Preview: a few seasons worth
a few seasons worth
it's been amazing having this space to myself... to dream, to write, to take flight. but it has sadly no longer remained my own. so like i do with everything else that moves away from me, i am giving it up.
i will of course have another little space you are welcome to. if you want to visit, just send me a mail and i will send you the directions.
a silence that speaks
If nothing else, driving is one thing I have been doing a lot of since a couple of months. I have come to enjoy the solitude of being on my own, sometimes music accompanying, sometimes the silence. While you know the traffic patterns like the back of your hand, you still wonder how different drivers have different minds and different minds have different thoughts.
I am a strict follower of road rules. While earlier I was guilty of speeding at 120kmph on the sea link, the new rule limiting the speed to 50kmph has me following exactly that. When others pass me by, I couldn't care less. Rules are rules for me.
Today an ordinary incident left me with a strange feeling. Moving at a snail's speed at a bottleneck, I could hear the shrill siren of an ambulance. I checked front and behind and saw the ambulance stuck somewhere way behind hopelessly trying to inch forward. I made a little space and moved sideways... the cars behind me immediately took the opportunity to move ahead. I was raging. Rolling down my window I yelled and waved at every car to give way to the deafening siren.
Finally the ambulance moved past and I heaved a sigh of relief. Just then my eyes fell on a face peeping out of the back of the ambulance. An elderly woman looked at me blankly. In that slight second, that face spoke of a pain very very deep. In that split second that face appealed for faith. In that split second that face silently thanked the crowd for letting them go ahead. In that split second she cast a look that spoke of hope against certain defeat.
It's a face that will haunt me for a long long time.
for the love of life
Life brings about myriad possibilities.
It amazes me how a day can sometimes stretch on and on and we fit in an unbelievable amount into it... every hour, every minute, every second goes on as we confortably taste every bit.
Then sometimes we wake up and blink and the day vanishes. Just like that. We have nothing to recall, nothing to account for.
I have gone through more than half my life. Whatever is left is flitting by as I watch. Is this the way it is supposed to be...? Or is there another way...?
The lives of others
There is this strange connection that I have with people. The yearning to know, to meet or to avoid. I am most happy on my own. I could go on for days without meeting a single person or speaking to anyone and I get so used to it that I start enjoying it too much.
What I absolutely strive on and am unconsciously found to be indulging in is wondering about strangers lives. I am fascinated by homes. I love walking by lanes of residences in an almost hypnotised daze. I pass house after house, sometimes they are all part of a society and look the same. But not to me. Each house, each home speaks of the inhabitants.
Inhabitants who could be different from each other but form a closed unit. Couples that nobody knows better once they shut their front door. Things shared that only living together is privileged to.
Sometimes I get a glimpse of the insides and I see a beautiful story. In the nights, the lights at different windows fascinate me. Warm yellow lamps form shadows of mystery, bright white lights that promise to show much but doesn't. I feel happy and move on seeking more stories.
At home I just have to look out and I see different activities in the different apartments in the high rise across. The lights again influence my stories as I see a family at dinner or see a child watching a cartoon show with his mother. And then I look up and watch the night sky with a few scattered clouds and infinite mystery only to relive the same stories that I discovered as a 4 year old.
so i looked at the mirror and saw the mystic clouds..
When you have time, you think about life. A few of my friends who have time like me are doing that along with me. We talk on the phone, we meet up, we spend hours talking about past and present lives. Surprising, these are successful women who are looking for meaning, for purposes, seeking clarity through confusions. And yes, everybody wants to get down to some volunteering work for the unfortunate or underprivileged.
So everybody has had some help in life. Be it going to a shrink, a tarot reader, astrologer, there is this uncertainly that seems to be pushing the younger generation to look for a solution. I suggested becoming a shrink or a psychologist is the career of the future. It's where the money is!
One friend took a course in counselling. So after the course she volunteered on weekends as a counsellor for victims of abuse, sometimes children. While she was doling out sessions in anger management and therapy for these victims of circumstances, she was finding the symptoms familiar. She slowly realised all these symptoms were present in her! That was that! She landed up at the shrink herself.
I wait my fate.
