Palacode / Kaveripatnam for a field visit; 2.30 pm reach Salem for lunch; 4 pm reach Attur, a large town 50 kms from Salem for another field visit; return to Salem by 7 pm.

Friday, Day 6: Spend day in Salem interacting with client project teams, reviewing their work; Free by lunch time; relax by going up to Yercaud; take 21:00 hours Salem-Chennai Express to Chennai.

Saturday, Day 7:  Reach Chennai Egmore at 4.50 a.m.; sleep at client guest house till 8 a.m.; whole day client workshop; 7 pm flight back to Mumbai; 10.30 pm enter home.

7 days, 3 metros, 4 large towns, 1 historic site, 2 rural field visits, 7 different beds (one of them in the train), three different modes of transport. I know there are people who may pwn me on this front but for me this week was as close to “jet setting” as I can get.  (And did a 3 day version again last week).

New places seen since the last post Across The Nation


The largest brackish water lake in Asia, this ecological wonder off the coast of Orissa is one of the most beautiful locations I have come across. While I came here on work, to study the fishing communities on the banks of the lake, one cannot not spend a few minutes of leisure staring out. Visiting in the third week of September, the wintering of the Siberian Crane had still not started. The locals did say that the number of birds in the area were coming down over the years.

Dhauli, Following Ashoka

Have already blogged about it, the key experience being of how the local population, even the supposedly knowledgeable tourist taxi driver, simply have no idea about the rock edicts in Dhauli and instead divert tourists to the ugly white pagoda.

Following Ashoka: The Daya river where the Kalinga war was fought


An industrial town on the border of TN and Bangalore, over the last ten years, this place has simply boomed. But the civic infrastructure is poor and has simply not kept pace with the boom. The result is that instead of giving the appearance of a prosperous town, it looks like an overcrowded chaotic market.

A few experiences from the above places, especially Chilka, will be shared in subsequent blog posts.

The Vagabond

So what is this blog about? Is it just another travel blog? Same old beaches and treks and beautiful buildings and photographs ad infinitum?

Maybe. And possibly some more. I don’t know what I will put on this blog except that it will concern the broad theme of travel. Of living on the road. It could be a pleasure trip. It could be business travel. It could be escaping away. It could be a journey.

I leave the word painting to Robert Louis Stevenson.

Give to me the life I love,
Let the lave go by me,
Give the jolly heaven above
And the byway nigh me.
Bed in the bush with stars to see,
Bread I dip in the river –
There’s the life for a man like me,
There’s the life for ever.

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o’er me;
Give the face of earth around
And the road before me.
Wealth I seek not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I seek, the heaven above
And the road below me.

Or let autumn fall on me
Where afield I linger,
Silencing the bird on tree,
Biting the blue finger.
White as meal the frosty field –
Warm the fireside haven –
Not to autumn will I yield,
Not to winter even!

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o’er me;
Give the face of earth around,
And the road before me.
Wealth I ask not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I ask, the heaven above
And the road below me.

This is the road below me.