The old world charm of Fontainhas: My third guest post

Raghav of the Traveling Ticker asked me for a Guest post more than a year back. And though I agreed to write one, I could not find a topic suitable for his blog. Till I visited Fontainhas in Goa last year.

Fontainhas is a charming little area in Panaji, Goa, known for its traditional Portuguese style colourful houses. Though I would have loved to spend more time there, I could only manage an hour walking its many lanes and delighting in its unique architecture. Needless to say, I fell in love with Fontainhas.

I sent of the post and accompanying photographs to Raghav yesterday, who posted “The old world charm of Fontainhas” on the Traveling Ticker short while back. Do click on the link or the collage below to read my impressions of Fontainhas.

And you will let me know what you think of Fontainhas, won’t you? :)

Fontainhas, Goa, Travel

Please click on the picture to read the full post

Know thy audience

The Guest Post Series onMy Favourite Thingshas contributions by those sharing my interests in travel, books, photography, music, and on issues that I am passionate about. Though the guest posts are not always by fellow bloggers, the guest authors are always those who have interesting experiences to share.

Today’s guest post is by Srinayan, the infrequent blogger of The Random Walkaround. Srinayan, however, prefers to be known as a lethargic blogger who is long on intent, but somehow falls short on delivery. An engineer by profession, he writes on many topics, but always with sensitive insight and understated humour. Today’s guest post is on something that readers attending classical music performances would be familiar with.

Performing artistes of today — especially classical dancers and musicians — often speak about the necessity to connect with their audiences. The ability to do so decides the difference between recognition (and a healthy bank balance) and obscurity. Audience tastes and receptiveness is no longer taken for granted.

A generation-and more-ago this approach would have been dismissed as pandering to the audience. Concert-goers were generally knowledgeable and came to the performances fully aware of what to expect. A well-known artiste knew that he (or she) had to live up to expectations. A less well-known performer knew that this concert could be another step forward in his (or her) quest for wider recognition. Fulsome praise or damming criticism — the artiste had to be prepared for both.

There would the occasional misstep or the wrong note which made the performance more memorable.

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Lonely places, lyrical prose

The Guest Post Series onMy Favourite Thingshas contributions by those sharing my interests in travel, books, photography, music, and on issues that I am passionate about. Though the guest posts are not always by fellow bloggers, the guest authors are always those who have interesting experiences to share.

Today’s guest author is Zephyr of The Cyber Nag, who writes about “social issues, family and kids” with dollops of humour, gentle sarcasm, and subtle nagging for our conscience without sounding patronising or condescending. In my opinion, her writing can only be classified in one category, “Excellent”. In today’s post, Zephyr moves away from the topics that she usually writes on and talks about Pico Iyer’s Falling of the Map and how, in spite of not being a fan of this genre, slowly fell in love with this book.

I heard about Pico Iyer and his highly acclaimed Video nights in Kathmandu, about a quarter century ago. But somehow, the title didn’t appeal to me. Don’t ask me why. And so Iyer remained a quaint name in the far recesses of my mind for some years.

Falling off the mapThen came his Falling off the map ( first published in the US by Alfred Knopf in 1993). This one sounded intriguing. My fertile imagination made me visuaIise the countries mentioned in the book jostling for space to stay on the map, but kept being pushed out by the other and better known countries. Sometimes these countries fought with the lonely ones, making them sadder and lonelier! But the book remained right there – in my imagination because back then I couldn’t afford to buy new books and most of my purchases were restricted to second-hand bookshops. Alas, for Falling… to come to that sales outlet, I would have to wait a long, long while.

Besides, travel books as a genre, did not hold much appeal for me. I liked James Michener’s Hawaii, but it was more a historical novel than a travel book. Till one day I picked up a small volume of Lost Continent by Bill Bryson. It was such a delightful read and made me laugh so much that I got hooked – not to travel books, but to Bryson. And Pico Iyer remained a distant name, just like the countries he had written about in that book.