Smell of yesterday's dust
It had stopped raining and the evening looked beautiful. Cool and clean as I walked down the little lane near my house. The cluster of little wet houses with a few people leisurely taking a walk and two little children running after each other was delightful. It suddenly took me back to a long time ago. I was surprised how two days can be so connected. Different times different eras. And it struck me why living here brings me a strange peace. Childhood tugs at my heart. A glimpse of a time gone.
As a child, all I wanted was to get out of that little town, live in faraway lands, eat different food, lead a different life. Now I am doing exactly that.
And yet. Life has come a full circle. I savour every bit of nostalgia. I treasure every memory and try to relive it. I find comfort in the simple food of yesteryears. I am most comfortable with early mornings, a childhood habit. And the rains, they have some amazing memories.
What is it? Age? That makes one look back so much? Are we done with creating memories and now just look at re-living them... or is it a content life... we need nothing more...
Where the answers were blowing in the wind...
ParthenonApollo Temple and Oracle at DelphiAmpitheatre at AcropolisMonastery at MeteoraStreet shopping, AthensThe Acropolis in Athen at nightServing a gyro with a smile!I didn't really believe the Greek guide when she pointed out a road far out in the valley. There was a crossroad too. Legend has it, she said, that Oedipus killed his father Laius, King of Thebes, just after the crossroad there. And at Delphi, the place still felt so sacred. One could almost feel the power of the Oracle and the prophesies. This was the place responsible for changing the fate of man and nations alike in the olden days. I stood before the pillars that were the entrance to the Oracle and thought of anything that I may need the answer to... zilch! Why do I blank out at these times?!!Beautiful people, beautiful places and amazing food. Life moved at an easy pace, with music, laughter, gyros, late nights and the acropolis towering over Athens. And then we went over to Turkey. Bakhlava, kebabs, the majestic mosques and their beautiful minerets. We walked by the seaside, we crossed over to the Asian side and walked lanes and lanes of beautiful Turkish life. We got onto the Bosphorus cruise and at night checked out the amazing night life. But the most amazing thing was the sight of the sacred relics - the walking stick of Moses (yes, the one that parted the Red Sea!), Abraham's turban, the skull of John the Baptist, Prophet Mohammad's hair, his footprint on the famous stone, a handwritten letter by him...!!! I stared at it all spellbound.And so another holiday ended. But it felt good to get back and get down to things I had lined up. Painting the house, making a few changes... something I had been wanting to do for the last 4-5 years. Changes that I need to take me to the next phase.[...]
a fool's paradise
Only fools quit their jobs and go holidaying in Greece. One day, it struck me that I shall be rushing to work every morning and coming back late every night and it will go on and on for years till I die. So I straightened my broken back and walked in to tell my gem-of-a-boss that I wished to leave. He gave me a world of options that I didn't deserve, to go on working. I was tempted but thinking again I realized it wouldn't be fair to look at options of working less when I still have so much to learn. So I did the unthinkable in these recessionary times.
Please refrain from thinking this time will be used only for leisures and pleasures. It'll also be devoted to strengthening the weak back, the one I cannot even sit straight with or stand or sleep. There is a constant pain that nags all the time. So I shall pay heed to "health is wealth" and concentrate on being ultra fit and able to run the marathon in Houston next year.
Till then I am off to explore a little corner of the world, Greece, with a few days in Turkey on my way back. Coming, anyone?
choose your colours and paint the rainbow
Sometimes things are so impossibly beautiful that it gets difficult to accept them. Today is one such day. Perfect.
Fluffy clouds intermittently hide a blue sky, letting the sun play peek-a-boo. I get up and survey the mess in the house. Without a maid, it's getting difficult to maintain a squeaky clean home. Last night’s dinner mats are still lying on the dining table. The kitchen sink is half full of dirty dishes. The sunlight is passing through the green beaded curtain and each bead is looking like a jewel.
I get down to clearing the mess and cooking some food. And as any manic Monday requires I am rushing through breakfast, grabbing my keys and am in the car for the long drive to work. Driving to work is a tricky thing now. While some days I make it comfortably and walk in smiling at everyone, there are days when the tall glasses of water and juices I have in the mornings catch up with me. I pray for traffic to disappear and my bladder to hold. But on an over-one-hour drive, prayers need miracles too.
