My introduction to a masala dosa was in a Brahman restaurant near the Ramanthaswamy Temple in Rameswaram. If I timed it right, a boy in a white sarong wearing a Brahmin string over his shoulder whisked past swinging an urn between tables. Perfumed incense filled the air hovering like mist above the hungry crowd.Continue reading masala dosa
Whenever I felt “something” coming on, that tummy rumble or slight fever, I nipped into a Rameswaram restaurant and ordered a stainless steel cup of rasam.Continue reading the magic of rasam
Ramanathaswamy means the master of Rama, so the 12th century temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Darvidian structure holds great significance to Hindus and devout believers try to make at least one pilgrimage in their lifetime. As well, the island is believed to be the site where Rama (as told in the Ramayana) stood gazing across the sea to Lanka where his wife, Sita had been captured by the evil king.Continue reading Rameswaram’s arulmigu ramanathaswamy temple
I arrived in Rameswaram by train on India’s south-east coast over a clanking bridge that connected the island to the rest of Tamil Nadu. In those days, there was only the railway bridge to the island from the mainland, so with no cars, everyone walked or biked along the island’s main sandy street.Continue reading First glimpse of a tamil nadu island
I rallied north from Mombasa almost to the border with Somalia. At the end of the bus ride, I sailed by dhow on the final leg around the bend to Lamu Island. It seemed as if I had left an Indian island with no cars (Rameswaram) and arrived at another trafficless destination where mules were the only form of transport. Continue reading Lamu
Ship off the Kenyan coast
Photo courtesy: Andrew Thomas — Wikimedia Commons
Three times I’ve left India, (oops, now it’s four, since writing this post) and two of those times were by sea. Firstly, I chugged across the Palk Straight from Rameswaram to Mannar Island, Lanka.
The second sea exit was Continue reading Leaving India
Bangalore High Court — Photo courtesy: Sniperz11 — Wikimedia Commons
I like the sound of these names. But I remember little about these South Indian cities I visited. Perhaps it was the pace of my third visit to India. Continue reading Bangalore and Mysore, a muted memory
Indian train toilet — Photo courtesy: Loganathan R. — Wikimedia Commons
I spied a photograph on line of a father holding his son as he sat on the window ledge of a train. His pants hung around one shin, the bottom half of his body naked, as he peed down the side of the train. Continue reading Thank you India
Photo courtesy: Aam422 — Wikimedia Commons
I headed north with an empty feeling at leaving the Tamil family whom I will be forever grateful. Continue reading Mumbai – a different world from the south
I grew up where summers were sticky and the thirty degree heat didn’t subside even by midnight. If I turned on a tap for a glass of water, the liquid was lukewarm. Arriving in sweltering Rameswarm, you’d assume a seasoned tropical dweller like me didn’t feel the heat, but that wasn’t the case. Continue reading Ever had an oil bath?