It took a session of #TSBC on travel books to remind me of that long forgotten name and his book and I promptly bought Falling off the Map (2004, Penguin Books India, pp.190, Price: 250/-) from Flipkart.

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The Roman theatre in Verulamium: My second guest post

About a month back, I wrote a piece titled “Discovering Roman Britain“. It was meant to be a guest post for Shadows Galore. But…

I had a certain idea of what I wanted the post to turn out like, but like many of my posts, it had a mind of its own and turned into a rambling post rather than the focused one that I wanted it to be. So, I rewrote it and tweaked it and edited it. After all this effort, it did read better. A teeny-weeny bit better, but not enough to pass muster (in my eyes) for a guest post . So after much deliberation, I posted it on my own blog.

And immediately got down to working on another idea for the guest post. And that’s how I wrote about the ruins of The Roman Theatre in Verulamium. It is a post that thankfully did turn out almost the way I wanted it to be that is, more focussed and less rambling than the earlier one. And before I got into another cycle of editing and re-writing, I sent it off to Puru of Shadows Galore, who liked it enough (I guess :-) ) to publish it almost immediately.

Click on the screenshot below to read this post. You will let me know about what you think of this post won’t you?

Picture1Puru, thank you so much for hosting me on Shadows Galore. :-)

A book lover’s Narnia

The Guest Post Series on “My Favourite Thingshas contributions by those sharing my interests in travel, books, photography, music, and on issues that I am passionate about. Though the guest posts are not always by fellow bloggers, the guest authors are always those who have interesting experiences to share.

Today’s guest author is Deepa of Deepa’s Kaleidoscope. An engineer by training, but a writer at heart, Deepa writes fiction and on social issues with equal parts passion and reflection, which results in a unique perspective on a particular topic. Currently based in Melbourne, this guest post is a result of her exploration into the bewitching world of the many bookstores in the city. An exploration that has just begun and one, I suspect, is a never-ending one. :-)

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so they say. This morning, I found a sweet little image that said, ‘The way to a woman’s heart is through a bookstore’. And if you’re here reading this blog post in the middle of your workday, night or while on the road, regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, the saying probably applies to you too!

Melbourne, where I am currently based, is well-known for its Arts Precinct, a part of which also includes the Literary Arts. And when we think of literary festivals and fundraisers, how can books be far behind? Walking through the streets of Melbourne, you would be pleasantly surprised at how you encounter a bookstore every 2–3 blocks. Some of them are the typical run-of-the-mill kinds boasting of sales and specials, some are steeped in history and every one of them has a story behind it!

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The three directional dilemma

The Guest Post Series on “My Favourite Things” has contributions by those sharing my interests in travel, books, photography, music, and on issues that I am passionate about. Though the guest posts are not always by fellow bloggers, the guest authors are always those who have interesting experiences to share.

Today’s guest author is Raghav Modi, who writes four blogs —The Traveling TickerTicker Talks Film, Ticker Prints, and Ticker Talk. I admire the passion with which Raghav writes and his ability to juggle his many interests so effortlessly. I like all that he writes, but my favourite post has to be the one on a museum of pens in Birmingham. Raghav is also the founder of Movie Talk on Sunday (#MTOS), and The Sunday Book Club (#TSBC). In today’s guest post, Raghav’s three primary passions in Films, Travel and Photography converge to create unique serendipitous moments.

Ever get the feeling that you are being pulled in three different directions at the same time? I do. Every time I have a moment to spare, I feel like my interests/passions/hobbies all gang-up and pull me towards their individual selves. Films and Travel have always occupied the highest tier on my activities table. Photography was recently added to this knocking down books and food to the under-appreciated second tier. So now when the weekend rolls in I am never sure what to do, which eventually leads to me doing absolutely nothing.

But, just once in a while, something magnificent happens. Everything falls perfectly in place and I end up with a photograph, a memory, or in some cases my vivid imagination wherein all my interests amalgamate. Searching through countless photographs (thank you digital camera technology) I ended up with these few instances wherein my lust for cinema met with my passion for travel to collaborate into a unique photo.

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