The now familiar roads allow the luxury of observation. The fiery gulmohurs along a stretch, the rows of streetlights aligned neatly when I drive on the extreme right. A little change in the road position and the alignment changes! And then the weather, oh, so beautiful! I love it that every day is different. I long to go with the changes... why should I be doing the same thing when everything else changes, when seasons too change...?
Shouldn't I have filled up my life when I am ready to exit this world? Forget the bladder, the backpain is getting serious. I need to take care of it, heal it once and for all. Or maybe I should just try and do other things and have the backpain disappear on its own. That's what happened the last time.
For now, the pleasure is in this gorgeous day and towards different planes ahead.
I have no idea...
...when I went from hearing about my mom’s back problems to having my own.
Oh, to be old and happy!
It's a beautiful morning. As day breaks with bright orange and purple slivers bursting through and the sky takes on a magical form, I set out for the park. The roads look peaceful and the few early risers are walking unhurriedly.
It's good to see the increasing number of people getting health conscious and making an effort to begin their day with some exercise, with a little time to themselves. All kinds turn up, some in interesting gear. There are some who catch up and chat about everything under the sun.
I watch the group of 4 elderly men who come everyday and have a ball. One is missing, usually 5 come. They come together, walk together and chat and laugh loudly. Well deserved retired life. Suddenly, an elderly man, the missing 5th, catches up with them and greets them.
" They all look at him in surprise. "Why are you greeting us?"
"Because I am meeting you.
" He proffers and laughs loudly.
"But we had come together from home
!" One said.
"No, I didn't come with you all today. I was late. Didn't you even notice?
" the gentleman is a little upset now.
"Well... yes... no...
" there was a bit of awkwardness.
I passed them and jogged on. While the incident was really cute and funny with white haired grandpas wondering how to put things right, I wondered how it was so important to have friends at this age. Their life seemed perfect, at least their mornings. At the rate I am going, I'll have no friends. Well, none to walk with in the mornings, none to chat up at parks and worst of all, even if I managed some friends, I will probably forget them when we have a group walk or a movie to catch.
And then there will be many a jogger evesdropping on our little sulking arguments and making fun of it on their blogs!
Deliver me from reasons why...
Perhaps. Is there a reason for every season?
I look at myself in the mirror after running an eye pencil over my eyes. It seems like my face has changed. I observe the contours closely. I am growing older, the thought struck me. Going by a normal life span... how much longer? Another 30-35 years?
Enough time for anything that I may want to do, to achieve, to live the way I want. I take my mind back to the past few decades. Some bit is blank, some memories shine. A particular childhood thought springs. I wanted to grow up and live with a horse and a dog in a little house on the hills. I smile thinking how far I am from that. I don’t even think I will survive if someone were to grant me this childhood wish.
There is much that is common between my growing up years and now. I enjoy my own company. I don't make any particular effort to touch base with people and don't think about it much. It's like I am walking down a path and seeking freshness in the familiarity. I meet others crossing my path and am glad to see them. I also see others taking other parallel roads. I may wave out to them if they look my way but I will not go over and chat up with them.
I know it's not the right attitude. But this was how I was as a child and this is how I am afraid I am becoming. Sometimes I alienate myself from the family, the husband too. With him there is so much I have to talk, narrate, discuss but I don't get down to it because comfort lies in the silence. I get used to it. There was a word my friends used for me. Moody. I don't know if it's to do with moods. It's much more. For I am not unhappy or upset. I am just silent and it's beautiful. I have enough conversations inside my head.
And when the time comes, will I be wondering if I should have done anything differently? Perhaps.
My new office is in an industrial area. It's an old mill compound so the dilapidated buildings all around have a lot of history stored in every brick and blackened wall and roots and trees bursting out of every crack. They say you get used to things you use everyday, see everyday and grow fond of them too. When I first started coming here, I got lost every night trying to find my way out of the maze of alleys. No more. I have got used to this place and walk about confidently.
Inside the buildings the ceilings are very high and the passages dark. Walking along a passage gives a glimpse of the insides of offices. Swanky, snazzy places, some conservatively done offices, some of them are huge spaces where rows and rows of seamstresses work round the clock, huge spaces when shirts and other garments are packaged and neatly packed into cartons ready to be dispatched. So this is where our steeply priced branded clothes come from!
