Behind the mask

July 2, 2019   Comments (0)
 

Binoy Kumar Sur makes papier maché masks for dance theatre troupes and religious parades mostly. There was a time when business was better, now it’s dwindling. He inherited this shop in Shankhari Bazaar, old Dhaka, from his father. It’s more than 80 years old. It takes him about 5 days to make 10 leopard masks, but the Kali goddesses take at least double that much time. He was most gracious to us, perhaps happy to have an interested audience.  (more…)

 
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National Temple

June 26, 2019   Comments (0)
 

The 860ish year-old Dhakeshwari Temple whose goddess lends her name to the capital city of Bangladesh on the delta of some 700 estuaries. The temple architecture is, of course, not that old — it’s been torn down, rebuilt, repaired many hundred times but it’s famous for two things. (more…)

 
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It’s called RMG

June 24, 2019   Comments (0)
 

As part of a solutions story for the BBC World Service, I visited a factory where an incredible scheme has been rolled out to give workers the benefits of health insurance as an add-on to their monthly grocery shopping. Over the course of two days we talked to workers in the ready-made garment export industry and saw for ourselves that the conditions were really good. In 2013 a garment factory collapse killed more than 1,000 people and since then, (more…)

 
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City lights

March 29, 2019   Comments (0)
 

The Udaipur City Palace lights at night, reflecting in Lake Pichola. The photo was taken by me,
but from @paddyvir‘s phone which has a far better camera than mine.
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#nofilter #gorgeous #nightsky#citylights #cityoflakes#mightyudaipur #blog #udaipurlove
#udaipurcity #Rajasthan#incredibleindia #worldtravelpics#worlderlust #wandering
#pretty#nighttime #nighttimephotography

 
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picture perfect

March 28, 2019   Comments (0)
 


Gangaur Ghat gleams under a crescent moon over Lake Pichola, taken from the best spot for a visit or a meal 😀 I’m a bit biased, I admit. But seriously, this view is ever changing and yet constantly mesmerizing and beautiful.

#udaipur #History #incredibleIndia #Rajasthan #wecouldberoyals

 
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Cenotaphs

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The Ahar cenotaphs. I learned the word “cenotaph” when I was 14. It means a “monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere” — a place holder for veneration, if you will.
I don’t think the folks who put together that dictionary ever dreamed of the way they’re done in Rajasthan, over acres and acres of land. The yellow stone Bada Bagh outside Jaisalmer might be the most famous, but near the old Pratap Nagar railway station in Udaipur is a huge tract of Chhatris in white.

Sadly, the grounds are unkempt and some structures are in disrepair (plus the caretaker is more than happy to take a bribe to break the posted rules.) Still, it’s serene and rather imposing in the early morning and I’m glad to have visited.

#blog #wp #udaipur #History #incredibleIndia #Rajasthan #wecouldberoyals

 
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Wow Vilnius

August 10, 2018   Comments (0)
 

#throwback to our trip to Vilnius and some fun things we did there. I loved this brilliant sculpture (top right) – an abstract portrait of 16th century Polish queen Barbara Radziwiłł, Grand Duchess of Lithuania – by Vladas Vildžiūnas, from 1979.

It’s on what translates as German Street and one side had to be completely rebuilt after the bombing in WWII.

I loved Vilnius more than I’d expected to. We’d planned only two days and 1 night here and we really lucked out. The location of our B&B was fabulous, the city was easy to navigate and I loved that the “old” town was a living city – I mean the university is smack in the  middle of it (like Krakow) and it was teaming with students and locals, not just tourists like Riga or Tallinn old town were.

Plus there was Užupis, the cheeky artists’ republic with their lovely constitution that affords respect to cats and humans alike. On our first evening there in the square of the Cathedral, we saw dozens of hot air balloons go past. And I just adored the sculpture of Grand Duke Gediminas. (Of course, we also found the lucky star and did little turns while making a wish.) Later we walked up the Hill of Three Crosses in Kalnai Park – it was a good climb and the wooden path kept disappearing down corners, a little stairway to … well, toward heaven.

#sculpture #publicart #europe #Lithuania #Vilnius #summertime #summer2018 #blog #wp #rainy #showers #cloudy #summerholiday
on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmS0Lq3Fqu3/ style=”text-align: center; width: 500px;”

 
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Later, Latvia

July 11, 2018   Comments (0)
 

Latvia was lovely to us and we wished we’d had a little more time. Our Riga apartment couldn’t have been in a better location (though google maps deserves two slaps for bringing us to it the long, long way around) and Sigulda was splendid. We loved walking around Riga and cycling around the tiny, flowery Sigulda with it’s astonishingly good bakery cafe and peach railway station. I don’t know if I’ll be back, but life is long…

 
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Work on the lake

June 1, 2018   Comments (2)
 

Lake Pichola, Udaipur


I’ve been spending a lot of time in Udaipur and with a view like this when I visit, how can I stay away?
Okay, that’s a little bit of hyperbole, I admit, but c’mon, the lake is gorgeous — any time of the day, all (more…)

 
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trucks, trains, and automobiles + camping

May 31, 2018   Comments (0)
 

Earlier this month, I went overlanding for the first time. What’s that? It’s defined like this: “Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.”

Seven of us got on a modified truck (called Bonnie, a beautiful orange BharatBenz), while her twin (Clyde, of course!) followed us (tricked out with loos, showers, hot water on one side and a kitchen on the other) and went from Jaipur to Gurgaon (where we were stopped by curious cops at every intersection, it seemed), on to Rishikesh, where we stayed in a room by the Ganges, then further up the mountains, following the Alaknanda river past Rudraprayag and Devprayag to Chopta, Uttarakhand. Here we stopped for two nights and camped amidst rhododendron trees, (more…)

 
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