But outside, along the passage, it's dark, it's humid and like a furnace with the compressors of all the air conditioners hanging overhead. We walk along it swiftly to get into the cool confines of the office. In this very passage sits a lady everyday outside a closed door. I wondered if she was an unstable woman or have some problems to be sitting on the floor in that unhealthy and unhygienic place the whole day.
Bringing this up with my colleague revealed that this lady works in the office outside which she sits. She is a cleaning lady and no, they don't have space for her inside the office. So she sits outside and goes in to clean etc whenever the need arises.
How inhuman is that!! I was shell shocked. What can I do? I can't tell her to quit, she obviously needs the job and the money badly. I can't get her into my office and let her sit there. I can't go fight with her boss and tell him not to treat her the way he does. He will tell me to mind my own business and may fire her.
What can I do??
Journey to the End of the Night
As I lie in bed wide awake much past midnight, staring at the ceiling, I get used to the darkness. Actually the night sky has its own luminous glow, a brightness that makes the nights surreal. I see everything in the bedroom clearly with some of this night light streaming in through the sheer curtains. I looked at the peacefully sleeping form of the man beside. We are together but right now he is in a different world.
Do I really need to sleep? I know I just have to let the comfort and the coolness of the night take over and close my eyes for sleep to come. But that would mean another night gone by and a morning that waits to awaken me. I try to hold on to my consciousness. To this moment which is mine. I cannot slip into nothingness. It is rest I need, of mind and body. It's what I am giving myself till morning dawns.
For those who try to keep awake, Redbull at dinner helps.
yesterday once more
Something today reminds me of a time long back when the sun shone down on a house surrounded by a lawn outside, plants and flowers all over and a vegetable garden at the back. The vegetable garden had tall crops of ladyfingers, which had their ends proudly pointing to the blue sky. There was golden corn too beside.
On the other neat patch were vegetables strictly at ground level - rows of cabbages, cauliflowers, baby tomatoes, black chillies, carrots, lettuce, coriander... everything so beautifully growing and flourishing. Lemon trees, a mango tree, jackfruit, peaches and plums fanned the edge of the garden.
The memory carries the fresh smells that invigorate the senses. Every vegetable, every fruit, every flower and every leaf had its distinct fragrance. The sunshine, the natural smell of the plants and the earth, it's a mindblowing combination. The day that is so serene, the daily routine of life that is a pleasure, the happiness that is in the air breathed in.
Today when all the sunshine is wasted, sitting in a closed room artificially lit, artificially cooled, I am really really glad for the memories.
what is life?
"How are you related to the patient?
" The doctor asked me. After I answered, he says, "Okay I must tell you, that the survival rate for this type of tumour is very low. I haven't told him yet. But you must know, understand and decide. I suggest you read up and think out everything before you take a decision. It is going to cost you a bit too.
This is the first time I have been given such grave news. When you know that it could be just a matter of time... you feel helpless and small... yet you know you still have to go ahead and get the best treatment possible.
Hope and confidence are strange things. They give us this immeasurable strength which is actually capable of miracles.
waiting for the sun
Something tells me I am narrowing my world.
I have a new job. I love what is in store, I like the prospects of what I can do. There is so much to learn and so many new ways to do it. I am widening my mind to accommodate the changes and am welcoming the newness.
At the same time, I get the feeling of sitting in a castle and watching the world. I get up in the morning and get ready for work. I travel a bit everyday and look at the different lives lived. I watch the girl sitting pillion on a bike and reading her novel supporting it on the back of the rider. I leave office in the evening and watch the same scenes reversed. I pass a dance studio and look at it longingly, knowing I will stop in there once my plaster comes off. I come home and look at my shelf of books, lying unread. I go to sleep exhausted, barely getting past two pages of what I read.
I dream of going to places. I dream of walking for miles with the wind on my face. I dream of watching a sunrise from the highest point on the earth. I dream of riding the wildest horses over the mountains. I dream of showing a child the colours of the rainbow. I dream of helping an old man write a letter. I dream of listening to the melody of a peacefully running stream. I dream about sleeping under a blanket of stars. I dream of meeting friends, watching people and their lives. I dream of watching the world change and grow.
As I set out towards yet another glorious day, something tells me I am narrowing my world.
After I quit my job, there was too much excitement in my life. I went for my holiday to Delhi as planned and had a wonderful time. I caught up with old friends, one of who I had written about in one of my earlier posts and people had various interesting things to say. Well, facebook has taken over my life and one good thing that has come off it, was getting back with a lot of old friends.
More excitement waited for me as we drove down to Silvassa the same weekend for two close friends' engagement. It was beautiful. A huge moon shining, champagne, great food, jam sessions and dancing into the night.
Satiated I looked forward to my new job. And then I broke my little toe. The fourth one on my left foot. Nothing very dramatic. I just banged hard into the outer corner of a wall and this toe went crooked. No amount of pulling could get it straight. So finally, with the pain and the swelling escalating I went to the doc, who promptly got an xray, pulled the toe in place and put a huge cast on the foot.
So there, I was with a foot which didn't fit into any shoe. The next day I went for a second opinion to another doctor, hoping that he can remove the cast and give me something smaller and simpler. He didnt, but suggested buying oversized floaters with velcro which I can strap over the huge plaster. No good. A bigger size was too large for my good foot... and my own size didn't go over my injured foot. I did the next best thing. I bought 2 pairs in different sizes.
I have been enjoying the look on people's faces when they stare at my feet as I stand or limp by. For those who don't know me, look out for a huge foot in a size 8 sandal and the other foot in a similar size 3 sandal. Wave out or say hi. It will make my day.
The Colour Purple (apologies Alice Walker)
Today is my last day at work. It's a bright and beautiful day. I pulled out my new shirt saved for a special occasion. A gorgeous mix of purple and mauve, rich and striking in satin, it's a feel-good piece that does wonders for your mood and your day. It was from one of the shopping sprees alone where the shopping bags go straight to the cupboard and the ignorant hubby gets to see them only when worn.
As I get a couple of things ready for my trip to Delhi tomorrow, hubby shouts across. "I am going for a shower and then I am having my breakfast. I am not going to wait for you!
"Ya ya, carry on.
" This is a normal scene in the household at mealtimes.
Next I am showered, dressed in my new gorgeous shirt, say a quick prayer and look for the husband. I await the reaction... admiration... accusation of shopping too much… or hurt at having not been shown it before. I form plausible answers in my mind. What is he going to say to this vision in purple!!
He as usual is playing the piano while waiting for me.
"Okay, I am ready and I am not waiting for you!
" I announce.
"Oh, you didn't slice the strawberries for me!
" he accuses me.
"You didn’t tell me. I'll do it now.
"No, no. I'll do it myself. If only you would pay some attention. You never hear what I say.
"Oh, stop cribbing. I am doing it now.
"No, you never hear. You are always too caught up with yourself.
" I stand in front of him and smile.
"Yes, now when you’ll be in Delhi, away from me, take the time to think. Think how much you notice anything about your husband, remember anything I say...
We have our breakfast together talking about other things.
Then he gets back to work and I pick up my bag, keys, say bye and shut the door.
I am wondering if he'll ever notice even if I don't wear a shirt in front of him. Oh, that he will!
The countdown begins...
This year just flew past. Just a few more hours and it will be over. Never to come back again. It's been a good year, no complaints. A couple of tragedies, a few dark spots but at the end of the year what matters is we have survived it and with élan.
Personally, it gave me a lot... moving on too fast but it will be a while before I manage to understand the complex nature of time, before I can claim to have control over it. And like every year that ends, this one too has done its bit for me.
I have much to look ahead to in the new year. Personally, Professionally. I hope I can touch each of my dreams and desires as I go along. I hope each one of us can... As the day ends, the horizon seems limitless. And there is just that little shimmer that glows outrageously and you know, it's going to be an exciting time ahead.
bombay bleeds once more...
Another joke. Yes, that's what it has become. The city reels yet again. This time it's gun totting terrorists who walked into restaurants, 5 star hotels and railway stations and started shooting at an innocent public. Some going back home after a hard day's work. Bombs blasted in several areas.
Panic spread all around and people started following up on friends and family to find out if all was well. Television channels flashed live footage of bloodstained streets and injured people all around.
The drama continued. By morning, schools and colleges have been declared closed. Most offices followed suit asking employees to stay home. A client asked me to enjoy a day at home while I am getting it. Is this what it has become...? A free unexpected holiday to chill at home. I refused to sit back... driving through empty roads, defying the terror filled atmosphere.
How long till we get back our freedom... our freedom of life, our freedom to live... our freedom to die, without getting killed... How long till the jokers are brought to heel...
Brilliant Blog Award by Bluespriite
This is something that came in some time back from Bluespriite
and I had been embarrassed to even acknowledge it. But like I said in the last post, you cannot displease a friend. So finally the award that has been given and got by every blogger has come to me too.
"Brilliant Weblog is a prize given to sites and blogs that are smart and brilliant both in their content and their design. The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogsphere.
1. When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back
2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design. (I have reduced the number.)
3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Brilliant Weblog’
4. Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional).
5. And then we pass it on!"
So for my two and a half readers, I have put this up but will not follow the rest of the rules. I do read a lot of blogs, some I have been reading for years, some others I have been collecting like treasures to brighten a dull day... and some have become a habit.
Blogs, bloggers, strangers and friends... all have become a part of my life... I can only thank them all for sharing their brilliant writings... for changing my life.
Tags are not my scene with my erratic blogging but can't say no to this friend
People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by them.
People who have been tagged must Tag at least 6 people to do this quiz and those who are tagged cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by. Get it? Now spread the love.If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?
Confirm, confront and then move away. If you could have a dream come true, what would it be?
I would fly.What would do with a billion dollars?
Give some of it away, spend the rest on myself, on others.Will you fall in love with your best friend?
No.Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone?
Both. Love itself is blessed.How long do you intend to wait for someone you love?
I got my love without waiting, touch wood.If the person you secretly like is attached, what will you do?
Chances of me liking someone secretly now is non-existent and I am too lazy to change the question.
If you could root for one social cause, what would it be?
Feed the poor, educate the young, stop child labour.What takes you down the fastest?
Poverty, honesty, love.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I cant.What’s your fear?
None. No, I think, loved ones deaths. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Bluespriite: Intelligent, fun, devoted, dignified and a tad shy.Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor?
Why can't I be married and rich?If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who will you pick?
The one who loves me.Would you give all in a relationship?
Yes. Would you forgive and forget someone no matter how horrible a thing he has done?
Forgive, yes. Of late I have been known to forget too.Do you prefer being single or in a relationship?
I have got used to the marriage deal. I like it better. People you want to tag:
I have no idea if anyone reads this anymore, so can't tag anyone.
What not to do when you are driving…
The other day I looked down from my office window and saw a young life snuffed out under a dumper's fat tyres. These huge trucks have been causing a lot of accidents these days. Something needs to be done.
I stared at the spot. One moment, alive and speeding on a bike. Next moment, dead. Just like that. Life over, errand left unfulfilled, family left shocked and shattered. It could have been anyone. It could have been me.
Incidents like these make me sombre while I drive. I am a careful driver, make no mistakes. But I tend to multitask a bit. I am taking a moment to recall all that I engage in while in the driver's seat.
I make all my phone calls. Since this is the only time I get without getting interrupted I make necessary and important calls, those which I get no time for once I am out of the car. I use hands free of course.
Listen to music. Very loud.
Eat. Not proper meals but I often munch on fruits, sandwiches.
File my nails. I have done that while waiting at signals.
Apply makeup. I often rub cream on my hands when they feel dry, while driving. At times I spray perfume and sometimes I roll a gloss over my lips.
Paint my nails. Yes, I am guilty of doing that when I have been stuck at traffic signals and jams.
I don't know which of these is dangerous but since the accident outside my office, I am only listening to music and concentrating on the road.
...and a lovely time was had
Sometimes a holiday can do wonders when all else fail. Phi Phi was amazing... Phuket was soothing... Bangkok was rocking. I share moments of a quick blissful break.Phi Phi island where the white sands and clear seas gave a new image to heaven.Moving towards mystical Maya Bay, a magical place where the cult movie, Leonardo's The Beach was shot.Overhanging cliffs, white boats and a green sea welcomes one....A divine sun sinking at Promthep Cape...... and the whole world changes colour as the sun peeps out from below the cloudsAn artist restoring a wall painting at the royal palace.We went to Patong!Club scene at PhuketCoyote dancingLong island iced tea at Cabbages & Condoms, BangkokNote the colourful lamps wrapped in condomsHungry lions being fed at Safari World.These bengal tigers eye us for their meal.And this was our meal.[...]